So I heard about this blog, STFU Parents, which is now a book, which basically calls me out on a habit of mine.
Apparently, according to Shut The (expletive here) Up Parents, not everyone likes it when I post my 5-month-old son's photos on Facebook. Apparently, some people find baby pictures and dirty diaper stories annoying.
"But I get so many likes when I post pics of Ethan," I said to my husband, who laughed out loud.
"Yeah but the people that like them are only a third of your friends," he said. "All of your other friends are hating it."
I don't know what it is about being a first-time parent. Something in me says my child is, without question, the most interesting being in the world. His every smile, spit up, giggle and fart tickles the heck out of me, so I assume others feel the same way.
The day we brought Ethan home from the hospital I contemplated sending his pictures to Gerber or Baby Gap.
"He could so be a baby model," I said.
Again, my husband reeled in my enthusiasm.
"Everybody thinks that about their baby," he said.
I guess I can understand why some people don't get it, why they roll their eyes when I post about sleep deprivation and poo. Not everyone is a parent. Not everyone is interested in my version of pictures in the wallet.
But come on, if people want me to shut up, then every person using social networking sites needs to do the same. What about STFU to those compelled to share political opinions online? Or people who post angry tirades? Or anyone guilty of using that photo of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka to make a joke?
I don't care what my online friends ate for dinner, or where they shop, or how they got stuck at the airport. But when I see said posts, I understand they matter to someone.
I think it is nice that people have a place to share recipes and party pics. I prefer the daily life stuff on Facebook to the snarky stuff. I like to think of social networking as a scrapbook of sorts, a way for people to share their good times and if they want to, the hard times. I share family photos because they bring me joy, and in a world like this one, I think that is a good thing. If a friend wants to follow, it's all there. If not, just keep scrolling.
Sarah Whitman is a wife and first-time mom of a 5-month-old boy. Editor's note: He really is cute.