Mommyshame

STFU Parents: Mommyjacking With Non-Sequiturs on Facebook Confuses Us All

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It’s been six long months since we last investigated the weird, wild world of mommyjacking, but that doesn’t mean mommyjackers aren’t still roaming social media and hijacking their friends’ status updates to talk about their kids. In fact, some mommyjackers don’t even look for logical opportunities to break their 30-second silence on parenthood; they just pounce on their friends’ updates and dismiss context altogether. I first chronicled this phenomenon in a column a few years ago titled ‘Mommyjackers Who Speak In Non-Sequiturs On Social Media,’ and today I want to revisit this subject, if only because I’m endlessly fascinated by people who blurt out whatever comes to mind when they’re scrolling through their newsfeeds.

It’s almost like a word association game. A mommyjacker sees a word and immediately associates it with something irrelevant to the post, but instead of reflecting on it and moving on, she posts a comment. Or she sees someone in her feed who she hasn’t talked to in a while and suddenly feels a frenetic urge to provide a parenting update, regardless of whether or not it even makes sense. The old expression that “there’s a time and a place for everything” rings true here, to the point that I almost pity parents who fall into the embarrassing trappings of non-sequitur-jacking. Take this mom who needs to sleep, for example. She probably shouldn’t leave comments on Facebook when she’s this tired.

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Occasionally, though, a non-sequiturjacker will acknowledge whatever the original poster was talking about to gain some clarity herself. People who might be accused of “vaguebooking” are the most likely to experience this type of response, because whatever they posted about was already slightly confusing. Since I’m anti-vaguebooking myself, I can appreciate a person who challenges a friend by asking what the hell she’s talking about. But there’s a difference between asking a friend to further explain a vague status update because you’re genuinely curious, versus asking for further explanation because you’re champing at the bit to share something random about your baby.

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Slipping parenting information into an otherwise non-parenting focused discussion is essentially what non-sequitur-jacking is all about. It’s the equivalent of talking to a really, really bad listener, or a hard-of-hearing geriatric person who just nods and smiles until finally asking what time lunch is being served. Non-sequiturjackers don’t mean any harm, but they aren’t scoring too many Likes with their comments, either. Let’s check out some examples to help us all remember to stay on-topic, no matter how badly we want to announce an unrelated fun fact (or five). That’s the thing about fun facts — they’re only “fun” if they actually add something to the conversation. Knowing when to drop them can, apparently, be a difficult feat for the Facebook-challenged and baby-obsessed among us.

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