Happy New Year! It is 2014, the year that, I believe, parent overshare is going to get even weirder than it has in the past. Why do I think that? Well, every year for the past few years, the majority of data studies have shown that moms are increasingly on the move (on Facebook) and control the majority of their household purchases (after posting 100 times a day on Facebook), and that tells me parent overshare isn’t going anywhere in 2014. If anything, it’s ramping up! What delights lay ahead for us this year? What horrible, ridiculous, possibly medically irresponsible status updates and trends will some parents share with the world? On this cold, blustery day in early January, it’s a little too soon to tell. As a preemptive reminder, though, I’ve put together a list of tips for parents to follow in order to avoid any major pitfalls.
This list could be at least 20 tips long, but for the sake of brevity, I’ve whittled it down to the Top 6. After going through last year’s trends and columns, I took stock in my submissions inventory of “what’s hot” and “what’s not” in the world of overshare to reach my final conclusions. As noted in previous“Tips” columns, we can’t know where we’re going until we take a look at where we’ve been. In 2014, I wish everyone health, happiness, and the ability to know when STFU on social media. Here are my top tips for the New Year:
1. Don’t Fundraise / Crowdsource For Money (Unless It’s An Emergency)
We first talked about “parental fundraising” in this space in April, and since then, the fad has climbed to reach new heights of awkwardness. What began as a trend for parents to raise money for adoption or in vitro fertilization or — FAR more understandably — medical bills incurred due to unforeseen circumstances has now turned into a free-for-all on sites like Go Fund Me or IndieGoGo. Now, people are crowdsourcing funds for everything from college tuition (planning ahead!) to paying for a home birth (they can be expensive!). In this instance, the submitter was especially irked because she and the parents-to-be live in Australia, where healthcare is free. The submitter wrote, “That’s right, she could walk into a hospital and give birth for FREE, but would prefer other people PAY for her ‘home birth’! If they can’t afford to have the f***ing baby, how the hell do they expect to raise it?” Good point, submitter! We will ponder this further in 2014. In the meantime, if you are a parent who’s inclined to put up a fundraising site for things like this, try to curb how frequently you share the page with your friends online. If they haven’t donated yet, they’re probably not going to. Maybe they have their own lives and families to pay for? Just a thought!