STFU Parents: Moms And Dads Who Talk To Themselves On Facebook
One of the goofiest things about Facebook is watching the way users engage with it. Because the social media site has only been around for so long, we’ve all learned and grown along with it. It used to ask us what we thought or what we were doing as a way to encourage people to post their “status,” and for years there were various interpretations of these things. Some people would speak in the third person: “Amy Jones …is not feeling very well today. Boo!” Some people would speak in past tense: “Amy Jones…has been thinking about running errands for at least two hours.” And some people would craft ‘letters’: “Dear guy in front of me at the bank, Thanks a lot for ruining my lunch break by taking way too long. PS: You have a unibrow.”
It’s within this letter-crafting vein that today’s column was born. Sometime in the past few years, parents have used Facebook as a way to “communicate” with their children well before their kids can write, type, and in many cases, speak. Occasionally, as I pointed out in my second column “Fetuses Using Social Media,”parents post status updates from “the womb.” Other times they converse with their toddlers or post updates from their toddler’s perspective, thinking it’s cute or funny. But what it really amounts to is parents talking to themselves on Facebook. It is truly a sign of the times, and for today’s column, I’ve rounded up a few examples to show you what I mean.
1. Mom Jokes
Moms used to embarrass their kids by saying things “Whoop, there it is!” or “That’s phat!” but now they don’t even need to wait until the teen years. They can just create Facebook pages for their young children (which technically goes against Facebook’s TOS) and poke fun at their cuties online all day long. Except, of course, they’re really just talking to themselves. Seems like an odd way to spend your time, but hey, some people like it!
2. Invitations From Babies
This submission is sneaky. At first you think to yourself, “OK, so Logan is a hands-on dad extending a playdate invitation, and Amanda and Trish are both a little excitable.” But then you get to the end and realize, “Oh, Logan is a small child who can barely walk, and his mother is “channeling” him through a Facebook page she set up in his name rather than simply using her own Facebook account like an adult. Got it.”
3. It’s a Mom Thing
Listen, I’m not here to tell people how to refer to their significant other. If you are a woman who likes to call her husband “daddy’ on”Facebook, by all means, do your thang. But if you’re calling him daddy because you’re, again, “channeling” a message from your baby son to his father, then you’re officially in Baby Speak. I do respect the “baby speak” inclination we all have with our babies/pets in person (or maybe over the phone?), but I just can’t get behind talking like a baby on Facebook. Amanda can back up Amber all she wants, but I’m with Cassi on this one.
4. Womb With a…Blog
This submission is a trifecta of the above. Not only is this mom “channeling” her baby before he’s born, but she’s also set up his very own Facebook account, started his very own blog and she’s rocking the baby talk! Hurry on over to this fetus’s bwog to win a pwize from his Daddy. Ethan may know how to read, write and set up a blog, but he’s still unsure about when he’ll actually be born!
5. Photo Captions
Parents always wonder what their little ones are dreaming about, which is why it was no surprise that the blog (and soon-to-be book!) Mila’s Daydreams was such a hit. But what’s great about that blog – the whimsy, the creativity, the originality – is what’s lacking here. The cheesy clip-art and photo bubble just aren’t doing it for me. And while this example of parents speaking for their kids isn’t as absurd as the others listed above, it’s still a little odd to post it on Facebook. At the very least, it’s goofy. But like I said before, we’ve come a long way with what and how we share information. For some parents, Facebook has become a well-documented digital baby book.