Suffering from a state of mediocrity on social media

It has been over a week since my husband and I returned home from a long weekend in New Hampshire taking beautiful photos of the stunning scenery. Sleigh ride, Cogwheel train ride up Mt Washington, Forest hike, Moose head over the stone fireplace, Dinner at the historic lodge, Selfie by the fire pit – you name it, I took photos of it, intentionally sharing the experience with my friends in the social media.

Have I already posted these photos? No, I haven’t, and yes, I feel guilty about it.

Ever since Facebook became a thing around 2008, I’ve failed at it. At first I didn’t have time to think about social media. In 2008, my husband had just returned from a year-long assignment and we were preparing to move abroad. Military spouses understand the mindset of someone in these extreme circumstances.

After a year of managing our three kids, their various activities, our insanely huge dog, our versatile relatives, and our home on my own, I functioned a bit like an old umbrella stroller that’s been ridden hard for months. It’s still intact, but there’s no telling how many rides are left before the wheel falls off.

Add to that the monumental task of moving a family of five halfway across the world and the endless to-do list that comes with it, and it’s like asking an elephant to ride in that old umbrella stroller.

Somehow I got through this precarious time without my wheels falling off, and we soon found ourselves in a stairwell apartment in Germany. About a year after I settled in, I made the mistake of thinking, “Maybe I should try Facebook?” In 2010, while sitting in front of our clunky Dell computer monitor, I posted a blurry photo on my profile that my double chin didn’t show, and my social media mediocrity began.

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Born at the dawn of Generation X, when kids only watched cartoons on Saturday mornings, phones had rotary dials, and the two-dimensional Atari Pong was a high-tech video game, technology will never be intuitive to me. “What’s so difficult about posting on social media?” Millennials and Gen Z may be wondering.

Here’s the thing: Not only do I have to swipe through all my photos to find the ones where I don’t have a double chin, but I also have to deal with today’s high expectations of social media posts. When I posted my first status update to Facebook without photos thirteen years ago, typing a few words was all it took to post. But today, social media posts need to tell a compelling, cool, hilarious, heartwarming, informative, or tear-jerking story, complete with a collage of photos—or better yet, a well-edited video with music—and a caption that encourages engagement, without leaving you unfollowed, unfriended, or worse, muted.

And only on Facebook. Today’s social media users need to post equally engaging but different content on other platforms including Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, WhatsApp, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and Finsta. But it doesn’t end there. Gone are the days of just liking. We are now expected to specifically qualify our feelings towards the posts of others by registering likes, love, anger, caring, sadness, laughter and “Wow!”. in addition to clever comments written in the acceptable emoji-embellished shorthand of the digital age, such as “Slay Queen!💃🏻”, “Fit is fire!🔥”, “That looks good Fam! 😵”

Ah, the torment!

I’m jealous of my husband who, apart from his professional static LinkedIn profile, has never wasted a minute on social media. It runs, like the wind, free of social media obligations. I, on the other hand, dipped a pig toe in the pond in 2010, and SNAP! i was trapped The more I tried to wriggle out of the ever-increasing demands and expectations of social media, the more I fell into a trap.

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I may or may not post my photos of New Hampshire, but one thing is for sure — I don’t need to unpack my bags because thanks to social media, I’m still feeling guilty.

Read more at and in Lisa’s book, The Meat and Potatoes of Life: My True Lit Com. Email: [email protected]