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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Do Not Turn Your Social Media Accounts Into Your Babies' Accounts

When I opened the internet browser this morning, one of the auto-tabs led me to my Facebook page. Casually browsing the feeds over a slow breakfast of croissant and cuppaccino, I felt the strong impulse to hit the “Unfollow” or “Unfriend” button once more, whenever I came across some of the Benjamin-Button styled postings again – i.e. adults in their mid-30s writing things such as “Today I learned to say the word, ‘hello!” accompanied by baby photos.

Yes, I know you get me and probably understand my frustration too – because you’ve probably came across enough posts as such yourself.  It is not the first time I have heard or read about people complaining about these types of posts, therefore here’s one more from me – except I am going to dissect, analyse and explain to the dear mothers out there WHY it is totally unacceptable to allow your social media accounts to morph into your darling babies’ social media accounts.

I may ruffle some feathers, but you’ve already ruffled those of the friends / followers in your list – so I reckon we’re even on that count.

Firstly, to state the obvious, when we add / approve / follow YOU as a friend, dear mommies, we were, and still are, interested in what goes on in your life, your thoughts and your intellectual musings. We are interested to know what you enjoy doing, how you are getting on, and probably what you wore or cooked for the day, as an inspiration. But somehow, after you became a mother, all your posts are about nothing but your kiddos, and worse – you post in their thoughts, their “voices”, mimicking their baby-talk on YOUR social media postings.

Sometimes it is rather frightening – making me wonder if these friends of mine suddenly had a Benjamin-Button moment, or are suffering from very pre-mature dementia symptoms to talk like that.

You wonder why we are so irritated. You may argue that, since we are interested in your life’s updates, then we should understand that now your lives totally evolve around your kids, hence the updates are on them. Which brings me to the second point here, dear mommies.

There is a distinctive difference – a rather wide dichotomy, in fact – between (i) posting photos of you and your kids together, with captions such as “Another great moment spent with my baby”, and (ii) letting your baby dominate every social feed through solely posting their photographs captioned with “I drooled on my bib”.   Can you see the BIG difference here?

You probably forgot that the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc accounts were created in your name – so when you post stuff such as “I drooled on my bib” – it  is in YOUR name. Hence, the social media account no longer offers YOUR activities, YOUR thoughts and YOUR intellectual musings.

Is it fair to subject all your friends and followers to childlike musings of your kids on YOUR accounts now? 

Well, yes, surely you may also suggest that we could simply hit the “Unfollow” or “Unfriend” tabs, so that we need not be subject to your babyish updates ever again, and all is cool. We could, and we have probably done so. But then you have to remember that by doing so, it means we are no longer interested or privy to all of your updates on social media accounts. If one fine day, you happen to post that your darling dog or kiddo is missing, or if you or hubby are hospitalized, or if there is a death in the family – and no one bothers to show any concern, please do not blame us. Similarly, if you happen to share about a work promotion, a holiday trip or another happy occasion, and no one bothers to congratulate you, please do not feel disappointed as well. You have to understand that it is not that we do not care – it only means that we have stopped following your babyish posts, giving up on the hopes that your social media accounts might revert to updates about YOU, and hence won’t be privy to all further updates.

I hope this wakes you up somewhat from your selfish misuse of YOUR social media accounts. If you give me the key to your house, I believe you expect to see just me inside your house, and not someone else whom I choose to share the key with. Similarly, if we add you onto our social media feeds, it is YOU and YOUR thoughts and YOUR actions that we are keenly piqued by, not someone else who has suddenly hijacked your social media accounts. You cannot force your friends or followers to swallow a chocolate-flavoured yogurt bar down our throats when we bought the strawberry-flavoured one, even if you think that the chocolate-flavoured ones are cuter, nicer, and newer, hence requires more “promotional marketing”.

If you want to continue uploading lots and lots of your baby photos or videos onto your social media accounts, storied by captions a la baby-talks or baby-thoughts, please kindly create a separate account in the kiddo’s name and invite your contacts to add / follow this account. It gives us a choice, that if we choose to follow the news on this account, we would be prepared to daily doses of your babies' updates and the number of times they pooed. Those who are not fans of baby talks, can also have the option of not following the other account, but continue to be kept up-to-date on happenings in your life.

Everyone is happier this way, and you can also ensure that those who choose to follow the baby accounts, are people who are genuinely concerned and interested about your kids’ lives. When your kids are of age, they can also take over these accounts and do their own updates as well.

Mothers, if you think this makes sense, well, it doesn’t take long to set up another social media account for your kids. Do it now, keep your friends and followers intact and interested!

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