‘Tis the season for social media updates about respiratory illness! Every year, starting around mid-November, status updates begin to skew from pictures of pumpkin patches to Instagrams of Kleenex boxes. This is particularly true of parental status updates, because kids are so prone to sickness, and mothers are so prone to using Facebook. The combination will result in a lot of detailed accounts of cold and flu season, complete with up-to-the-minute toddler health reports, rants about “selfish” adults who have colds going near children (aka leaving their homes), and pictures of children looking miserable in their pajamas. It’s one of those patterns of behavior that makes you pause and say, “Gee, I sure am glad my parents didn’t have social media back in the day,” because the only thing worse than being sick is someone documenting you being sick.
A couple of years ago, I dedicated a column to this subject and focused specifically on the grosser side of parents’ cold and flu updates. Today, I’ll be mostly posting about the other types of sickness status updates in an attempt to discourage parents from live-updating their kid’s virus, for everyone’s sake. Yeah, it sucks when kids get sick, especially if it’s causing a lot of discomfort or forcing parents to lose sleep or miss work, but c’mon, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not even uncommon. Don’t we all deserve to blow our noses and temporarily run a fever in peace?