This is why I find Social Media Challenging

I wasn’t on social media for a very long time. I always did it for work, so started to see a very different side of the social media cog. Since I’ve been trying to build my online presence to job search and get consulting gigs, I’ve created all of my profiles again. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. But I’ve still really been struggling with having to use social media, even for the greater good of my business.

Authenticity

When I scroll through a timeline, I see pictures of friends, family and Guides/Scouts around the world. In all of these pictures, everyone is smiling. They are positive about life and themselves and what they are doing. They are presenting their best selves. I’m not feeling any of this at the moment. Life is hard and I’m not always smiling or happy or living my best life. But you never see this on social media. You never see this pop up in your timeline.

We don’t look at nature through our own eyes anymore, to experience the road less travelled. We are looking at it to figure out the best Insta shot we can get. We don’t go out to eat without first making our table look amazing and then taking a ton of pictures so we can get 1 good Insta post. People aren’t even looking at each other in public. Everyone has their faces on their phones, trying to see what others are posting, when they could just look up and see for themselves!

We find ourselves living in a curated world. Nothing is as it seems. I’ve managed enough social media channels over the years to know that I can edit pictures to make them look better. I can write content that is flowery and makes people want to take action. I know how to present the best possible picture. And most of us do this now, without even realizing it. Think about what your last social media post was, why did you post? Did you achieve your goal?

This is why I struggle with social media.

Is this anyway to live life? Do we want a curated version of ourselves? Or do we want us, all the bumps, blemishes and bad moods? Are you presenting what you want on social media? Or are you presenting what other people want?

Before you post next, stop and think about why you might be posting. Do you want to change your post? Do you have the courage to?

a journal entry: 3 Aug 2008

10 years ago, I was in Peace Corps in Zambia. I was living in a mud hut, no electricity, no running water, and having an amazing, challenging life changing experience. Since it’s been 10 years, I decided to randomly peek into my journals and share with you what I wrote at the time. Raw, unedited, straight from the pages!!

3 Aug 2008: A Leisurely Sunday

So I woke up at 10. Sat inside, ate leftover tapioca pudding, then finally came out because I was dying for some coffee. Then I did some laundry, listened to some music and now I’m journaling.

I’m literally the fattest person in the village. Long story short. Clinic – scale – 90 kg – announced to everyone – record weight. Yeah. Crazy. Yet another reason to lose weight and stop eating nshima!

Off to letter writing!

Homesick

It’s a tough feeling to be homesick for a place that most people wouldn’t see as a home. You say you are homesick but no one really understands how that is possible.

No electricity. No running water. No McDonalds. No television. No computers.

Everyone focuses on the differences. How could I possibly miss a place that doesn’t have these basic ‘necessities’?

Easy.

I miss being able to lay in my hammock all day and read. I miss the quiet. I miss the kids waiting for me to cook fritters in the morning for breakfast. I miss sitting and enjoying my cup of coffee. I miss drinking warm Coke out of a glass bottle. I miss baking cookies in a brick oven. I miss listening to the radio. I miss laughing with my sisters because I can’t cook nshima. I miss eating chick peas with watered down tomato sauce and some masala. I miss riding my bike. I miss waking up at 6am to sit and wait for transport to show up at 11am. I miss eating sweet potatoes for dinner. I miss the rain. I miss guinea fowl eggs. I miss teaching the kids to play uno. I miss colouring pages and crayons laying all around my house. I miss playing frisbee. I miss talking with the old ladies. I miss Joy.

I’ve been gone for almost 2 years. The time has flown by. I’m living in an entirely different place, with an entirely different life style, with an entirely different job.

Now I see people come and go. They all deal with their experiences differently. I try not to interfere, especially when I can see they are processing. I understand the need to process and try not to judge people’s opinions. I want to share my experiences but this is hard. Only a small hand full of people really understand. And I still can’t explain what I experienced without people immediately focusing on the differences.

They don’t have access to medical care. They don’t have electricity. They don’t have safe drinking water. They don’t, they don’t, they don’t.

Yes. This is true. But…

They have dreams-Jacqueline wants to become a nurse. They are smart-Scotty can do maths a grade above his classmates. They work hard-Sandra bakes and sells cakes to other families. They laugh.

Some people call them a cause. I call them my family.

And I am homesick.