Thursday, October 21, 2010

how to use facebook (to make everybody hate you)

If your status update involves any of the following, you've just alienated a bunch of people:

  • your brilliant and superior parenting skills (e.g., your three year old's reading ability, the fact that none of your kids eat any refined sugar, etc.)
  • how other parents are so pitiably stupid for parenting in a way different from your own
  • any reference whatsoever to vaccination: for, against, or otherwise
  • hysterical invective against circumcision, baby formula, or nighttime parenting choices
  • shit-stirring in general
The "hide" button is a magical thing and I use it freely.  I expect a certain amount of idiocy in any forum where people aren't interacting face-to-face.  But I just do not understand how people can survive a few years of parenthood without being deeply humbled by the inadequacy of whatever ideals they started out with.  I'm not even sure that the people who set me off on this little rant really do believe that my kids are forever scarred by my horrible parenting choices.  They're probably just looking for some validation from the little choir they're preaching to.  But it strikes me as antagonistic and (strangely) competitive and they should most definitely shut right up.


Tammie said...

i totally agree.

the parent i am now, is not the parent i was when my son was first born 12 years ago. and i think the world is better for it.

i think we all start out with grand ideas about how our awesome parenting skills are going to make for super human, super smart kids. and then our kids grow up and so do we.

i was thinking about this just yesterday when i was chaperoning the girls field trip to the farm. i could spot all the 'newer' moms right away because they were worried about germs and antibacterial wipes, whereas we old timers were walking around watching our kids pet goats and then pick their own noses and eat their boogies. its not that we care less, but with time we've learned which issues to make a big deal out of. and most issues that are readily discussed on facebook, are not life and death issues.

as for me, i judge no ones parenting choices anymore unless it effects my child in a serious way. like if i dropped my kid off at a playdate and everyone was having a throwing knife war in the living room, then i might get opinionated.

Jennylou's Projects said...

I think people who get offended by parenting posts on facebook must be unsure of their own choices. I share evidenced based research/medical advice and won't stop just because a few people might be offended. Not when dozens of people run into me in real life and tell me how thankful they are for the information that I share. Maybe it's because I share it, and don't condemn those that are doing other things? More of a "hey, did you know?" type of article sharing than a "OMG, what a horrible person that mom is because she did X, Y or Z".

Not Hannah said...

Preach, sista. I had to read a post today from a private school-parent complaining about public schools and the parents who send their kids there. Hi. That would be me, you turd.

And I'm not unsure about my choices at all.

Kira said...

Yes, yes, yes. Honestly I don't hide much, but shrill alarmism and bigoted hate-spewing will spur me to invoke the Hide button posthaste.

True story: a couple of weeks ago I expressed dislike for David Sedaris in a comment on a This American Life Facebook post and pissed off most of white middle class America, all of whom scolded or whined about me in the following comments. Truth be told I was delighted.

Jamie Blair said...

I love everything about this post.

There are a few of things that will set me off in opinionated rants, but it's never about parenting. People need to remember that they don't have answers - they have opinions.

That said my favorite posts go like this: "No offense to (insert entire group of people here), but (insert offensive, poorly written diatribe here)." Those have met my "hide" button quite a few times.

sarah@theunwrapping said...

and that! is why i hate facebook as a stupid waste of time. [excuse me while i go..on...ahem...facebook...]

Anonymous said...

This is a big part of why I had to leave MDC (ugh, talk about making my head want to explode)... well that and the fact that I am, you know, a perfect parent. Sometimes. Anyway, yup on the "Hide" button on FB, what a great addition!

Karen said...

MDC is the worst, except for the multiples forum which is (relatively speaking) a haven of common sense and practical parenting.

Kira, if you don't like David Sedaris you're a traitor to your class. Just saying.