Every New Year’s Eve on STFU, Parents I take a moment to reflect on the many lessons we’ve learned, trends we’ve discovered, and horrors we’ve encountered over the past 12 months. It feels productive to take a look at where we’ve been, as well as where we’re going. What terrifying overshares will we be introduced to in the coming year, and what do those things say about the culture of overshare on social media? Important questions might arise like, “Did I receive twice as many poop submissions this year?” and, “What’s up with the obsession some parents have with their kids teeth?” Mostly, the Year-in-Review is a reminder that overshare isn’t going anywhere, so we may as well gear up for whatever’s going to clog our newsfeeds next year.
On that note, much like last year, I’m dedicating this final column of the year to some of the “social media goals” parents should strive for in 2013. After looking back through the year of columns, a few simple messages stood out to me. Here are the Top Overshare Tips for Parents in 2013:
1. Let The “Chain Message” Status Updates Die Out
If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Chain status updates are boring, meaningless, and stupid, and yet some parents STILL feel that they’re doing their “duty” by posting them. Like Bill says, he’ll “do everything and anything” for his kids, including taking the time to handwrite a viral status update on a piece of paper (?!) and then type it out on his phone, because that is the modern day equivalent of going the distance for one’s kids. Parents, in 2013, please consider how idiotic this practice is. No one needs proof that you love your children, and even if they did, copying and pasting a block of regurgitated text isn’t going to do the trick.
2. Refrain From Posting Angry Rants
If there’s one thing we learned in 2012, it’s that parents really, REALLY hate it when strangers don’t smile or wave back at their children. Now that that point has been made abundantly clear, parents should refrain from running it into the ground for another year in 2013. Oh, and they might want to learn how to meditate, too. People sure got angry on Facebook this year.
3. Moms, Don’t Reveal So Much
Women reached the apex of overshare this year with constant updates about their physical being. Don’t get me wrong, as a woman I feel there’s nothing for any mother to be ashamed of when it comes to her body, whether it’s an issue with incontinence or stretch marks or vaginal reconstructive surgery. HOWEVER, these are not details that should be discussed so openly on Facebook, because honestly, why does your bunkmate from summer camp in 1994 need to know that shit?
4. Have Respect For Childfree/Childless Friends
Enough with the one-upping, especially if it’s an attempt to impress or discredit your friends. Even if the comment comes from a place of humor or lightheartedness, it probably won’t come off that way if it’s a mommyjack. Hijack wisely in 2013, parents. And remember that moving sucks for everyone.
5. Don’t Sexualize Your Kids
Blow job jokes are funny some of the time, but blow job jokes about babies are funny none of the time. Sure, I giggled after reading the caption on this photo, but immediately afterward I felt a sense of dark shame. I don’t even know what I’m looking at here. Why should Tessa’s friends be privy to her baby getting his balls blow-dried? Didn’t we talk about keeping your son’s junk off the internet last year?
6. Keep It Real
Last but never least, if you’re going to post about your kids on social media, make it sincere. Whether you’re making a joke that’ll qualify you for a Gold Star, or you’re just telling it like it is and admitting what some other parents never do, if it comes from the heart you’re probably on the right track. Especially if it involves parenting perks. Kids should be like credit cards – the more you spend on them, the more rewards you get in the long run. Way to go, Maigen. It sounds like you’re training Fiona like a pro.
Happy New Year, everyone!