babies, children, choices, competition, culture, diversity, facebook, family, friends, kids, life path, newsfeed, parents, path, photos, pictures, posts, relationships, social media, social networking, society, status updates, staying connected
This has been something that’s been on my mind for a while, and after seeing an article on NPR’s Facebook page earlier today, I figured I’d write down my thoughts. The post had to do with social media and parenting. I’ll add a link below, so you can review it for yourself. Anyway, I don’t know what your circle of friends looks like, but I have a pretty diverse group. And for the purposes of this entry, I’ll keep it to those with kids and those without. I fall into the without category. And as anyone on social media knows, that can sometimes make you feel like an outsider. Your posts probably look a whole lot different from your friends who have kids and that can make it hard to relate. You might be posting about your career or your travels or the meaning of the universe, while your parent friends now share nothing but stories of their children’s progress. You know what I mean, your news feed becomes bombarded with baby updates. For example, news of baby’s first poopy. How many inches they are. What percentile they’re in, etc. Now, I’m not knocking people with kids, but it seems once some people become parents, they lose any sense of identity outside of their children. The topic of conversation always revolves around their kids. They never seem to ask you what’s going on in your world, or comment on anything you post that doesn’t mention family.
I don’t know, to me, not everyone on your friend’s list needs to know every aspect of a child’s day/life. Some people don’t have kids, nor do they ever want them. They might have varied interests, some of which, don’t include recipes and babies. But apparently, that’s lost on some people. They feel the sun rises and sets with their baby and nothing else holds the same value. To each their own. But just recognize that works both ways. If you want your friends to take an interest in dirty diapers, take an interest in what’s going on in your friends’ lives who are not on the baby path. Neither should be diminished. People view things differently and what’s valuable to you, may not be so valuable to someone else. And let’s not forget the, “I have a baby now, I have no time for anything, parent.” I hate to tell you, but that is so offensive to people who don’t have kids. Just because someone isn’t a mom, or a dad, doesn’t mean that their days are not filled up with other responsibilities that keep them busy. That’s a backhanded, competition, comment. Because, seriously, if they were so much busier than you, how would they find the time to post 100 baby pics on Facebook?
Keep in mind, this can be applied to anyone on Facebook with a narrow scope. Social media is supposed to offer a way for friends and family to keep up with what’s going on each other’s lives; to stay connected. But, sadly, all too often it’s become a source of complaints and competition as to whose status update or picture post is least or most worthy of being shared. It’s almost like we’ve gone back to high school. What clique are you in?
Bottom line: If you’re truly friends with someone, you take an interest in what makes them happy. If not, block or unfriend.