Admit it, you’re one of them.
You know them. You’ve seen them. You might even be one. Well, not you, of course. You’re cool. I’m totally talking about that annoying friend you have. Yeah…that’s the ticket.
So even though I am a parent and I love parents, the fact of the matter is we can be an infuriating bunch. The know-it-all mentality, the one-upsmanship, the showboating—it can all be a little much at times. Unfortunately, social media—and Facebook especially—serves as a virtual bullhorn that broadcasts that obnoxiousness across the Internet and beams all the bullshit directly to your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Well, it’s time to call these perpetrators out by shining the spotlight of truth on them.
I have used every bit of scientific methodology and cutting-edge research available to mankind (or simply looked in the mirror while also observing many of you) to put this list together. So read this list of annoying kinds of Facebook parents to find your friends, see a little bit of yourself, and tell me which ones I’ve missed.
11. THE GRATUITOUS PICTURE POSTER
We start with an old fan non-favorite—the mom or dad who posts WAY too many pictures of kids. Look, I get that becoming a parent is life-changing and you want to record and share your precious new addition with everyone. I, myself, have flooded your poor social media streams with roughly 27,487,302 pictures of Will and Sam in the six years I’ve been a parent, so I’ve got no ground to stand on here. But at some point you’ve gotta say enough with the “LOOK AT THE BABY LOOK AT THE BABY!” stuff. The only problem is if you stop them from posting pictures of kids they’ll just turn to something else. Sunrises, sunsets, landscapes, pets, or—God forbid—food. Because the Internet needs more cat pictures and food portraiture.
10. YOUR ACTUAL PARENTS
The good news is your parents have learned to work the computer. The bad news is the first thing they did was sign up for a Facebook account and friend you. You stared at that friend request for four entire days before you grudgingly accepted, all the while knowing full well the hell that would follow. Your mom likes EVERYTHING you do and feels the need to comment on every single status update. Your dad won’t stop sending you Farmville requests. You want to contain your Facebook life but they take each of your status updates involving the kids and tag Aunt Millie and Uncle Rob, who then want to know why you haven’t accepted their friend requests. Mark my words, this will be the eventual downfall of Facebook!
9. THE MISINFORMER
There’s an alarmist in every group, but give overprotective parents individual media platforms and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to spreading misinformation about parenting topics. How many times have you seen a headline or meme that says something like “WARNING!!!!!!!! FACEBOOK CAN STEAL YOUR PICTURES IF YOU DON’T POST THIS LEGAL COPYRIGHT!” or the complete lie that was pedophiles being able to get to your kids via the Talking Angela app? Nope. Sorry. It was just a talking cat. I’m not sure when grown men and women lost the ability to perform a cursory Google search or take 30 seconds to look things up on Snopes, but we need to ignore the Misinformers or at the very least verify before we spread incorrect information. However, that Nigerian prince who wants to give you a cut of his millions? Totally true.
8. THE HUMBLEBRAGGER
Regular braggarts are not on this list, because it’s social media and part of the deal is to brag. I’m a reasonable guy. But The Humblebragger is a horse of a different, and far more obnoxious, color. It’s douchebaggery masquerading as self-deprecatory humor, and it drives me bonkers. Things like “I honestly envy the parents with kids who aren’t in the Gifted & Talented Program. Junior has so much extra work, and traveling to the local university for college level classes is really cutting into his all-star equestrian practices. But hey, #yolo right?” At least a run of the mill braggart is an asshole out in the open, and doesn’t feel the need to be a passive aggressive dillweed about everything. But then again, we shouldn’t be too hard on him. After all, he’s SO stressed helping his kid choose between Yale, Princeton, and Stanford (with Harvard as the safety school, naturally).
7. THE ONE-UPPER
Anything you or your kid can do, the One-Upper and his/her progeny can do it better. I understand you just wanted to celebrate your 1-year-old taking his first steps, but that’s just not how Facebook parenting rolls. Instead of “Congrats, that’s awesome!” you get something like “Hey, he finally did it huh? Isn’t he almost a year? My daughter walked at 8.5 months, but I guess all kids are different.” Because parenting on Facebook means never feeling like you’re doing a good enough job, and everyone else is doing it better.
6. THE KNOW IT ALL/UNSOLICITED ADVICE GIVER
Being overwhelmed is a rite of passage for all parents, as is dealing with the monotonous, insane, gut-wrenching, overpowering, bring-you-to-your-knees emotional roller coaster that is raising kids. And the one really great thing about Facebook is it’s a safe place to vent your frustration virtually, so you don’t lob your kids over your neighbor’s fence and run away. Except the Know It All won’t let you vent. Instead, he tries to fix everything by offering you advice you didn’t ask for, don’t want, and probably already knew in the first place. Screw this jackass.
5. THE “TOO COOL FOR PARENTING” PARENT
I almost named this one The Hipster Parent because it seems there’s always one parent on your friends list who think s/he is too cool for the rat race that is parenthood. While most of the parents you know (yourself included) are mired down in explosive diapers, babies who never sleep, and a Chicago Cubs level drought when it comes to sex, this clown seems to be doing everything BUT taking care of kids. There were the pictures of that kidless vacation to Cabo, the dinners at the fancy restaurants every weekend (who’s watching the kid??), and somehow managing to train for and complete an Ironman (seriously, where are the children?!?). There’s a name for this phenomenon, but you’ve probably never heard of it.
4. THE COMPLAINER
On one hand, parenting is a goddamned grind and a half. Truly, it is. If you have a newborn you’re up every few hours, women have to breastfeed until their nipples bleed, toddlers watch the same shitty TV shows over and over until your adult brain turns to mush and you find yourself drooling oatmeal and humming the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song. And some parents (myself definitely included) have a tendency to wallow in the negative and post update after update complaining about EVERYTHING kid-related. But at a certain point it’s just too much. There are more positives than negatives when it comes to being a parent, and the years are too short to overlook the terrific things parenting brings with it by spending time dwelling on all the crap.
3. THE CRAFTY PARENTS
I consider myself a success if I’ve slapped some peanut butter and jelly on a couple slices of bread, and filled my son’s lunchbox with a bag of Goldfish and a cheese stick. But then I jump on Facebook, look at what The Crafters have made their kids, and want to jump off a bridge. Seriously, who does this? Suddenly I’m dealing with culinary savants who are making Yertle the Turtle out of broccoli and snap peas. There’s no way to compete with that kind of awesomeness! And God forbid your kid sees even one picture of this artistic wizardry, and then it’s “WHY DON’T YOU MAKE MY LUNCH LIKE THAT?!” You creative bastards have ruined it for us commoners.
2. THE TMI (TOO MUCH INFORMATION) PARENTS
Yes, before any of you bring it up, let me be the first to admit I’m king of this group. My name is Aaron, and I share. A lot. Fine, I overshare on a regular basis and may have written a post specifically about my wife’s cervix. I don’t know why, but parenthood is the end of boundaries. Suddenly it’s fine to talk about poop (color, consistency, frequency), vomit, rectal thermometers, how long it’s been since we’ve had sex, how sex has changed post kids, post-pregnancy hair in the shower drain, and even pictures of the time you ripped your pants wide open while curling. Moms routinely talk about tearing during delivery, bloody nipples from breastfeeding, and stretchmarks. All of this is to say, if you have parents in your timeline you’re setting yourself up for one long, seemingly continuous stream of bodily updates complete with pictures of the first time Junior dropped a deuce in the potty. My apologies.
1. THE PERFECTIONISTS
Here they are. Numero uno on the hated list. They’re rich and they have a nice house with a an eco-friendly luxury car parked in the garage. There’s a picture of the mom seconds after giving birth (naturally of course, and at home)—with no makeup—looking like a supermodel. The dad is uber successful, routinely runs marathons for charity, was once used as a movie double for Brad Pitt, and had his personal friend Morgan Freeman narrate their DVD birth announcement. Their children are all flawless and their family pictures are so perfect they look like they were plucked out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad. They make their own wheatgrass tofu baby food that’s been blessed by the Dalai Lama, and no one has ever seen them fight about anything. They are one of the FFFs (Flawless Facebook Families), and their existence irks you for reasons you can’t even fully comprehend. The only way to combat The Perfectionists is to take solace in the fact that they must be fake, since manufacturing happiness and the perfect image is easy to do on Facebook. They’re almost definitely fake. Probably. Dear Christ let them be fake…
So, which annoying Facebook parents did I miss?
Aaron’s articles on parenting and family have been featured in TIME Magazine, The Huffington Post, Good Men Project, Parents Magazine, American Baby, and iVillage, just to name a few. He’s also worked with brands such as Toyota, Dove Men+Care, Tide, Little Remedies, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and more. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.
This originally appeared on The Daddy Files. Republished here with permission.