Social media. We’re all on it, we all love it, we all hate it. From the PC4PC to the “has he viewed your story yet?”, we all live our own personal inifinite scroll of both hell and heaven, but where do we draw the line? For my own personal journey, from MySpace to BeReal, with the plethora of failed platforms and a feminist business (or meme page, depending on your perspective) inbetween, that line is now.
Yup, I hereby declare that Naked Grapefruit shall no longer be active on Instagram or even Twitter (shoutout to you lucky 1,042 people). Maybe that’s not news to you (dunno why ur reading this in that case, but we move), but to some people it may be, hence the blog to explain. Appaz there’s over 2,000,000,000 people on Instagram, that’s a lot of zeroes (with the odd hero thrown in) and as my woodwork teacher once told me when I used a blunt saw for the first time – ”with great power comes great responsibility”. So, at what point are we gonna start taking the seriousness of every little detail of our lives being broadcast to the entire world via these platforms?
We started off by wanting to see what our friends were doing, became amateur photographers in the process and ended up in an endless doomscroll of ads for products we don’t need mixed with memes and gender reveals. Now, obvs social media isn’t all bad. It’s allowed old friends to reunite, created a connection for millions of others and provided a platform for many a person to chase their dream #sidehustle.
It’s even been kind to yours truly, allowing me to create Naked Grapefruit. With only a few pieces of shrapnel to my name, creating content on Instagram allowed me to compete with the big boys of the fucked up sex toy industry. Providing me with a way to grow a business over the last 3 years in order to support myself doing the thing I love. So cheers Zuckerberg, I know you always wanted to normalise female pleasure and were just playing the long game when you made that site to rate girls’ appearance. Maybe without Instagram, I’d still have found another way to do what I do or, maybe I wouldn’t. Who cares?
Thing is, when I started Naked Grapefruit, I wanted to change things, like really change things. I could see the bullshit being spouted by other companies and wanted to avoid that. Avoid being yet another company selling products aimed at women and therefore considering themselves to be feminist by default, whilst simultaneously receiving money from the men in suits who are also invested in keeping the status quo. Wrestling that concern in tandem with growing Naked Grapefruit primarily on Instagram, a platform that’s had an undeniably negative impact on women’s mental health (specifically, appearance) has been a fine balance from day one but the tipping point has now come.
One day, we’re posting about the pitfalls of individualist capitalism and the next we’re asking you to buy a product so we can all continue living in our fantasy world where everything is rosy and we feel like we’re doing our bit cos of that post we shared on our story. Everyone involved knows it’s a lie, and yet we continue to live it. Perhaps because we’re scared of the potential alternatives. But how much worse can they possibly be at this point? I want to change things, but how much is yet another carousel on why Brad’s behaviour is problematic really changing things? It’s at this point where the more moderate among you will say “bUt It’S rAiSiNg AwArEnEsS”, and sure, reposting about issues, whatever they may be, can do that but less than half of “politically active” social media users are actually doing anything more than mindlessly reposting the same trite artwork. It’s a perpetual cycle, the more people post, the trendier it becomes, and the more people feel obligated to post themselves *cough #blackouttuesday cough*. If a simple repost on your story is all it takes to be an activist on social media, why should anyone take any real initiative to effect change?
This is a tough thing to acknowledge, that essentially all of your (my) work is redundant and essentially futile as we all float down the endless stream of reel after reel of whatever the algorithm decides will keep us watching. I don’t want to contribute to that anymore, I don’t want to have to post about my incredibly well-designed vibrator that you can purchase here to boost sales up to break even yet another month. I wanna live a bit more, free from the shackles of creating content, from keeping up with the latest topical news in order to spew out another Venn diagram into the ether in the hope someone has a giggle and takes something meaningful from it. So, it’s time to say goodbye to the social world and hello to the real world.
I know you’re shaking at the thought of Naked Grapefruit no longer existing, but fear not, we’ll still be about. Just not on Instagram anymore. If you’re inclined to look up from your phone and keep your eyes peeled in the real world, you might just spot us shouting into the void about “women’s problems”. Don’t forget to take a picture and share it on social so you look cool.
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