Almost 11 years ago, I birthed my first son. Just a few months prior, in February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg delivered the social media platform of our time. Sure, Facebook took a few years to explode into mainstream madness, but there is no denying it has since become a part of the motherhood journey.
You announce your pregnancy there, show your growing belly and share the trials and tribulations of everything from tantrums to potty training to teenage antics.
In many ways, Facebook is now the official digital baby book, and we moms brag and bitch on the site daily. But not all Facebook moms are created equal. Just like there are hippie moms and chic moms and homeschooling moms, there are many ways moms choose to use Facebook. In fact, you can probably slot your mom friends – and yourself – into one or two of the categories listed below.
1. The Mom with 782 Friends. Meet this mom once at the playground, Gymboree, Little League practice or the pediatrician’s office, and within minutes she sends you a Facebook request. You may never speak to her again, but you are now virtual BFFs forever. Or maybe she just adds you to her friend collection and never interacts with you again. But she thanks you for pushing her friend count up, right?
2. The Passive-Aggressive “Liker”. She typically likes everyone’s posts, but if you rub her the wrong way, you’ll quickly and obviously get dismissed. It is clear she is watching and observing all on social, and she will deliberately scroll past your posts and comment with a silent finger. No likes, shares or “adorable” commentary for you. Nope, she is icing you on Facebook. No thumbs up. Instead, she is rolling her eyes and liking Suzy’s post just above and Jill’s post just below your latest cute picture of junior. Take that, mama!
3. The Oprah “Liker”. This mom likes everything. In fact, I sometimes wonder if she doesn’t even read or view your pictures. She just quickly distributes “likes” to all. In true Oprah style, you get a “thumbs up” and you get a “thumbs up” and you get a “thumbs up.” Is this mom the most loved online? Perhaps. But does all the “liking” diminish the “like?” Hmmm …
4. The TMI Oversharer. You know the last time this mom shaved her legs, the wine she is drinking at the moment, and the gory details of her latest fight with the horrid mother-in-law. She posts pictures of her kids daily. You see her baby waddle on video, witness her online battles with the husband, and get treated to selfie after selfie after selfie. You love her for keeping it real, but sometimes her comments and posts make you cringe. Perhaps she should leave a little to the imagination. Just a little …
5. The Mommy Blogger. Don’t piss this mom off, because you just might become fodder for her next blog post. She is trying to build her audience, sharing her content and keeping her finger on the pulse of all the latest viral posts. She knows when news breaks in the mommy community. She’ll know who launched war on the vaccination debate, or special needs, or the working moms vs. stay-at-moms debate. Oh, and she freaking hates Facebook. Yes, she’s on it all the time, but that damn platform refuses to share her work with her 1,014 followers. Depending on the day of the week, if we’re under a full moon and menstruating, Zuckerberg and team determine whether to to serve her greatest piece of writing to 11 people or 349. Hey mom, it’s a pay-to-play world.
6. The Mute Social Mom. You friended one another, but who knows if she ever opens up her Facebook app. The last time she posted a pic of her kid … wait, has she ever posted anything about her kid? She doesn’t want to share too much, so she errs on the side of sharing nothing at all. Perhaps she’ll embrace Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat when her child becomes a tween. Then she’ll stalk her child like a madwoman. She has vigilantly protected her kid’s digital footprint for a decade, so there is no way she is going to let her kid destroy her efforts once junior high comes along.
7. The Grammy. She’s quickly learned that the only way to see pictures of her grandkids is to get her little granny butt on Facebook. Now that she is retired, or nearly retired, she embraces the platform like a boss. She likes and shares and comments often about her beautiful little angels. And if you elect to hide something from her, you can probably get a way with it. She’s not too savvy with the privacy and list settings.
Yes, Facebook has changed our little mommy world, and like teenaged girls, we’re trying to figure out the rules of social etiquette, friendship and communication all over again. Thanks Zuckerberg! As if motherhood wasn’t tough enough.