The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stupid Forums

I just want to rant for a minute about how annoying most parenting forums are. I barely ever read any of them, but looked at the Baby Center forum for Sept 2010 babies today and was reminded again of why I don't go on forums.

Reasons why I don't like forums:
#1) Everyone is so freaking judgmental.
I can see why people like forums for support and advice, but do you really think that anyone posts on a forum for others to cast their negative opinions?  Really. One mom who is 41 weeks 5 days was posting that she is accepting the doctor's offer to induce tomorrow and a bunch of people went on and on about "Your baby will come when he/she is good and ready." Oh blah. Shut up. Who the heck asked you? Obviously, she is frustrated at that point and looking for support. She doesn't need condemnation. Birth is emotional enough without other people's condemnation. I can't tell you how much I cried in labor, and not from pain, from emotion.

90% of these people are SO long winded (like I am one to talk, I know), yet they feel like it is necessary to abbreviate everything. It is the mommy version of my teenagers' text speak and it is so annoying. I don't understand how a mom who writes 6 paragraphs in a forum somehow feels it makes such a difference to type out "DH" instead of husband. Seriously, it is 5 more letters. Plus... if DH stands for darling husband, that is even lamer, because you can tell from the tone of the rest of their writing that they would never actually say, "My darling husband." Plus, as an occasional forum reader, I shouldn't have to sit there racking my brain for possible translations while reading. I was like, "FTM?" huh... until a few sentences later I went, "Oh, okay, first time mom." Would it have killed her to just write "first time mom"? Really? 

#3) Lack of Discernment
I am a VERY open person online, which most people know, and I do it for the purpose of cultivating real life relationships. Being open online allows those I care about to keep up with me, even when I have little time to keep up in real life, In many ways, this makes for deeper relationships, because when I do get a chance for coffee or lunch with a friend, she already knows my daily life, and we can have deeper conversations than just catching up on what's new. HOWEVER, there are certain things that don't get posted. It is called being discerning.
People don't need to know about every argument I have with my family or friends. That's private stuff, and it is no one's business. I don't need to vent about it online, not even generally. I don't think it is appropriate to post this on my personal blog or facebook, yet people somehow feel that is is appropriate to just straight up bash family members on pubic forums. Is it the anonymity?  I don't know, but I find it inappropriate either way.
Along the same lines, there are some pictures that just shouldn't get posted. To a certain extent, ever, but most definitely not in a public forum. I had a nightmare the night before I gave birth that someone was in the delivery room taking pictures with her phone and posting them on facebook. Even the idea mortified me to the point that I had a nightmare about it. I let Marc take some pictures of Tiana right after birth while I was breastfeeding her. Realistically, I was relatively covered, and you couldn't see any more than in a picture of me in a bathing suit, but Marc still knew that these are private pictures for us to have and enjoy, not to be posted online. One woman online posted in a forum "My twins birth story" pictures of her dead babies. Graphic ones. It breaks my heart that the poor woman lost her children, and I can see why she took these pictures and would want to have these pictures, but why share such personal pictures on a public forum for complete strangers to see, I will never understand.

Okay... done ranting.

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