A couple of years ago, after diving into the weird and wild world of niche mommyjacking, I introduced the term "milestonejacking" here on Mommyish. Milestonejacking typically consists of mommyjacking any kind of milestone -- be it a friend's new job, academic achievement, marathon run, etc. -- but by far the most commonly hijacked milestone is when a friend is getting married. In fact, anything related to marriage must set off mommyjacker alarm (wedding) bells on Facebook, because I've seen proposal-jackings, engagement-jackings, wedding day-jackings, honeymoon-jackings, and so on.
Having given this subject more thought than any rational person should, I've come to the conclusion that people are more likely to milestonejack nuptial updates due to a combination of both selfishness, which is the cornerstone of any social media hijacking, and sincere well wishes, which is anomalous. Usually when someone mommyjacks, it's to express a piece of unnecessary parenting information without giving it much thought. The comment comes from a subconscious or semi-conscious place, but the purpose is simply to transmit the information. It's a bit thoughtless. With weddingjacking, however, there are emotions involved. Parents (and parents-to-be) have fond memories of their own weddings, and they're reminded of the many milestones they've experienced as a family since The Big Day. The first large purchase, such as a home. The first Christmas as a married couple, punctuated by sappy holiday cards. And then, for many people, the first baby and all of the love and joy that baby brings to the couple's life. It's all so overwhelmingly sweet and wonderful and meaningful -- for them.
But for the people who have yet to tie the knot, weddingjacking is laughably narcissistic. The whole point of a wedding is to celebrate the union of two specific people. It's the one time that all the attention is lavished on the happy couple and no one else, which makes sense considering the average cost of a wedding in 2014 is over $25,000. It's easy to justify those old aphorisms about a wedding being "the couple's day, so don't make it about you" when treating people to a full-course dinner and an open bar. Plus, weddingjacking is just tacky. Who cares about your baby?! It's someone else's wedding! Being nostalgic is fine, but writing anything under a wedding-related status update about a baby is not.
That's not to say that the wedding posters themselves aren't annoying. They are! No one cares about someone else's wedding countdown or centerpiece purchase. The act of posting regular updates about an upcoming wedding is often as narcissistic as any other type of redundant update. But the difference between wedding posters and weddingjackers is that the wedding posters can get away with it sometimes, and the weddingjackers cannot. There's a time and a place to bring up your baby, and someone else's excited wedding update isn't it. Let's check out some examples.
1. WWJT (What Was Jen Thinking?)
Jen's comment can be interpreted in many ways, but I'm pretty sure her thought process as she typed this comment was as follows:
1. "Me! Me! Baby! Me! Baby :)"
2. "Watch, I can twist your status update around to include an unnecessary mention of my unborn baby, see?"
3. "Our lives are so synchronized. 🙂 On a scale of "a fuckton" and "several fucktons," how excited are you about my baby? Be serious."
2. You're Pushing It, Marie.
Kelsea was a good sport about Marie's first weddingjacking, which was very nice and mature of her. Too bad Marie ruined Kelsea's good faith by commenting again, except in a baby voice.
Who here* thinks Marie even cares about Kelsea's wedding? Now, who thinks Marie just saw Kelsea's update and the date and thought, "BABY BIRTHDAY MENTION!!! OPPORTUNITY STRIKES!!!"
(*You can let me know in the comments. Ki Koo!)
3. "Great Feelings"
I love it when people find a way to turn anything into a metaphor. What does Dianne's finding her wedding dress, which she will supposedly only wear once in her entire life, have to do with Kathleen's crib and stroller, which will get used literally every day until her child outgrows them? Aside from which, it's possible to have multiple strollers, or cribs for that matter, but a bride only chooses to wear one wedding dress (unless she's famous and has multiple dress changes and/or weddings around the world). This is not rocket science. And that smiley isn't helping Kathleen's game. I'd knock off several points for even daring to add emoji. When your smiley looks smug, something's wrong.
4. Fetus In Formal Wear
What...the hell is this? Ashley couldn't take a day off from posting a picture of her fetus? This idea might be cute to some, but to me it's hilariously misguided. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the addition of the clip-art bow-tie, but I think we can all agree that this is not what free editing software is for. Cute unborn baby bow-tie or not, Ashley could've posted a picture of her and her sister (or, god forbid, her sister and her sister's husband) as a tribute to their wedding day instead. (Or not posted anything at all. Mind-blowing concept.)
Last but not least, don't think that today's lessons in #weddingjacking will suddenly stop applying after a person has already gotten married. Just because Sarah's wedding was last year doesn't mean that Nicole's comment is totally welcome. Yes, it's funny and poignant, but it also takes the focus away from Sarah's anniversary post and puts it on the conception of Nicole's baby. And guess what? I don't care to think about Nicole's post-reception baby conception. I'd rather think about cake and champagne and Prince medleys. On the eve of someone's anniversary, I try to do what I can to not insert myself into the conversation. It's the least I can do.