F*** the (Social Media) Police!

I’ve become annoyed by the “social media police.”

The social media police are the self-declared moderators of what people are and are not supposed to do on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

You’ve probably all seen links like this:

http://mashable.com/2012/08/14/facebook-annoying/

http://stewpidblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/most-annoying-things-people-do-on-facebook/

Basically, these people are advocating that everyone stop using Facebook.  Or maybe they just want their friends to ask for their explicit approval before posting anything.

People are posting stuff on social media. Time to shut them down! (Image source)

People are posting stuff on social media. Time to shut them down! (Image source)

I’ve got news for these people: You may criticize what other people are posting on social media sites, but I can almost guarantee that somewhere out there, someone isn’t especially fond of something you’ve posted either.

Note: This obviously doesn’t apply to me.  Everything I post is pure gold, and if you’ve ever rolled your eyes or shaken your head, that’s probably because you were just too dimwitted to understand my brilliance.

It seems that much of the social media ire is directed at parents.  In fact, there’s an entire blog dedicated to it.

I’ll admit that some of the submissions are funny. But as a whole, I’m not really a fan. The while site reeks of social media policing and “holier than thou” Facebooking.  (I was trying to come up with a fun term to describe this, like “Facebookier than thou” but it really didn’t work.  Sorry.)

Yeah, parents – myself included – post a lot of pictures of their kids.  You know why?  Because kids are generally the most important thing in our lives. Isn’t social media supposed to be for sharing things that are important to us? It’s not supposed to be only targeted ads and clickbait, is it?

If you don’t like it, I’ll offer the same advice I gave to people who complained about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Quickly scroll down the screen or hide the status.  Problem solved!

The STFU Parents blog’s harshest ire is reserved for those parents who “statusjack.”  They take current events or other people’s news and turn it around to make it about them or their kids.

Apparently, the author doesn’t seem to understand the point of Facebook. If people didn’t share their personal opinions and feelings, then Facebook would be no different from any ordinary news site. (With more ads!)  I go to Facebook so see what my friends are up to, and also to see their opinions.

If I wanted to read about the current events of the day with no personal slant or opinion, I would go to FoxNews.com.

Fox News: Slightly more biased than Facebook! (Image source)

Fox News: Slightly more biased than Facebook! (Image source)

OK, I’m obviously kidding about that. But I would totally go to a real news site.

A recent post on the blog takes offense at parents writing happy things the day the Darren Wilson verdict was handed down.  Apparently, the author was really upset that some parents were able to find some joy on a sad day and share it with others.

That takes some nerve!  How could these parents actually experience joy at a time like this?  For a parent to look at her child and feel joy in the midst of tragedy is obviously the sign of an insensitive self-absorbed idiot.

Sure, there has been a lot of sadness in Ferguson. Just as there was a lot of sadness after Sandy Hook and the Boston bombings.  But were we all supposed to just stop functioning?  This post sure seems to think so.

Here’s the thing: Every day is a bad day for a lot of people. I imagine that there are hundreds of people who are having a really bad day. Many of those people have endured some sort of tragedy that has made today one of the worst days of their lives.

Does that mean that the world should stop turning? Are we supposed to never be happy because someone is enduring a tragedy?

The world can be a sad place. Sometimes we’ve got to take a step away and enjoy the good parts. At the very least, we shouldn’t begrudge others their right to do so.

So the next time you feel like criticizing someone’s post, maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself: Am I the one who needs to STFU?

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About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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26 Responses to F*** the (Social Media) Police!

  1. Green Embers says:

    This wins post of the day for me. I have thought these very things but never could figure out how to write it down. Do you mind if I reblog this?

  2. Green Embers says:

    Reblogged this on Green Embers and commented:
    This expresses my thoughts on Social Media Warriors of Justice so much.

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    This is part of why I am choosing to stay away from Facebook vs. the other way around (telling people what not to post) during the holidays. Share what you want, I know my limit.

    I like STFU Parents; it’s beyond normal parent-bragging. It’s the extreme TMI and mommy-jacking you mention. I am sure the TMI doesn’t bother some people and maybe it’s because my kid is technically an adult now, but posting daily diaper pictures is much. That’s more mock-worthy than anything.

    • The Cutter says:

      Some of their targets obviously take it to the extreme. But sometimes it feels like they really just pile on and take WAY too much of a haterish attitude.

    • NotAPunkRocker says:

      I’ll have to keep that in mind when I read them again. I don’t read any of their affiliate articles, just the blog posts which aren’t too frequent.

      I felt the “piled up” and extreme when I used to read “People of Walmart”. Over the top, pink footie pajamas in the store during the day? Sure. Making fun of elderly customers because of bodily functions they probably couldn’t control? Nope.

    • The Cutter says:

      That’s the problem with any “hater” site I think. Where’s the line?

  4. I am standing and applauding your post.

  5. Thanks to Bradley up there at Green Embers, I had a fun read today. Well, thanks to YOU too! “Facebookier than thou” works for me. I like it. And I agree one million percent – the solution to seeing stuff that doesn’t meet your preference? Point Click and Scroll away.

    • The Cutter says:

      Thanks. And I don’t understand why so many people think they’re somehow obligated to read everything in their timeline or feed.

    • That’s an interesting point, that people feel compelled to take in every last pixel. I volunteer for a non-profit agency and monitor FB and Twitter for them. It could easily be a full time job if I were to read, comment, like, share every single thing that was published.

  6. Facebook and Twitter are evil. Take it from someone who has never been on either site….

  7. List of X says:

    I assume my last post on Long Awkward Pause also contributed to your ire. 🙂
    While I don’t mock that behavior as much as others do, I still do, and here’s why: I don’t mind scrolling down my Facebook feed here and there, but at 90% scrolling it can get irritating at some point. And there is no way to just block people – I’ve blocked some who post nothing but selfies, but I don’t want to do that to people who post interesting updates between selfies and promotions and mundane details of their lives. If there were a way to block certain types of posts, I’d be happier. So now, I just scroll, scroll, and scroll.
    P.s. And if people are allowed to express themselves on social media, I should also be allowed to express my frustration with it, to. And, of course, you should be allowed to express your frustration with my frustration. 🙂

  8. Jill says:

    Eh, I like STFUParents. I agree with whoever said that it’s talking about extremes – not just posting pics of your kids, but going so far over the top, it’s embarrassing. I think the status jacking isn’t just “I can find joy/beauty on a sad day” but more “yeah yeah yeah, national tragedy. Who cares? My kid is 3 today!” And she always argues that personal blogs, emails, etc. are off limits – it’s just FB (and twitter) where you have 500 friends and you’re oversharing where it becomes crazy. I don’t know – I find it hilarious (and use it as a good moderator for my own posts. As in…”will this land me on STFUParents? Then shut it down!”).

    • Exactly – it’s one thing to post something happy on a sad day, but why is it necessary to do so in a way that hijacks / minimizes a tragedy?

      Two separate posts do the job nicely:
      Post #1: “My baby peed in the potty for the first time, I am a proud mama! :)”
      Post #2: “Thoughts and prayers for the bombing victims.”

      To my mind, that is a perfectly nice way to share joy on a sad day, and that person wouldn’t wind up on STFU Parents.

      Instead, too many people post something like “my thoughts and prayers go out to the bombing victims, but in better news my baby peed in her potty for the first time today! I am a proud mama! :)”

      It makes the poster seem like an insensitive narcissist who has decided to make an national tragedy all about themselves. That’s not finding joy in sadness, it’s making everything all about you and yours.

    • The Cutter says:

      And in this case, I agree that two separate posts were merited. But there are other examples on the site mocking parents for showing any joy on those days.

  9. Wow, as the (sole) owner of STFU, Parents, I have to say this post is pretty off-base. I think you did present an overview of sorts about the site, but you didn’t really provide much context. I’ve been writing the site for nearly 6 years, and a huge portion of my readership is parents. In fact, a lot of people email me regularly to say they’ve been reading since before they had kids, and now they have children and still enjoy the reading the blog (even using it as a source for “what not to do” types of behavior on social media). Most importantly, I think it’s worth noting (and you didn’t) that my site is only about chronicling the “oversharing” of parents on social media. This type of sharing is still new to us, and many people post crazy things like galleries of poop in the potty and placenta smoothies and rant about absurd things like an ambulance waking their baby from a nap. What I’m doing with STFUP is simply pointing to these behaviors and saying, “Guys. We don’t need to share *everything,*” usually with a bit of sassy humor. I would never, ever suggest that people not post cute pictures of their kids on social media. I LOVE seeing pictures of my friends’ kids! I Like them all! It’s the overshare that is being specifically discussed on the blog. And like another commenter said, I don’t post anything from a private email, a blog, or any space outside of social media. The point of the blog is not to “shame” individuals so much as point to certain patterns of behavior and discuss social media etiquette in a witty way.

    Additionally, that post about Ferguson, along with my post about the Boston bombings, Newtown, and others, had *nothing* to do with parents posting happy things in light of tragedy. It was about how self-absorbed some people can be, and how crucial it is that we as a society respect our fellow humans by taking our heads out of our rear ends every now and then. It’s okay – wonderful, even – to find joy on a sad, or possibly tragic, day, but there is no need for, “Too bad for those victims in the Boston bombings. But Caroline pooped in the potty today!” There is such thing as tact, and some people do not have it. The Ferguson post was very clearly about self-absorption in the social media era, and the second example in that post dealt directly with racism on Facebook. I honestly don’t know how you missed that.

    Anyway, you don’t have to like me or my site, but I wanted to explain my side for what it’s worth.

    Blair // STFU, Parents

    • The Cutter says:

      Maybe I shouldn’t have singled out your site, as there are others who do similar things (As shown in the other links I provided).

      And I agree that some of those examples were bad.

      But in other cases, it feels like you are just being mean for the sake of it. Maybe one of the reasons people tack on the “My heart goes out” to non-related posts is because if they don’t, sites like your will call them “oblivious.”

      They might feel they have to mention it, no matter how little it fits in with the rest of the post.

  10. I think that etiquette is crucial, whether that be in real life or on line. If our friend list consists strictly of friends and family, then sharing tons of pictures of the kids/cat/dog in its Christmas sweater (because the gloating “child-free” folks are sometimes even more annoying about their “fur babies” than besotted parents are) is completely appropriate. However, many people these days are extending their social media to include business associates, colleagues, etc.

    I read the second link you listed, and I nodded my head through the whole thing. It covered basic etiquette. Posting conversations meant only for a significant other, for example, is as inappropriate as the same two people feeling each other up at the office Christmas party. There is a line on social media as well as in real life.

    Regarding excessive kid pics/oversharing… Kids make us boring for a while. We are wrapped up in them, and our status updates often reflect it. Hopefully, we reengage with the rest of the world sooner rather than later. Those who are parents will understand. Those that don’t understand may move on. It’s all good. You have nothing to worry about, though. You’ve got twins, which gives you an overshare pass for, like, two more years. 😀 People are fascinated by twins. Share away!

  11. Jane says:

    I think you’re taking this way too seriously and personally. Why did you write this post referring to a site that offends you? You could have just kept that feeling to yourself, but for whatever reason, you wanted to share your feelings. That is the same thing STFU Parents, for example is doing. Yes, STFU fans could keep their thoughts to themselves, but sometimes people like to commiserate or share a joke with someone who feels similarly. They do it there and you do it here.

  12. Kevin says:

    I always like it when you cause a firestorm of problems with your reckless and out of control posts…
    Yeah, whatever…. I didn’t think this was so bad of my post myself. I don’t mind STFU, Parents when they complain about brats running around Starbucks unsupervised (who likes that?…anyone?. I do mind when we have social media police actions so I am on board there. I had to block my cousin because she overshares and comments on EVERYTHING. I agree with becomingcliche’s thoughts about proper etiquette. And while I love sarcasm, I have learned not use it on FB….I only use it on people I know are sarcastic and can handle it (like you and your blog).

  13. Pingback: A Belated Look Back at my Year in Blogging | The Cutter Rambles

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