Social (Media) Climber

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I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to social media for making me feel young again.

How can that be, you ask? Neither social media nor cell phones existed back in the ’80s when phones had cords and hair was high and you watched music on TV. Well, good ol’ soc med takes me back to high school… when I felt completely and utterly insecure. Social media: the “Mean Girls” of the 21st century.

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I didn’t exactly jump on the social media bandwagon. I was peer pressured up there. Media is supposed to do other media. It’s a rule. As a reporter I was expected to tweet and post on Facebook and find some reason to use Instagram. Being popular became part of my job. And I, a Gen Xer, did not feel like one of the cool millenials. I remember a photographer once emailing me a note asking, “What’s up with Twitter and Murphy?”

OMG, I can’t believe I’m so out of it that there is another new form of social media I’ve never heard of and have to learn about. I responded, “I know what Twitter is, but I’ve never even heard of this Murphy thing.”

Turns out, he was asking about missing photos for two dogs, Twitter and Murphy, who were featured in a pet adoption column I edited. My relief that I hadn’t missed another social media form was far greater than my feeling of stupidity.

I’m no longer in the biz, but it’s expected now that I’m a wannabe author — especially to, sniff sniff, grow your brand, dahling, and attract an agent — to have a social media presence and scores of followers on all these platforms. Is that even the right terminology — platforms? Seems to me we should say planks instead, as in “walk the” because that’s where we’re all headed with our dependence on all this stuff, right off the edge into the water.

People stop being present in the real world and choose instead to craft a very staged, virtual reality through FB and IG (which I just discovered is shorthand for Instagram and not Intestinal Gas). Life is likes, and it makes me so annoyed with myself that I have fallen victim to it, too.

I just posted my latest blog post on Facebook. How come I only have three likes? Why aren’t people paying attention to me anymore?

What? Those are my CUTEST pair of sandals, why did no one “heart” that picture on Instagram? I have to get the kids to double tap that so I don’t look lame.

WHOA! Yourfirstblackgirlfriend is an actress, model and Atlanta-based taco addict and has 12,000-plus followers AND SHE SAID I HAVE A “REALLY NICE” FEED!! Squee!

Why did no one like that tweet? It was hilarious!

Wait — how did I just lose 5 Instagram followers?

Honestly, social media makes Regina George look like a rank amateur.

Anyway, No. 3 and I were having a little contest (OK, it might have only been me) to see who could hit 100 followers first on Instagram. Ahem, I won, but I also make a point of posting every day because I kinda sorta secretly enjoy it. Instagram is the kinder, gentler social media with lots of pictures of pretty plated food and cool hairdos and clothes and cuddly puppies doing adorable stuff. At least, that’s what I see. I was all proud that I hit that century mark, but it was a lot of work. No. 3, on the other hand, has never posted a thing and now has 178 followers. I’m around 220, small potatoes, but those numbers spike and drop daily as some weirdly inappropriate accounts start tracking me. I’m looking at you,  RaceSavvy. What in my Arizona-based posts makes you think that I am a California runner looking to find the perfect race? Also, I haven’t run, on purpose, in six years. Also also, please don’t unfollow me for saying that.

So, I get randomly followed by people who drop me when I don’t follow back in the first five seconds of them following me and while they go on happily with their lives like nothing ever happened, I sit there overthinking. What did I do wrong? Was it offputting to show toe cleavage in that shoe selfie?

It’s enough to make you feel nostalgic for burn books….

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