Month: May 2015

The Mommy Updates

Don’t you sometimes feel a little sorry for small children whose lives are being relentlessly documented on social media? I totally do. The way I see it, the oversharing occurs on two different levels:  one, way too often; and two, way too much private information.

I mean, small children are totes adorbs. No question. I understand the temptation to share. But, you know what? Little Nathan looks pretty much the same as he did yesterday. Or two days ago. Or last week. I have this friend with twin babies, and the babies frequently tend to adopt mirror poses; i.e. they are both sleeping on the same side with their arms spread out in the same way and clutching a stuffed animal in the same kind of grip with the same hand. Absolutely cute, the first five times I saw it. Now, I just can’t make myself join the one hundred and seven other people who have “liked” the post. It’s still cute, but it’s hard to really appreciate them as often as the frequency of posting demands.  My response is more like, “Yep. There go the babies again.” They’ve turned into another spot on the wallpaper, which is too bad because they really are cuties.

Also, and I say this as the doting mother of two, isn’t there anything else these people want to share on social media? Too well I remember the feeling of being sucked down into the vortex of parenting the preschool set. At that time, I really relished the opportunities I had to discuss topics that weren’t about addressing basic needs and civilizing the little darlings in my care. Social patter on That Certain Social Media Site really isn’t that challenging. Can’t some people find something to say instead of something to show?

Well, no. No, they can’t. Because TCSMS has turned into one endless scroll down pic after pic after pic. Show and tell. And evidently little kids are perennially popular exhibits. At least to the people who are showing and telling about them; namely, their parents. For the rest of us, maybe not so much.

For me, definitely not so much. I think I’m making that pretty clear.

On to the second, and to me, more troubling problem: way too much information. Yes, most children are learning the same major life skill between two and three years of age. Do we have to write it down? Do we have to talk about how it’s going? Or, in far too many cases, how it’s NOT going?

Ew. Yuck. Just stop it with these kind of updates on social media, parents. For one thing, this is not about YOU, it is about your CHILD and his or her readiness to acquire a new skill. Also, it’s pretty disgusting for those of us who don’t care. I will never get a medal for this, I know, but I  had nothing to say on this topic even when it was a high subject of interest on a very personal level at my house.  Because I can recognize that certain topics are off limits for polite conversation.  They’re called boundaries, guys. Let’s recognize them. Also also, how do you think your kids will feel when they’re old enough to realize exactly what you’ve been sharing about them on social media? Okay, yeah, maybe they’ll never find out. I imagine that by the time a person is old enough to have a social media presence, he has better things to do than go years back into his mom’s status updates from the year when he was two. But still. It could happen. Or, what is more likely to happen, a person’s sibling could go back and find photos and status updates and use them for merciless internet taunting. Fun times.

So, mommies, it’s time to get a grip. Just because you can share it doesn’t mean that you should.

In fact, if it’s not a proud moment for your child, it shouldn’t be up there. Because any more than that is boring to your friends and unkind to your child.

Think. Think, think, think before you post. I realize that’s a lot to ask in the context of social media.

But I think it’s worth a try.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

The Quiet House

How can you tell that you live in a houseful of introverts? When you have a three-day weekend with virtually nothing planned, and everyone in your house thinks that’s terrific.

On Saturday afternoon, my husband and I went in to Cleveland to see a terrific new Eric Coble play called Fairfield. If you live in Northeast Ohio, you should see it too. If you don’t live in Northeast Ohio, why then when Fairfield comes to your city, as I sincerely hope it will, you should go. How Eric manages to be so utterly hilarious about seriously uncomfortable topics confounds me. But he does. Seriously. Go see it.

Then on Sunday night we all four went out to *finally* see the new Avengers movie. Because, you know, Joss Whedon.

Also, we ran some errands. I did a ton of laundry. My husband did a ton of yardwork.

Please notice what is missing here.  We didn’t go to any picnics. We didn’t go to any parades. In fact, I lied about our weekend plans in order to avoid going out to Chagrin Falls, that bastion of evil, for Blossom Time. If you want to know what that is, then google it. I refuse to discuss it here. To be fair about my actual lie, we did kind of talk about possibly going away for the three-day weekend. Kind-of, sort-of. But these plans never got off the ground. Because we all think hanging around the house for a holiday weekend is an excellent use of our time. We are all the victims of total Introvert Inertia. And if that’s not a thing, then by golly, it should be. It’s definitely a thing at our house.

We were all a little tired out anyway, because my daughter and I spent Thursday and Friday, and my husband and son spent Friday, down at the College of Wooster because my daughter was taking part in an middle school writing event called Power of the Pen.  I suppose there’s no need to say that I think it is terrific beyond words that Ohio has an event like this for young writers. No other state has Power of the Pen. Only Ohio. I guess it makes sense, if you consider that Ohio has Wooster and Kenyon and Oberlin and a whole bunch of other liberal arts colleges with excellent writing programs. I’m beyond glad that my family lives in a state that has Power of the Pen. Back in my day, thirty years ago, the only school opportunities for middle-school kids were student council and sports. We live in a much better time now. I’m sure of it.

Next year, my daughter will be in high school, which means no more Power of the Pen for her. And my son adamantly refuses to consider taking part in this event, probably because it’s not soccer. So maybe next year, we’ll have the energy to go someplace for the holiday weekend.

But I seriously doubt it.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy

Blogging’s More Fun

Of course blogging’s more fun… that’s why we do it. Without thought of pay, fame, recognition (okay, a little bit of the last is always nice) we sit down at our PCs and blog, blog away!

More fun than what? More fun than That Certain Social Media Site, that’s for sure. You know the one, right? The one that’s so famous it had a movie made about it. That social media site. I’m becoming increasingly disenchanted with the whole TCSMS experience. I mean, even more than usual. I’m pretty sure it used to be better, back in 2008 when all you could do was type something into your status update. No pics, no links… gosh, people actually had to think before they posted something. I mean, there was certainly evidence that some people didn’t think a whole lot before they posted, but at least they were saying something.

Here in the halcyon days of 2015, TCSMS has devolved into one long painful bout of Show And Tell. For adults. Who aren’t supposed to need Show And Tell anymore, because we can converse with one another on more nuanced topics. Except that we don’t.

Look! Look at my pic of my adorable children! Look! Look at my selfie posing during my vacation! Look! Look at my kitty! Never mind that I post a kitty picture of this very same kitty at least a couple of times a week! Look at him this week! He’s looking out the window!

Look! Read this article! Laugh at this meme! Get a little weepy when this inspirational quote touches your heart!

Look! Anyone who’s really my friend will comment! Anyone who is really a decent person will share! I will know who you are when you do what I say!

Oh, my. Just stop. Please. Tell me how your day was. Tell me what your plans for tomorrow are. Tell me what you’ve read lately. Tell me what kind of year you’re having.

Don’t show me. Tell me. In your very own words.

Well, I guess that’s what the blogosphere is for. Writing, writing, and writing. Much more fun.

Of course, plenty of people link to pictures and videos and articles from their blog sites as well. But, in my opinion, on the more enjoyable sites these aren’t the content. They can add to the content, for sure. But they aren’t the centerpiece.

I’m getting a strong sense that a TCSMS tantrum is imminent, the kind where you say all the unkind things that you’ve been suppressing for far too long and flounce away from the site, signing out for one last beautiful time. I did that, once. I announced that I was leaving TCSMS, and I stayed away for quite a few months. I think I’ll do it again. Minus the tantrum and the flounce.

I don’t think there’s any point in announcing it this time, though. I don’t have much I want to say there, anymore. I’m not a jumper and shouter. I don’t wave my hand in the air for attention. And that’s all the site has become. An online forum for people who want your attention — quickly! — right now! — and then move on to the next thing.

Okay, that’s what I’m doing. I will log in once a day to see if anyone’s left me a private message, just in case, and then I’m out of there.

I’m pretty sure I won’t miss it.

Love you & leave you,

Hobbie DeHoy