This morning, The Today Show featured a blogger who has created quite a following surrounding her off-the-cuff, often pretty hilarious posts about how parents like to take sharing tidbits about their kids to the next dimension.
While “STFU Parents” may appear to dabble in a little too much snark and a tad bit nitpicking, the content is still amusing and light even for most parents. Truthfully we don’t need to know that little Mary finally laid a deuce for the first time or that after several aggressive attempts, Billy dislodged that annoying booger. But in the context of sharing with actual “friends” on social media (and I mean people who actually care about you and your family), a little over sharing with Aunt Jen or grandma (or even your best friend from college) can still be o.k.
Truthfully, I have those friends who post/Tweet about every burp, every freaking award and every time their kid had slice of pizza (heck I’m sure I’m guilty as well), but I can just glean past those posts and move on. Even the daily baby pictures–still cute and I can still appreciate the adorable little toothless face smiling back and me.
What bring the eye rolls on this end are over sharing political or religious beliefs. Didn’t mama always say don’t talk politics, religion or money (or maybe that was Forest Gump’s mama) at a cocktail party? Well guess what people–social media is one huge cocktail party.
I’ve been on an “unsubscribe” rampage over the past month after being told, inadvertendly, that I was “stupid, blind, uninformed, ridiculous, going to hell in a handbasket, foolish or unAmerican” on social media. And while none of these posts were pointed directly at me, they spoke to my deeply held beliefs, as if these memes or rants were meant to wake up people who didn’t align with their own beliefs. They were right and anyone, including pals, work collegues and friends, who didn’t agree were outrageously brain dead.
The funny thing is that many posts are from people who I have considered to be friends for years. I knew we differed in our political, religious or social beliefs but we respected our common moral standards, attitude toward mankind and, most importantly, the overwhelming fun we’ve had together in the past.
Now I feel as though I don’t know a good number of my “friends” as their previous posts about funny things their kids have done have turned to mean, hateful comments about politics or religion. And while a few funny/light-hearted political posts may be o.k. (like comments about Big Bird getting fired or Obama spacing out during the debate and thinking about his anniversary gift), the barrage of posts assaulting one other’s intelligence or moral fiber is what is downright annoying.
Give me a daily picture of a friend’s baby any day over a crazed political post. At least my gut reaction when I see the baby smiling at me is to feel happy. In the somewhat bumbled, but right-on words of LA riot victim, the late Rodney King, “”People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”
Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors.