The Alicia Mae Emory Plan

Disclaimer: The following is a rant, plain and simple. If it causes offence, apologies.

Way back in 2007, when I was younger and more innocent, a friend of mine suggested I check out something called Facebook. I’d done the social networking stuff before through MySpace (remember that?) but FB turned out to be a very different story, and far more addictive.

When I first joined there was a mad dash to get “friends”, and the highest number possible was the goal. Luckily, I was at uni so there were tons of people around, then there were old school friends and family members. I eased past 200 pretty quickly.

I loved the site. I could catch up with people I didn’t get to see that often, arrange night outs, check out pictures of myself and my friends from the night before and play games. I’d log in every day and find I could waste quite a lot of time on there.

But over the years FB changed. They lowered the age limit, meaning there were tons of younger, more boring people on there (it’s hard to give a crap about school stuff when you’ve been through that stuff once). Then they changed the format and layout, which you get used to, but which is still a pain in the arse for a while.

Then other ways to waste time online emerged- Twitter, Tumblr, Sporcle- and Facebook went on the back burner. In all honesty I was only going on to occasionally catch up on gossip, check out my hotter friends, fire off messages and birthday greetings.

And play games. My Scrabble addiction was my main reason for visiting the site, and then they went and changed that, and made it incredibly crap (more adverts, asking a dumb question after every move, ugly board).

There are times when I consider quitting the site, but the only problem is that it’s my only way of contacting some people.

But the annoyances are many- people I have to be friends with because deleting them would be too awkward to deal with in person, knowing far too much about some of my family members, bombarded by requests for stupid games.

fbfriends

But worst of all? Worst of all are the parents.

Here’s the thing, I know that this isn’t the first generation of parents who have probably been utter bores about their “little miracles” (can it be a miracle if it’s happened at least 7 billion times in the last 90 years or so? And at what point do you stop being miraculous, how come I’m no longer referred to as a miracle?) but this is the first generation who can expose everyone to their photos and updates on how their little one is doing.

There are c0untless photo albums in my parents’ house, stuffed with pictures of me and my sisters throughout our lives, but with my Dad operating an old-timey camera that still used film and being rather tight with money, he picked and chose his shots. Yes there are tons which are kinda dull, but they’re on their own. There are a couple of me and my big sis crawling on the floor, but most are in some way worth capturing- us with relatives, us on holidays, nativity plays, first days at school, birthday parties, Christmas, christenings, on days out.

But with digital photography you can snap away at leisure (I know, because I have pointless pictures galore on my FB page) and with this ease and lack of expense quality control has suffered.

I know someone who’s got a young kid and every week they upload literally dozens of pictures of the little nipper. Some are kinda cute, although, when they grow up they’ll probably hate their mum for all the fancy dress costumes she put them in. But the fact of the matter is, I struggle to care.

Oh, look there he is opening birthday presents, that’s kinda sweet. There he is playing with his cousins, cute. There he is feeding a donkey, adorable. There he is covered in cake, funny. There he is sitting on the floor playing with a toy car. There he is sitting on the floor playing with the toy car but a few inches to the left. There he is playing with the toy car slightly more to the left. There he is playing with the toy car some more. Oh, look, he’s still playing with the toy car. Man that kid loves that toy car. Is that toy car glued to his car or something? Oh he’s put it down. Now he’s playing with a toy bus. No, wait, he’s gone back to the car. Oh, all that toy car action has tired him out and he’s sleeping. Here he is sleeping from a different angle. Here he is sleeping in black and white. Still sleeping. Sleeping still. Sleeping with his hand in his mouth. Sleeping with drool on his face. Sleeping from a slightly different angle again. Still asleep.

baby

I’ve seen this kid more times than some actual parents see their children. My whole timeline is clogged with pictures of this little git doing sod all. It’s like a tiny Big Brother, only even more boring.

I get that having a new baby is exciting, and becomes the major focus of your life, but come on people! I’m a single guy and the focus of my life is daytime TV and amusing myself online. But I don’t post pictures of my laptop screen all day long, do I? (Mainly because it’d weird people out)

Another FB friend has recently dropped a sprog, and with it being a brand new baby I appreciate she’ll have little else to do, but should the frequency of pictures continue at this pace I might have to unfriend her. It’s less than a week old and it’s already been photographed more than some animal species.

My Mum and Dad are of an older generation, but I can’t imagine them cataloguing the movements of my sisters and I that much. It doesn’t mean they love me any less, but I just think they’d appreciate that a sleeping child is a pretty dull item to share.

I feel bad sharing what I’m listening to on Spotify, fearing that it’ll bore people and clog their timeline, but at least that’s a link to some form of entertainment. And not just another photo of a developing human.

In a way, worse than the pictures are the status messages, which isn’t just reserved to the very small kids. I don’t give a toss what your kids are up to this weekend, I’m friends with you, not them. If I wanted to keep up with their activities I’d send them a friend request.

I also don’t need you bleating on about your “babies” and how happy they make you. Or how amazing they are. Because they’re not to me. To me they’re just someone I don’t know and have little to nothing in common with. I can’t go for a pint with the sons and I can’t ineptly hit on the daughters (well, I could, but I’d probably get put on a register). They like Justin Bieber, One Direction and snapchat, I like Lemmy, AC/DC and murder mysteries.

I get the feeling that it’s partly down to them not wanting to look like they don’t care about their kids. “If I don’t constantly bang on about how great I think they are and share photos of them, how will people know that I’ve formed a familial bond with them?”

Here’s the deal. I’ll just take it as read that you love your kids and are proud of them, unless I’m told otherwise. I don’t need you to tell me, unless they do something particularly noteworthy that you feel might be of interest to me (cure cancer, get called up for the Swans, know how to get backstage at a Rihanna concert, know the location of buried treasure or is one of The Saturdays).

Demetri Martin with a graph displaying someone's interest in their kids against his level of interest

Demetri Martin with a graph displaying someone’s interest in their kids against his level of interest

The title of this post refers to the Cabbage Patch doll owned by Joey in Friends, and part of an idea I had to purchase one and then clog up my feed with pictures of the doll to see how long it took for people to get the message. I’m still considering it.

Oh, and a few other tips for parents to not piss off their childless friends-

  • Don’t talk about how much better their life is now that they’re a parent. Not just because it sounds like you’re gloating, but also because it just seems like you’re protesting too much
  • Don’t tag yourself in pictures of them. I’m trying to see if you have any bikini photos from your holiday, not see yet another picture of that kid with the damn toy car!
  • If your kids are away, don’t whine about how much you miss them, it just makes it appear that the rest of your life is dull and empty.
  • Is your child over 2? They are? Then quit referring to them as your “baby”

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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One Comment on “The Alicia Mae Emory Plan”

  1. […] complained about this sort of stuff before, but what made this particular “friend” cross the line is that she has twice whinged […]


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