When I first saw the new parody cover of Parenting magazine, I laughed. Hard for eight in the morning. Because, although hyperbolic, it's true. Parents, let's be honest. We can be annoying sometimes. Of course we don't think we're being annoying, because, who thinks they're being annoying? But, since having my daughter, I've definitely caught myself doing things I rolled by eyes at when I was childless. (Of course, it's much easier to roll your eyes at parents when you're childless.) I've force-fed photos of my toddler to my co-workers, truly believing that their coos were as genuine as my own (appreciate it, ladies). I've exclaimed "good job!" at my daughter after she tried something at a restaurant, as if she went in the back to the kitchen and whipped it up herself. And I've been whole-heartedly convinced (maybe still am) that my child is "advanced."
But, even though this bogus magazine cover makes me laugh in that funny-because-it's-true kind of way, question: Haven't parents been doing this shit since the beginning of time? They just didn't have the Internet.
I have a theory that everyone -- parents, pet owners, people who go on vacations, teens -- has become exponentially more "annoying" since the introduction of Internet and social media. All blogs and social media are inherently a form of narcissism, aren't they? You're writing about you and what's going on in your life. And if you're a parent, well, that's a big part of your life, so it's only natural that it's what you post and talk about. But if you had Facebook and or Twitter and Instagram before you became a parent, think about it: What did you write about? Did you vent about your job? Post photos from your trip to Antwerp? Take selfies in a new outfit and put it on Facebook? Odds are, you posted about something that was going on in your life. I don't have Facebook anymore, but when I did, pre-parenthood, my posts entailed musings about my shih tzu; pics from European adventures (some of which included photos of my feet); and general observations about life in Los Angeles and New York. Outside of my circle of friends, my posts were probably interesting to exactly no one.
But parents on the Internet seem to be a particularly easy target. The ability to find them irritating, especially when you don't have children, doesn't seem to be difficult for many. There are entire blogs dedicated to how annoying parents are. And I think it's because when an Internet parent is obnoxious, they're really obnoxious. (If you've ever read the comments on parenting blogs, you've met these people.) But, like I said, these people also existed before Facebook. Everything was just IRL back then. I sometimes have to laugh when people pull the "I was raised so-and-so way and I'm fine" card, because, if they were being raised now, their parents would have done things completely different. Maybe their mom would be the lady who posted 200 photos of them on Facebook everyday?
Although the Internet has brought many of us together in many ways, it's also changed us and made us a lot more oblivious (parents who post 200 photos to Facebook), and a lot meaner (people who make fun of these parents). But it is what is, people. It's not going to change any time soon, so we may all just get used to.
And at least have a sense of humor about. "Is your toddler funnier than Oscar Wilde?"? That's funny.
Are you annoyed with parents? Do you post a lot to Facebook about your kids? What do you think of this cover?