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It’s A Shame
If you use social media platforms, perhaps you see an increase in criticizing and shaming. It is truly a shame. I am one of the original Facebook users. In 2006, Facebook opened its social media platform to non-college students. Facebook invited me to create a profile. At the time, I thought it was a great way to stay in touch with my college niece. I enjoy seeing her experiences. I did not have any friends who were using Facebook at that time. Today, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide. We use social media to share family photos and reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. We use it to meet new people. You can sell in their marketplace or join a group.
FB added the groups feature over ten years ago. With so many people joining groups, businesses like ourselves depend on these digital technologies. During the past two-plus years, there has been a larger amount of parent shaming. As an example, our parent bloggers have students at the universities on our website. We are welcome in most of the university-affiliated Facebook groups. That allows us to answer parent’s questions. Additionally, we share insider information, tips, and helpful resources.
Recently, we have seen innocuous posts by parents met by other parents shaming them for not letting their student grow up or being a helicopter parent. During 2020, when we had both a presidential election as well as a pandemic, the shaming only got worse. Lately, we see unoffensive posts rapidly escalate into a political or pandemic thread having little to do with the original post.
Tbh, some on social media feel emboldened to judge and shame others. Sometimes it is for something as benign as the way a person dresses. Too often, it can be more malicious attacks. politicians, sports figures, actors, singers, and other public figures complain about online attacks by those trolling their pages as well as media publications. Why are we surprised by everyday people doing the exact same thing?
Parenting is Complicated
Parenting is complicated. It comes with no rule book. Many of us use our experiences growing up as a guide to how we want to parent. We may make parenting decisions based on articles we’ve read, advice from friends, or perhaps parenting websites and groups. As parents, we all approach our roles differently. Some of us are very involved with our kid’s lives while others have kids who function very independently.
There are those of us who never went to college so we do not understand all the nuances of college life. For other kids, getting into college was an amazing achievement as they overcame personal obstacles. Even those who have independent kids want to learn how to navigate the silence. Of course, there are some parents that ask other parents for their help because they lack the time to search for the information. I assure you, none of us are looking for judgment or shaming.
We’ve also seen the creation of new groups whose sole purpose is to parent shame. Shaming serves no purpose than to ridicule or make someone feel bad. Engaging in the practice of putting others down is simply an unfounded attempt to make themself feel better about themselves. It is a tactic whose purpose is to control other peoples’ thoughts and opinions. There are documented cases of tragedies as a result of online bullying.
Is Social Media To Blame?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, all of these social media platforms, offer users the opportunity to reach out to others for tips, advice, and other useful information. But it also has allowed others, perhaps due to some anonymity, to judge, criticize, and shame those that are well-known (celebrities, professional athletes, politicians) and those that are not.
There are many proverbs and biblical quotes that address those that judge including “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Another infamous one is “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” HaveUHeard there are over 100 biblical quotes about judging one another? Judaism, the religion I identify with, includes laws and obligations that people judge one another fairly, and with loving-kindness.
For a company or brand, using social media has become complicated. It is often a battle to support a cause or stand up for a belief without repercussions. Brands that rely on digital media to promote their business face a double-edged sword. Standing up for a cause may lead to attacks from those that hold an opposing view. The larger concern is this mentality that it is acceptable to engage in shaming for no other purpose than to make someone feel bad about themselves. It is the unintended result, and what may eventually be the bane, of social media.
I still use social media for my business, for recipes, for fashion ideas, for travel, for many varied interests. Consequently, I try to carefully vet out the fictitious comments and vitriol. Still, it’s a shame we tolerate this type of behavior.
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