STFU, Parents

I’ve hesitated writing about STFU, Parents for a while, even though it’s quickly become one of my more rabid obsessions, taking over my life to the point where I think, “hm, what would STFU, Parents say about this” at least once a day. The hesitation isn’t because I think my obsession makes me seem like a bad parent (more like a sensible one, duh), but because I literally have SO MUCH to say about this that it seemed like a really intimidatingly long post to write.

But with the recent unveiling of Blair Koenig as the (previously anonymous) author of the blog, it seemed like a good time to share how amazing the site actually is. That link, like most of the coverage that STFU, Parents has been getting recently, pretty well misses the mark. STFU, Parents isn’t an attack on parents, or even a space for only non-parents to gather. I’ve been pregnant or a parent the whole time I’ve been reading, and far from being an unwelcoming space, it actually draws tons of parents who weigh in with their takes too.

So what is it? Nothing short of a complete, incisive takedown of the modern disease of gross over-sharing on social media. It focuses on the parenting arena, but could just as easily focus on people who can’t shut up about their pets, their medical ailments, whatever. It just happens that the experience of raising children particularly brings it out in people.

Now, you might be asking how in the holy hell I can be a fan of this, since I’m a huge sharer of pictures and anecdotes of my own kid. To that, I say two things:

  1. I, like many many parents who read the site, find particular value in STFU, Parents as a guiding metric — before I post something to Twitter/Facebook, I think, “would this get me on the site?” and only post if the answer is no.
  2. I have never ever ever in my life ever been compelled to post anything related to vomit, poop, or any of the insane horrors that apparently, some parents think are appropriate to share with hundreds of their “friends.” Think I’m exaggerating? Check these out:

And here’s the thing: those are only from THIS WEEK, because there’s just way too much content for me to even have to delve very far to find overwhelming inappropriateness. And neither of those examples even touch on the insanity that is produced when “those” parents meet the modern internet era.

What are “those” parents? The ones who I never wanted to be, and was terrified that I would become: people so obsessed with being parents and with their children that everything else, including the boundaries of polite society and even the tiniest dollop of perspective, falls away. “Those” parents say things like this:

And have the audacity to expect their loved ones to kowtow to their specific, insane demands, all because of course the baby — and by extension, the parents — comes before anything and everything else (PS this one’s super-long, but if you have the time to read it all, it’s so worth it):

I could go on and on, but let’s face it, I already have. If you want an object lesson in how NOT to use social media, or if you just a hefty dose of schaudenfreude, bookmark STFU, Parents. You will not regret it!

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2 thoughts on “STFU, Parents

    • I think it’s fine to have those things as your expectation of others… but this is where I think the line is: you tell your friends and family these things via a group email, or you tell one person and ask them to spread the word. Facebook is easy for these things, but not appropriate. There are tons of people who will be reading this to whom it doesn’t apply, and to them, it’s just a crapton of crazy.

      Plus, even if you expect this of people and tell them, you have to be gracious if they do what they want anyway, because it’s unreasonable to expect that you can control other adults’ behavior. All you can control is your reaction, so it seems a bit bossy and presumptuous to assume the worst of your loved ones ahead of time and then try to dictate how they should be behaving around you.

      I mean, it’s not reasonable for me to take to Facebook to tell everyone there how I expect to be treated once we get a dog… hard to see how this is measurably different.

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