My Life isn’t interesting.
My name is Jo, and I have social media envy.
I don’t post gratuitous selfies, do make up tutorials, keep a travel journal, or post photos of pristine rooms with minimalist decor. I am head of social media and animal welfare for Peepal Farm, an animal rescue in Dharamsala, India.
Being in charge of social media has it’s benefits. Getting responses and followers, seeing people appreciate our work that we pour our hearts into, feeling the immediate gratification of “16 shares”…it all feels pretty nice!
But being the social media person for this non-profit chaos also makes me feel competitive, even with people who are not doing the same kind of work that I am. The perfectly photogenic (and may I add, thin) couple living in a van and canyoneering with their two dogs and 4 major corporate sponsors, maybe doesn’t do these fantastical and riveting things every day (or maybe they do?), but they seem to have a daily stream of fantastically shot and perfectly filtered images of their active and beautiful lifestyle. They can make me feel dumpy, sloppy, poorly-dressed, unadventurous, and boring.
But they aren’t taking care of 49 animals by managing a staff of 7 and 2–3 volunteers all day, every day.
It seems crazy for me to compare their life with mine. When do I have time to go out on treks with my dogs and get those “like”-friendly pictures which make outdoor dog-gear companies salivate? I can barely manage to brush my teeth, shower, and keep my room from smelling like dog piss, much less put myself together enough to be presentable in a photo…so why do I feel this pressure to (try to) get followers by ignoring my daily grind and gallivanting off to the nearest glacial lake for a photoshoot?
Because it seems to sell, that’s why!
But that brings me to the crux of the issue which faces many small organizations like Peepal Farm: we don’t have the time or the people to compete with the individual social media “influencers” or large companies. The first is the more interesting to the consumer, with all the time to build a personal narrative. The second just pours large amounts of money at the issue.
I suppose the best I can do for now is search for an animal welfare manager who cares and can keep the 7 cowboys and gals in line, or find a social media person who will care about the organization and be a go-getter.
I will let you know how that goes.
I’m Jo, and I have lots of animals. We live at Peepal Farm, a stray animal rescue in Dharamsala, India. I do work and I talk about work. A lot.