A "Before Facebook" Rant

It seems every time I get on Facebook, I see something that annoys the daylights out of me.  There are a couple of things that the top of my Facebook pet peeve list (in addition to the obvious things like the inability to spell, failure to utilize proper punctuation, refusal to capitalize, using the wrong homonym, etc.), one of which I’m not sharing today, and the other of which… well, here goes.
Before I go there, though, let me preface this post with the following: I understand this post may not go over well with some people.  I also realize there may be more folks out there who share my perspective than I would have imagined.  My intention is not to offend anyone, but again, this is my blog, and if I can’t post MY opinion here, well, where can I post it?
How in the world did people wish their children a happy birthday prior to Facebook or other social media.  I mean, I know they sell those things called “cards” in stores, and I know it’s possible to have a message spelled out on top of a cake, a cookie, or via skywriter, but really?  I’m not sure those options do an adequate job of torturing other folks with tales of how many hours of labor they endured, how many weeks premature the child was, how wonderful/quirky/smart/funny/big-hearted/sweet/loving/special their child is, etc. 
I’m sure there are some who will say I just don’t get it because I don’t have kids.  Fine.  Maybe that’s it.  Or maybe it’s that I don’t understand what appears to me to be a game of trying to one-up the birthday wish posted by one’s Facebook “frenemy” last week.  It’s like a competition to see who can post the most ooshy-gooshy over-the-top birthday wish.  And when it’s to a young child who (hopefully) doesn’t have a Facebook page, or a really young child who can’t even read, for crying out loud, it drives me bonkers because the birthday wish is obviously not being posted for the edification of the birthday boy or girl; it is being posted for the edification of the parent.

I understand most people seem to think their kid is the cutest/smartest/greatest/funniest.  If you don’t believe it, watch an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras; those mothers all think they have beautiful children.  (Side rant: Let me let you in on a little secret: All children are NOT pretty.  Some kids are just plain ugly.  It’s an unfortunate trick of genetics.  It happens.  And dressing that unfortunate-looking child up in a sparkly thousand dollar dress does not make that child more attractive.  There.  I said it.  Live with it.  You know I’m right.)  So is the fact someone managed to come up with some creative (or utterly NON-creative) way of telling us that she was in the hospital giving birth “x” number of years ago today supposed to win praise and accolades, or result in the delivery of flowers and balloons?  All I have to say is better her than me.
I would also like to point out that no one ever posts an honest happy birthday wish to the kid who has been nothing but trouble from the word “go”, who has cost them thousands in drug rehab and legal fees due to the little thug’s misdeeds that landed him/her in juvenile court, who wrecked your new when he/she snuck out and went joy-riding, or who is an all-around, surly, rude, ill-behaved little pain-in-the-ass whose eighteenth birthday cannot arrive soon enough.  No, no.  It’s always sunshine and lollipops when it’s time to wish little junior or juniorette a happy birthday on Facebook.
Really?  Just go buy your kid a card.  Or make one yourself.  Printers have come a long way since we were kids.  Go decorate a cake.  Hang a banner over the kitchen table, or let the kid eat his/her dinner on the special “birthday plate”.  But spare the rest of us.  Telling all of us that you wish your kid a happy birthday is not nearly as effective or important as telling your kid that you wish him/her a happy birthday. 


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