There are many things about Facebook I enjoy. It has allowed me to connect with unschoolers all over the world, and put me back in touch with some old friends. I’ve read some amazing articles & seen some great video through links people have posted.
That said, there is one particular thing about it that I really REALLY don’t enjoy.
You know those letters some people send out with their Christmas cards? The ones that bring you up to date on everything that has happened in their life over the past year, always in glowing terms and with a voice that says “our lives and children are beyond awesome, and we knew you would want to know.”
I despise those letters. They make me want to write snarky, politically incorrect responses, even when the people sending them are people I generally like.
Turns out, some people have decided that there is no need to wait until the end of the year to tell all their friends how AMAZING their kids and/or families are, because they can do it on a daily basis via Facebook!
And oh, aren’t we all just so lucky?
Now listen, I have nothing against the occasional photo posting or announcement of some achievement. We all love our kids and it is natural to be proud of them and want to share that NOW AND THEN.
But the daily “look how my wonderful family lights up my life they are the most amazing humans ever to set foot on the planet and don’t you agree?” postings?
Apparently I make sounds upon reading such things that cause my kids to say, “What? What did you read?” And then rather than saying “Oh it’s nothing,” or something equally noncommittal I tell them and so they’ve picked up my dislike for over-gushing.
That said, and in case you are unsure as to what is ok and what veers into end of the year Christmas letter style gushing, here are a few examples.
It would be totally fine to say, “Hey, my son Kevin finally made it to the top of Everest! Way to go, Kev!” with a photo of him giving a thumbs up at the top of the world.
You have, however, entered Christmas letter territory when you say something like, “Our son Kevin is the light of our life, bringing us so much joy every day. And we are not alone; his recent election as head of student council, not to mention being recognized as Big Brother of the Year for our region are just two of the many achievements that confirm our belief that we are blessed to have such a magical human in our lives.”
Or, “You know what I love? The sound of my son Kevin’s voice calling to me when he runs in the door each afternoon, eager to tell me about his day. My wish is for all of you to experience a small taste of such happiness in your own lives.”
See what I mean? First one? No problem. We’ll all ‘like’ it – and really mean it – because we truly are amazed. The other two? I’ll be making weird noises at my computer and setting a bad example for my children.
But you know what? I’m willing to be generous. You are allowed (if you absolutely must) to post “Christmas letter style” once a year, just like you would if you were sending an actual letter. We’ll all understand, forgive you and move on. (Ok maybe there will be some eye-rolling.) But every week? Every DAY?
Seriously, take it down a notch.
Your Facebook friends will secretly thank you for it.