Some parents love to gross out their friends, so telling them a picture is nauseating will only serve to satisfy their goal. Therefore, my advice is to feel free to leave comments on posts, but have low expectations for anything to change. Is there a polite way to say, “Your posts make me sick,” or, “Your invasive pictures of your kid’s oozing face offend me”? Not really, no. So if you want to try to effect real change in your feed, with the exception of hiding or blocking someone, being straightforward is your best bet. You don’t have to be the Snot Police — and I don’t recommend sending a finger-wagging DM about something as superficial as a snot post — but couching your comment in a way that expresses sympathy while lightly pointing out your disgust might not be enough.
If you’re going to “poor baby!” the situation, don’t throw in a frowny face and the word “Ew!” It only reinforces that you feel sorry for the kid, which parents want to hear, and it won’t cause them to refrain in the future. If you want to tell your friend that her zoomed-in picture of her child’s face sludge is nasty, just say so bluntly without blowing air kisses or sending a virtual hug.
Mixed messages don’t get the job done, and for every parent who doesn’t want to see her friend’s kid’s snotty face, there’s another parent who revels in the attention. It’s worth noting that older kids don’t tend to let their parents post (or take) pictures of them when they’re sick, so we’re really only talking about parents of young children. If you can candidly convey your feelings before a friend gets in the habit of documoming every occasion her baby is sick, it just might allow the rest of us to breathe easier when we’re scrolling through our newsfeeds. Good luck!
Do YOU have a question about parents on social media? Send whatever is on your mind to stfuparentsblog AT gmail.com!