COMMENT: Why annoying parents on Facebook grind my gears



It’s been a landmark week for social media.

Firstly, Pope Francis announced on his Twitter account that he had joined Instagram – the online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing social networking site for those of you stuck in the 20th Century.

Who cares that it’s their child’s first day at school? Who cares that their child received their school report?

The last time I looked – I don’t follow him, before you ask – he had clocked up more than 1.6 million followers and had posted six photos, none of which were selfies or food, which is the hip thing to do on such a site.

Seriously, what’s he playing around at?

Sadly, he also needs to get clued up on social media etiquette as he’d not followed one person. How rude of him?

I guess if he’s on Facebook, we’d all be feeling blessed.

And then secondly, Twitter – my personal favourite – celebrated its 10th birthday on Monday.

I love Twitter – in fact I am addicted to it, so much so I’ve had more accounts in the past decade than Notts County have had managers in the past 12 months. Yes, I’ve got it bad.

But it’s Facebook which is the daddy of all social media platforms – and also the most annoying when it comes to narcissism and attention-seeking.

Let’s be honest, we’re all attention-seekers when it comes to social media – why else would we sign up?

But Facebook, or Fakebook as I like to call it, seriously does grind my gears.

Where do I start?

If it wasn’t – notice the tense, yes, the past tense – the torrent of invites to play Candy Crush, it’s the constant pointless updates by parents about their beloved offspring.

I mean, why do parents have to share everything their child does via Facebook?

Who cares that it’s their child’s first day at school? Who cares that their child received their school report? Perhaps, I’m sounding harsh here, but surely Facebook is about what you get up to in your life - not your child’s, however big a part they play in it.

But there’s also a more serious and potentially sinister side to posting incessant photos of little Johnny on Facebook.

Would you walk up to a stranger in the street and hand a photo of your child to them? No, so why post to a limitless number of people online. People tell me they have their privacy settings so only their “friends” can see their pictures. Yeah, okay.

I’m no longer on Facebook, but I can quite easily find photos of other people with locked accounts – so if I can, I’m sure those with more sinister intentions can do so too.

Do you really know the people you were friends with at school 20-odd years ago?

I know I don’t – thankfully in some cases too.

Basically, if it’s on the internet it’s not private. So, when it comes to uploading photos of your kids on social media – don’t forget it’s all about the number of likes for the self-centred – ask yourself who is really looking at your photos and how far do they reach on the net?

I quit Facebook in a personal capacity a year ago this week and I don’t miss it one bit. I feel blessed having done so.