Facebook needs to be put in a timeout. No, it hasn’t done anything that naughty. Well, there is that whole privacy issue thing. But, this timeout is so FB can listen to some advice from a mother. After all, I’m it’s fastest growing demographic – women way over 35. So, Facebook sit up straight, put down your smart phone, quit fidgeting and don’t interrupt me. I’ve got a to do list for you. Trust me, like any mother, I’m here to help.
Mother-in-Law Page – Facebook was ruined for me on July 27, 2010. That’s when my mother-in-law joined. No longer could I make any less than perfect family comments as a status update. No honest sharing that “I was still recovering from my crippling sofa bed injury.” Why? Because it was my mother-in-law’s sofa bed that had rendered me with partial nerve paralysis in my 3rd and 4th vertebrae. My suggestion is to make a mother-in-law page. This would be a “ghost page” set up that only a mother-in-law could see whenever she clicked on her daughter-in-law. On this page you would post happy comments about her son as in: “Thank goodness for my awesome hubby. After all these years of marriage I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Everyday I wake up and know that I’m just not good enough for this man.” Or cheery facts about the grandkids like: “My children are so gifted you can tell they take after their Nana. Everyone knows they didn’t get their brains from my side of the family.” Not only would this brighten a M.I.L.’s day, but even more importantly, much more importantly, it would keep her out of your business because she would be so busy reposting all your comments to her friends.
Filters – This would be easy to do and save so many of us from so much annoyance. FB should design a Filter system where you could type in words or phrases that you don’t want to appear in your newsfeed. Such as: six figure bonus, my kid is a genius and new boobs. This would edit out all those obnoxious status updates that clutter up your newsfeed. Yes, please, I know that you can “hide” people, but what if you have friends that are only partially annoying that you don’t want to hide all the time? The Filter system would totally take care of that problem.
Status & Photo Enhancers – You really need to get on this immediately. Summer is right around the corner and I don’t think I can bear 3 months of looking at everyone’s “incredible” vacation pictorials. Let’s call this the “Create A Happy Family” tool that would be located in the “edit profile” section of your personal page. All you would need to do is upload some family photos and pick which stunning locale you would like to place your family in. You could also chose the photoshop option and click on adding in blinding white smiles, flowing hair, and slender thighs. I know from personal experience that there is a crucial need for the Create A Happy Family tool and it would bring joy to millions of FB users.
Last summer I finally hit the wall after one Texas “friend” entered the “over posted zone.” Yes, everything is bigger in Texas and apparently that applies to FB postings as well. I was okay with abundant photos of her five amazing children who always look like they were plucked fresh from a Ralph Lauren ad. You know the ads I’m talking about where everybody is blonde, subtly tanned and looks like the young Nazis from The Sound of Music. It wasn’t even her incredible summer family photos that did me in. It was her daily pictorial of “Fun Family Things We Did Today.” You would have thought a Family Fun magazine tsunami had blown through her living room. (For those of you not acquainted with Family Fun magazine it’s a monthly reminder that you suck as a mom because you don’t have the talent, time or patience to take a paper towel roll and turn it into 1,001 different toys, craft projects and clever costumes. Really, Jesus and the whole fishes and loaves thing he did to feed the multitudes has nothing on Family Fun. Family Fun would have taken the fish and concocted 235 different recipes out it and then sliced the crust off the bread into cubes, carved different fish species into each hunk, used the left over fish juice as ink and made stamps and stencils for the now non hungry crowd to decorate the thank you notes they would soon be writing to Jesus.) I’m telling you it was absolute soul crushing torture to read and see. On Monday they had a sand castle competition with homemade first place ribbons and a sand bucket cake with crumbled graham cracker frosting. Tuesday it was the Water Balloon Olympics, On Wednesday it was a backyard Carnival with a hopscotch cake made from Rice Krispy squares and on and on she went. I get it. All your FB friends get it. You’re an amazing, creative, high energy mom that is putting all the rest of us to shame. We surrender to your superiority. We’re all posting white flags as our new FB profile picture. Well, I liked to say I went the white flag route. But, I never like to give up or give in with any kind of grace, whatsoever, so I kind of created my own fake Facebook family to taunt her with.
Sure, I could have clicked on “hide,” but that would be a chicken move. I would have won the battle and lost the war. I needed her to feel pain, to bear witnesses to my mom awesomeness. (okay, fake awesomeness, but let’s not get bogged down by the truth) I did it not just for myself, but for all the moms having to partake of her daily dose of family perfection. One super hot July day I assembled my troops (my two kids) and explained my plan. (Fortunately, my children are used to my plans, schemes, and other idiotic ideas. At a very young age they were told that their mommy was “different,” even “special” and that I would do things that other mommies might not ever consider doing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them very, very, much.) The two greeted my plan with lot less enthusiasm than I expected. Which surprised me. My plan was a stunner and bonus – family bonding time. I was going to have my son – Mr. Computer Guru, take ads from travel magazines etc and photoshop our faces on them. He was also going to put pictures of us in a stunning kitchen doing crafts, in a backyard having a Summer fair etc. My daughter was going to be our model and change clothes about a hundred times so we could photoshop her in a million different places. My son gripped about the time commitment and how we needed to shoot with a green screen to make it look “decent” and my daughter thought the whole plan would require some shopping to fill in the gaps in her photo shoot wardrobe. I told them it was 100 degrees in the shade and if they didn’t’ want to do this they could enjoy yardwork for the remainder of the day. In a surprise to no one they suddenly got behind my idea. It took all day to pull it off and included a trip to Best Buy to get something my son said he “needed” and a frozen yogurt run. But, by that night I had my own phenomenal family pictorial and my very own “Fun Family Things We Did Today.” It was enough faux fun that I could post my fakeys for a week.
I know you’re thinking, “Hey crazy, what about all your other friends and family on Facebook wouldn’t they being going huh? when you posted this crap.” I had that covered. The overzealous posting mom had a schedule. She always posted at 7 a.m. right after their family run, where they’re all “training for a triathlon in Bermuda (sigh). So, I would post my fauxness at 7:02. I knew her competitive spirit would have her looking at her newsfeed and mine would be at the top of her “most recent” home page. I let the post rattle her cage until about 7:15 and then I would delete it. Yes, other people saw it. But, not that many and before you could say WTH it was gone. Talk about fun, you could tell I had hit a nerve. The over-posting mom really got upset when my “Fun Family Things We Did Today” was a “Save the Seals” swimming pool party we had in my fake backyard. The picture showed my daughter hugging a seal (So easy to do. We put her in a swimsuit and had her hug a large inflatable pool dolphin then my son photoshopped out the dolphin and added a seal) in front of a huge pool in an amazing backyard – (Thank you Coastal Living Magazine for the incredible pool picture.) She messaged me and asked, “Where did you get a seal and asked if that was my backyard?” Since I didn’t want to lie with words – (only pictures – I have standards people) I would always answer around her questions with one of my own as in – OMG – Aren’t seals the best?!!!!!
I knew I had won after day 5 when she de-friended me. Victory was mine! She couldn’t take my awesome (okay, fake awesome) anymore or she knew I was a filthy liar that had resorted to using my children as agents in my serial fibbing adventure. Whatever, I still won.
Mombook – That long-winded story brings me to the most spectacular idea I have. Facebook would give birth to Mombook. This would be a very elite social media network for surly mothers. Here is where you could go to do the anti-status update. For instance on regular FB you would post: “Wow, can’t wait till summer. You can tell the kids are ready for a break!” On Mombook you would post: “What’s with the 5 freaking school projects due in May?!!! I don’t think I have the energy left to nag, cajole and threaten my kid to get them all done. Can a school district make a child repeat a grade for not turning in a book report?”
It would be a safe, haven for the worn out mother. No cheery status updates, no know-it-all, full of themselves parents. Oh sure, they are mom networks a plenty already out there. But they’re infested with super mommy sharks that swim round and round looking for the blood of other mothers to feed on. Any mom who admits to not being perfect is prey for their vicious attacks. Mombook would be supermom free. Any boosting, show offy status update would get you terminated from the site. Ditto for any non helpful comment that showed a superior attitude or demonstrated a complete lack of a sense of humor. Mombook could market itself as the “Facebook site to visit when you’re having a maternally challenged day.”
The site could also sponsor cool social media events like M.O.M.’s. That stands for Moms On Missions. I can’t not even begin to share how much I love this idea. When a mom is taking a kid free trip it opens her up to gossip and superior statements as in: “Good for her, but I could never leave my kids. Not even for an overnight. I just love my children too much.” Well, with this mission trip you get to escape you family, free yourself of the judgamommy and do it all on a budget. Because if you tell other mothers that you’re leaving your family for a mission trip you’ve hit a trifecta of virtue. First, you’re not leaving your family for your own selfish pleasure, you’re going to help others. Secondly, you’re doing more than the other mothers, you’re not just taking care of your family, you’re going above and beyond and thirdly, by giving of yourself your also teaching your family about what’s important in life. The M.O.M’s trip would do all of this, but not the way you think. Your Mombook sponsored mission trip would be 3 days and 2 nights at a Fairfield Inn (home of the comfort deluxe bed) of your choice, conveniently located by a mall with a Barnes & Noble and at least one movie theatre. Here you can sleep in, lay around, read, eat, read some more, check out the mall, see a movie, and then take a nap. This mission trip on a budget is all about you, your sanity and addressing your sleep deprivation issues. Have no fear what you’re doing will still be virtuous. Is there any more important mission in your parenting journey than preserving your ability to experience the joy of family? What better way to experience that joy than to be away from them for a few days. Oh yes, I really think I’m on to something here.
Okay, Facebook did you get all this down? I’m serious, it’s time for some improvements. Don’t disappoint me. I know you want to make this Mama proud.