Dear Active Mom on Social Media,
We may live in the social media capital of the world, surrounded by giants like Facebook and countless startups, but that doesn’t mean we always use their apps the right way. We, your friends — both the real ones and the only-on-Facebook ones, both the parents and the non-parents — want to share with you the most irksome behaviors of moms on social media. And when we say social media, we mean Instagram and Facebook because who the heck can keep track of all the others?
We understand that being a parent is life changing and all consuming, but we share this information with you out of love, respect, and the desperate need for our Newsfeed to become more exciting.
We know what you’re thinking, “No one has unfollowed me. I have 539 friends on Facebook.” If you’re committing the following sins regularly, it’s a safe bet that several of us have unfollowed you. It means that your posts don’t show up in our Newsfeed anymore, even though you can see ours.
Sure, it hurts less this way than seeing your number of followers drop, like you would on Instagram, but it’s not doing you any favors. For every one of us that unfollows you, there are probably five more who are rolling their eyes behind their phones as they scroll past your posts.
Either way, it ain’t good. What’s the point of sharing, if no one is looking? So without further ado, here are the seven sins that will leave us no choice but to unfollow you.
- Risking kids’ safety – Let’s get the most serious sin out of the way first. The internet has a life of its own, so think twice and then think again before sharing a naked picture of your kid online. No, we don’t have dirty minds, but plenty of creeps do.
- Posting prolifically – Of course you think your baby is cute/ special/ hilarious, but to the rest of us, the seven pictures per post and five posts per day is cluttering our Newsfeed. Keep it to one or two posts a week. If you just have to post daily, one pic will do; text the rest to Grandma.
- Uploading feature films – We’re all for capturing kids’ milestones and the “darnedest things” they say, but keep the video to thirty seconds or less because that’s all we’re really watching anyway. Chances are, your kid’s video is not going viral, so go ahead and use your phone’s video editing capability. It’s there for a reason.
- Too much information – Social media is funny, isn’t it? On one hand, we use it to curate our perfect public image, controlling what pictures we share and what captions we use. On the other hand, we use it to ask advice about our kids’ odd rashes and constipation. Certainly, you wouldn’t share your own taboo medical issues on social media (and if you do, we wouldn’t know because we’ve already unfollowed you), so don’t share your child’s. Google your medical questions like the rest of us.
- Captioning with abandon – While a picture is worth a thousand words, a well done caption increases its value ten-fold. Please, do caption your pictures. Don’t use them to overtly brag, humbly brag or get overly emotional about your kids. You get one sappy caption a year. Did you hear that? A year! We know you’re #blessed. Keep it short and sweet. Better yet, keep it funny.
- Hashtagging to hell – A well placed hashtag can really add a chuckle to a caption, but don’t overdo it. None is fine. One to three is okay, and remember — a hashtag’s intended purpose is to index posts for public searches, so, you know, back to #1 again (and this is a real hashtag, by the way, not a sarcastic one).
- Selling instead of sharing – We’re all for your mompreneurship. Really, we are. But we’re friends with you to keep up-to-date on your life, not your side business. If more than 35% of your posts are pitching products, then it’s time to create a separate account. In the spirit of honesty, we should tell you that we may or may not follow that one.
The good news is that none of these are cardinal sins because they just prove what a devoted mom you are, but still, it’s a little much, and there is always time for atonement. If you’re habitually guilty, now’s the time to take a vow to live a more virtuous virtual life.
With our deepest thanks,
Your Social Media “Friends”