STFU Parents: Parents Who Are Doing It Wrong On Facebook Business Pages

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Years ago, before the internet took over, I would read the editorial sections of newspapers and magazines and think, “Jesus. Who has this much time on their hands to sit down and handwrite a letter to People or Parade about what a nice guy Tom Hanks is?” And even though I still wonder who’s doing that (bored grandmothers? depressed military wives? serial killers?), we’ve entered an era in which contributing comments and opinions on everything from big brands to celebrities to politics to neighborhood gossip has become so fast and easy, it’s not a real head-scratcher as to why people do it. Taking the time to lend your voice on a subject no longer requires a pen, paper, typewriter, envelope, and stamp; it takes about 5 seconds and a Wifi connection. And yet, I still don’t really get it.

In fairness, I occasionally understand why a person might communicate a request, complaint, or observation on a business’s Facebook page. If you had a poor experience, or a wonderful one, or you’ve got questions about something, no matter what type of business page you’re on, there’s a good chance someone is responsible for reading your comment. But that’s just good business, and there’s nothing more awkward than watching retailers, restaurants, product brands, and municipalities kiss their customers’ or residents’ asses on social media sites like they’re real “friends.” It can be embarrassing for all parties involved, or at least the customer, because it’s like, “Hey there, buddy. You DO realize that you’re broadcasting a personal story on the Chili’s corporate Facebook page, right?” What is it about preferred brands or local retailers that makes people feel such an intimate connection, to the point that they’re compelled to relay stories about themselves or their kids on public pages that are (often) managed and populated by strangers?

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