Are you a “Facebragger?” Urban Dictionary.com defines Facebragging as “the act of using a social networking site in order to show off or impress others with material items and/or fun activities. May include status updates, comments, or most often, pictures.”
The opposite is referred to as being a “Facedowner”—someone who only posts the most dismal and depressing updates, presumably to garner sympathy from their friends.
I try not to be a Facedowner—there’s enough depressing stuff in the world without my adding to it. But last week, I read a blog post complaining about moms who use Facebook—or their personal blogs—to write things that give an overly-rosy impression of their lives. It gave examples of a woman congratulating her husband on his promotion, going to the salon, and stating that the hugs from her 4-year-old were “priceless.”
Ironically, I read this on my son Eli’s 10th birthday, after I had just shared baby pictures of him and oohed-and-ahhed over how adorable he was and wondered how he could’ve grown up so quickly.
So, the blog post made me question myself, and wonder if the person who shared it did so in response to my Facebook posts about Eli. Did celebrating this awesome kid make me guilty of Facebragging? Are you?
I might be in the minority, but my favorite thing about having an online presence is keeping up with my friends and their kids. I love it when my mommy friends post about their children’s accomplishments, share lots of photos and let us see the fun their families are having. I enjoy following blogs that tell the same kind of stories.
Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t see how loving parents sharing these positive things could be seen as offensive. Has it become such a dark world, so clouded with bitterness and jealousy, that we can’t celebrate each other’s victories, however small?
A tenth birthday might not mean much in the grand scheme of life, but I think it’s a huge milestone because the child that celebrated it is a miracle. Other people’s kids sometimes seem like messy, annoying, obnoxious little creatures but in reality, every human being is a walking miracle.
You’ll have to forgive me if I blather on too much about my children. I just can’t help myself—most days, I still feel a sense of amazement over having them. After infertility, even the smallest of daily events can feel like the biggest of blessings. I didn’t know that I’d ever have the privilege of anyone calling me “Mama.” You’d think I’d be over the impact of it by now, but I’m not. The fact that I get to parent three precious boys still completely blows me away sometimes.
So I talk about my sons’ accomplishments and tell detailed stories about how they made me laugh. I post far too many pictures and turn all sentimental on every birthday because getting to experience any of this is still amazing to me. Motherhood has never lost its wonder.
Of course, that sense of wonder tarnishes a little during tantrums and disobedience and stomach viruses. Long days and nights can make me wonder if I’ll ever feel well-rested again. Parenting is exhausting, messy, heartbreaking and overwhelming enough to kill even my well-developed sense of humor at times. Sometimes, just having a day where no one yelled or screamed, or pouted over math problems, or dumped glue into someone else’s hair—sometimes those days are the ones worth talking about, because they can be rare.
So sharing that we had a good day isn’t meant to sound like boasting, or imply that my life is perfect. It is what it is—a reflection on the fact that even this most-crazy phase of living where my kids are the center of the universe, life is often, quite simply, very, very good. Call it Facebragging if you must, but I can’t find a single thing wrong with taking time to reflect on things that are praiseworthy, lovely and true.
Kari Apted is a writer and speaker residing in Georgia with her husband, three sons, and an ever-changing menagerie of pets. She writes a humorous weekly parenting column for The Covington News and freelances for various publications.more»