Family, Self

Dear Mom And Dad, Your "Viral Parenting" Is OBNOXIOUS. Please Stop!

Photo: iStock
End Viral Parenting

Despite my ties to the millennial generation — a generation super connected to technology — I sometimes resent the ways technology rules our lives. 

One of the biggest things I resent is our ridiculous need to showcase anything and everything on social media. All of our indiscretions are now acceptable post fodder in public forums.

But more than anything else, I’m deeply bothered by the constant show-parenting or "viral parenting", that is all the rage with "adults" these days. 

What exactly do I mean by viral parenting? Well, a parent that must document any and all things that they encounter throughout parenthood onto social networks, from punishment to your new born babies first sh*t. 

Yes, I totally get that Facebook sometimes serves as a modern photo album (of sorts) and this is possibly where you store your home/family videos BUT first, you should know that Facebook has privacy settings and they didn’t create those privacy settings for nothing. Utilize them, please.

The shocking part is that, although my generation revolutionized this type of parenting (really social media as a whole), older generations are partaking in it. What happened to the days where grandparents (or old people) didn't care to understand technology? Now they're completely indulgent. 

If you’re guilty of this, I have to ask (and forgive me for bursting your shiny little all-about-me attention seeking parenting bubble), but why do you think we give a f*ck? And if you aren't sure if you're this parent, then prepare to find out.

This is the lesser of two evils, obviously. But still disturbing to us all. I’ve literally seen people post videos/photos of their toddlers pooped-upon clothes. Really and truly, if you want to document these type of moments, get yourself an old school baby book and fill it with all the shitty Polaroids your motherly heart desires.

Whatever you do, don't post your child's bad, gross or distasteful behavior under the pretense of being cute. (It's not!) 

What Happens At Home, Stays At Home — Or So It Should.

What I'm really talking about is viral discipline! This one really grinds my gears like no other. If you aren't sure what I mean feel free to search for it. I’ve seen everything from a father beating his daughter on camera for sneaking out for days (with no word home) to a boy being "scared straight" by being made to truly believe he was under arrest.

Do I agree these kids' behavior is a problem warranting discipline? Definitely. In fact, my mother has done something very similar. But you only know because I’m telling you. WHY must there be a video for the public? That mother posted her story and pictures on her Facebook and when the news covered it, they briefly discussed how she received thousands of "likes."

Has parenting come to getting "likes"? If so, grow up and do your damn job ... actually parent! 

Little do you know or realize you're doing your child a disservice. Yes! Coming from the very adults who spend a great deal of their time preaching how nothing can ever really be erased from the internet, yet you’ve posted a video of your child misbehaving before they’ve even entered the workforce.

So, my question to you is: what happens 15 years from now when an employer runs a Google search on your child? 

This is especially a realistic scenario for black children who are constantly held under a microscope, unlike anything their white counterparts will never know — black children, who are 50 percent less likely to receive a job based solely on their name. 

And furthermore, what happens when you get a visit from Child Protective Services? What can you possibly say to condone your actions then?

I'll be the first to admit: I’m a firm believer in a good ass whooping — as they’ve helped shape me into the person I am today (not too shabby, if you ask me). But my mother didn't brag via video about how she "showed me." When I was growing up the brag (if any) was within the household, maybe a snarky little “Yeah, I bet she won't try it again”… but it was never showcased for the world to see. 

In my opinion, viral discipline verges on emotional abuse ... especially spanking your child for the world to laugh at and see. 

What purpose does it serve? To embarrass and shame your child? To show other parents how tough you are and "how it’s done?" Really! WHAT DO YOU GET from this? It's rather sick and demented, if I'm being honest. 

Previous generations believed that some matters should remain private and be dealt with from within the family. While I don't always agree with that logic — I do believe this is a case where following that logic would be warranted. It's not necessary to make all your business public. Yet, the further technology advances, the more difficult it seems for people to grasp such a simple concept and it's actually a little pathetic.