Wilhelm Scheruebl Jr.







2022 10 01
xxxx 10 01

Published on GAT.ST - read German Version here

"Kilimanjaro gets faster Internet. "


Today is the eighth and therefore the last day of my Kilimanjaro trek. It is the fourth time that I climb this peak. This time via the Lemosho route. The summit is almost within reach and before we start the last leg, I quickly collect a memory of the last sunrise with a view of the top of the mountain. I try to avoid the rest of the visitors and to get an undisturbed view of the summit. Not so easy with all the people who are with me in the camp. Finally I succeed a good shot. I take it into a photo editing program and then off into the vastness of the internet.

Uploading ...

#sunrise #kilimanjaro #nofilter

Your Image was posted to your Profile.

Even before I can pick up my backpack, the first beeps sound from the direction of my phone. When the uploads of the people around me also finally reach the social networks, a small concert of our gadgets emerges. It hums, buzzes, squeaks and beeps throughout the camp. The morning glow that surrounds us is interrupted only by the blue glow of screens. Just as the sounds of our daily companions break the silence on the mountain.

A loud gong sounds, signaling social media time is over and we must be on our way. I grab my backpack and hang my smartphone around my neck. Ready to hand at any time, in case a good moment for a photo presents itself.

Let's go!

Of course, I have to take a quick look at the screen before I can take the first step. Quick look at the stats: What engagement has the post achieved in the last 30 seconds, and most importantly, how many likes?

16,1432 likes so far.

That's okay, but not satisfactory. Hopefully the panorama at the summit will convince my followers more than the sunrise picture. After just a few steps, I can't stop thinking about how to get more Likes. I should post another quick story or reel. Anything. Only getting to 3000 likes ... that's absurd and way too few. I am trying so hard. My next message needs to convince everyone more and get them hooked.

With each step, my discomfort grows.

Otherwise, what am I doing all this walking for?

Why aren't people interested in this wonderful nature?

Are nature photos no longer well received in the algorithm at the moment?

How many followers could I lose because of this poor engagement?

Is there another person here on the mountain creating better content than me?

What's trending right now that I could be doing here too?

I'm sinking deeper and deeper into my thoughts and fears that I might not please my following anymore. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I don't even notice how the ground beneath me becomes flatter and the people around me stop. We have reached the top and thus my last chance to please my audience today. I immediately pull out my smartphone. What motif and what kind of mediation should I choose. Every second counts. Someone else here could grab a few of my likes. So I run around like crazy at the summit and look for the ideal picture. When slowly unrest spreads in my group. I hear murmurs and groans around me.

I didn't even notice that my cell phone wasn't showing a WIFI connection. What's going on here? Damn - how am I supposed to keep my followers - without internet!
I slump down inside myself. My phone falls out of my hand and shatters on the floor. I can already see the dwindling number in the upper right corner of my profile. My body begins to shake and I start sobbing. The whole hike for nothing else.

As I lift my head and let my eyes glide over the landscape, I realize it's the first time since I started this hike that I'm not looking at nature through my phone's screen.


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© Wilhelm Scherübl Jr.