Recently, I happened to read a review for a book titled “STFU, Parents,” written by Blair Koenig. For those of you who do not know, STFU is Internet shorthand for “shut the F up.” Now since I don’t : 1. have the money to buy this book and 2. can’t keep my eyes open past 10 p.m. most nights, I will not be reading the book. The good news is that the book is based on Blair’s blog.
The blog, also called “STFU, Parents,” is where Koenig points out the blatant over-sharing of people’s children on Facebook. From detailed accounts of potty training heroics to “mommyjacking” (when a parent uses someone else’s post as a platform to shift the focus to their own child) the blog makes fun of parents who feel the need to update the world every time their child soils itself.
I agree that there is a lot of unnecessary sharing going on out there in Facebook land, most of which can get a bit taxing. Still, Koenig’s argument that this sort of behavior should be pointed at and mocked because of how lame and awkward it is doesn’t make sense. Why, you ask. The reason is because like it or not, Facebook as a whole is lame and awkward.
Now before you tilt your head to the side and call me a few names under you breath, just hear me out.
Facebook does serve several key functions in everyday life, such as:
- Finding an old acquaintance that will let you crash on their couch when you visit New York next month.
- Stalking ex-lovers to see if they got fat.
- Finding out what time the church bean supper is.
And while all of these are great, Facebook is still lame. But how is that possible, you ask. Let’s look at just a few of the many reasons Facebook is both lame and awkward:
- Facebook is nine years old, making it now too old to be cutting edge but not old enough to develop hipster cred.
- It provides people with a platform to shout complete ignorance about politics, guns, race, sexuality and religion.
- At its core, Facebook is a company involved in data collection and ad sales (there is nothing remotely cool about that).
- It is a platform for dissemination of chain letters.
- According to The Atlantic Facebook could be making us lonelier.
- Many businesses beg for you to follow them on Facebook while not doing much to earn your loyalty.
- You mother is on Facebook (awkward).
- Chances are your grandmother is on there, too, and commenting “LOL” on the pictures of you wasted last weekend at karaoke.
- Walmart has a Facebook page.
- Walmart’s latest post (at the time of me writing this) is about Listerine.
With all the evidence stacked up against Facebook it’s hard to sit back and think that it could be cool. But the point of this post is not to bash on Facebook for being lame, it’s to embrace the lameness.
People like Blair Koenig are living in the past. They remember a time when Facebook was for college kids who wanted to post pictures of empty liquor bottles and themselves wearing ridiculous hats. Facebook is no longer for those people. Facebook in its current form exists for the awkward, socially-stunted and overly-proud parents.
So I call on you helicopter moms and stay-at-home caregivers; daddy bloggers and super moms; all of you who left your modesty on the floor of the delivery room along with a bunch of other gross stuff; to over share your butts off. Armed with nothing but a smartphone and pride, post your diaper stories, your sick child stories, and all the photos and video you can take. As someone with a Facebook page dedicated to this blog and a YouTube page with nothing but ridiculous videos of my son, I refuse to use discretion and better judgement when posting to Facebook. Besides, what else could I put up that my mother will like?