Social Media

I feel like social media has been a bit of a struggle lately. I am old enough to remember back when we had three to five TV channels, and most people watched the most popular shows or big broadcasts like the Super Bowl and the Olympics. And then things fractured more and more, first into a ton of cable channels with a couple of really big ones, and now into so many different shows on so many different streaming services.

Things feel more and more fractured on social media these days, too. On Facebook, there are high school friends, neighborhood mom friends, college parent groups, and older relatives, and if I want those updates (which I do!) that’s the only way to go. But the young whippersnappers aren’t into it. So if I’m looking for updates about anything younger-people related, it’s more likely to be on Instagram. Which can be annoying, because I can see updates of my own kids on Instagram, but most of my older family members aren’t on it, so it’s not easy to share. I end up taking screen shots of Instagram posts to text to people who I know aren’t on Instagram.

But meanwhile, I am pretty much only a lurker on Instagram. I actually aspire to start posting. My plan is to use it entirely for taking pictures of embroidery, houseplants and garden plants, and anything vaguely creative. This is, in part, because I recently lost a lovely little embroidery project. Well, actually, I didn’t lose it: it was stolen from me. Over the summer I’d stitched flowers onto a plain baseball cap, and then I wore it on our trip to the music festival in Mexico, where someone must have picked it up off our chaise lounge. To make matters worse, I’d also taken off a necklace and attached it to the cap so I wouldn’t lose track of it, so the thief got a 2-for-1 deal. The necklace wasn’t particularly expensive, but I liked it and it was bought at a local shop out of town, so I can’t easily replace it. But what made me the absolute most bummed out about it is that I didn’t think I even had a picture of the finished cap, so it was like it never happened. Which is what got me thinking that if I posted every project I finished on Instagram, it could be a little archive of all of my embroidery projects. But the good news is that when I started writing this, I got annoyed all over again, and so I did one more thorough search of all of my pictures, and — hooray! — at least I have a picture of the cap:

So… perhaps you’ll see it in your Instagram feed soon.

Meanwhile, honestly, I really miss Olde Timey Twitter. I had a bunch of lists all arranged so that I could curate what I was reading based on my mood, and it was the best for catching up quickly on news. It was also great for semi-boring events like awards shows, because everyone would be making jokes or dishing out gossip as the program went along, which made everything more fun. Sigh. But then Twitter got worse and worse and less fun and more horrible and then all the people who were not terrible abandoned it. And I have Threads now, but it’s absolutely not a substitute, especially now that they’re trying to downplay politics. Threads was supposed to be my replacement for all the Twitter politics and news I used to read. And searching for recent information on a topic completely doesn’t work.

Most recently, I started BeReal. I got on it because, as we were driving M to the airport, she said that she usually does BeReal, and so I thought it would be a way to see what she’s up to. Basically, the concept is that you’re supposed to take a impromptu, genuine picture of yourself and what you’re up to, as a sort of antidote to the hyper-stylized, filtered, and staged images on most social media. You get a notification, and you’re supposed to post within 2 minutes. You can still post later, but it will be marked as late. And you have to post your images for the day in order to see your friends’ images. So, I downloaded the app and I’ve been posting, and guess how many times I’ve seen M via BeReal since I did that? Zero! I have seen J once, G a few times, Cute W a couple of times. It is not clear to me if it’s because people don’t post or because I’m too late to see them, but the bummer is that it feels like, for me, the app should be called BeReallyBoring. Oh, hey, am I at my computer working again? What a surprise! Plus, I pretty much always miss the notification, so I’m always late, and you take a simultaneous picture with your front and back cameras, so it’s BeReallyBoringAndUnflattering. I’m not great at selfies or aiming in general. Today I actually saw the notification in time to post a BeReal within 2 minutes, and it was while I was in the bathroom, so I was like, hey, at least I can get my plants in, but of course my aim was slightly off, so my picture was my plants and my toilet. I think it might be time to give up on the whole thing.

Do I do Pinterest? No, I do not. I think I made an account at some point, but I always felt disoriented there. It would make sense, I guess, to do boards for embroidery and plants and such, but I don’t think I have the energy. Unless any of you are going to say that that’s where you find your social media joy?

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