Every year, I dedicate the weeks leading up to Halloween to posting some of the weirdest and/or grossest submissions I receive, and this year is no exception. Starting this week and for the two weeks after that, I’ll be posting a few “creepy” (or disgusting) columns detailing some of the darker side to oversharing. First up: Documoms!
I wrote about documoms around this time last year, because I’d noticed a trend of mothers taking pictures of their children’s mouths at various stages of development. That was pretty weird – weirder than this column, in my opinion – but this time around, I wanted to do more of an overview of the documom trend. Teeth and mouths are a bizarre focus, for sure, but moms are apt to take pictures of lots of things related to their kids. And the difference between a momarazzi and a documom are drastic. Momarazzi just take zillions of pictures of their children being cute. Cute in the highchair, cute on the floor, cute in the park, cute at the zoo. Documoms, however, take their kid photography to a whole new level.
The pictures aren’t so much of their kids, but rather of something related to their kids’ bodies. I don’t mean that in a crass way, of course, but these are the parents who showcase something specific, more like a nurse who’s updating a patient chart. Oftentimes, the photos are taken because it’s the child’s “first.” First knee gash, first loose tooth extraction, first piece of belly button lint (seriously). But what comes across is this attitude of, “If it happened, it should be on Facebook.” And I’m taking the other side of that argument and saying no, it doesn’t. Not everything our children say or do should be posted online, and that includes respecting their physical privacy. What’s the point of HIPAA if your own mother is always posting your medical history or pictures of your weird bodily habits online? Can’t we let our children pick their noses and cut up their faces in peace?
Here are but a few examples of documoms who just don’t know when to put the camera down.
Okay, so your kid got some stitches. I could understand maybe posting a picture of him eating an ice cream cone afterward with the caption, “Ice cream makes getting stitches all better,” or something like that. But this picture is just a zoomed-in view of this kid’s face and eyebrow. Is that really necessary? It looks like a picture he took of himself that you’d discover on your camera, giggle over, and delete, not a picture that was taken with the sole purpose of getting as close to “the action” as possible.