Hashtags And Influencers Have Reduced Manifestation To A Mere Trend. It’s So Much More Than That

manifestation
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Gone are the days when it was believed that you had to take a trip to an ashram far far away to make progress in your spiritual journey, or read ancient texts to figure out the workings of the universe— now all you need to do is log onto Instagram. The new age of spirituality has soul influencers, celebrity life coaches and witchtok offering neatly packaged tools that will lead to your ‘awakening’. An assortment of affirmations, subliminals and overpriced crystals await you to help you attract all that you wish for— everything from a text message from your ex to your dream job. 

Manifestation And Social Media

Google searches for “manifesting” went up 600% when the pandemic hit in 2020, “Shut up, I’m manifesting” became a meme, manifestation content on TikTok has over 15 billion views and the hashtags #manifestation and #manifest have 15 million posts on Instagram. Finding new meaning in ancient wisdom, this is Gen Z’s social-media-friendly version of The Secret, run through a facelift filter. Do you think this article showed up on your feed because of my outstanding SEO score or Instagram’s algorithm? Nah, it’s obviously because you attracted it into your conscious universe.

You’ve heard of toxic positivity and productivity, and with manifestation, there’s a chance of leaning into toxic spirituality. The belief that you always have to think happy thoughts to create a happier reality, that you’re not allowed to feel anything other than positive all the time, can be counterproductive. If manifestation really were as simple as social media portrays it to be, that if you create a reel with a specific ‘manifestation audio’ your wishes will come true the very next moment, why does suffering still exist? Why isn’t everyone a multi-millionaire by now? Surely nobody is manifesting the feeling of existential dread, right? Then why are anxiety and depression still a very real thing? 

Spiritual Girl Aesthetic

The word ‘manifestation’ is being thrown around like confetti on the internet with its meaning diluted. Spirituality is turning into an aesthetic where people dress a certain way, wear evil eye symbolism, keep pretty crystals on their nightstands, have tarot card tapestries on their walls and perform Intagrammable manifestation rituals every full moon, often without understanding the significance of it all. 

Along with astrology and tarot, the interest in manifestation came as a source of comfort and hope during unprecedented times and understandably so, but the ‘love & light’ trend it’s turned into can become problematic very quickly. Making vision boards, gratitude journaling and saying positive affirmations can all be helpful to a certain extent but the issue begins when you believe that your thoughts alone can turn your dreams into reality. Trying to manifest a lottery win but the universe isn’t cooperating? It must surely be because you’re not doing it right, not saying your affirmations in the present tense, not writing them down three times a day. How can it have anything to do with the fact that you haven’t taken the necessary action of buying a ticket? 

Setting an intention can be a very powerful thing but while you’re dreaming of a brighter future, don’t forget to work towards it too.

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