My love for Facebook has slowly dwindled throughout the years. What was once a good way to connect with friends, now seems to have become an endless pit of politics, advertising, false information, and videos you never really asked to see. And between work, raising a child, and just going through the daily motions and responsibilities of life- I just don't have time for it.
But it’s not all bad. One of my favorite things about Facebook is the ability to connect with like-minded individuals who aren’t necessarily in your immediate circle via 'Facebook groups.' I use these groups to surf my interests, meet locals, and even to help boost my business. I belong to so many and really love the versatility in the option. I’m in photography groups that allow me to pull inspiration from others’ work, get CC on current projects, and connect with other photographers in my area. I’m in blogging groups that specialize in sharing marketing strategies. I’m in local foodie groups to- you know, eat at all the best places. And I’m in mom support groups, which offer support for moms of different kinds and a chance to connect with other moms.... well some do.
I’ve been a part of many mom groups and one thing I’ve learned is that for every fabulous mom group on Facebook- there’s fifteen more awful ones. And I’ve found myself hitting the 'leave group' button more times than I can count. For giggles, I've decided to splay some of the reasons I may leave these anything-but-wonderful groups.
Here’s four reasons I probably left your Bull#$!% “Mom Support” Facebook Group:
1. Your "my way or the highway" group mentality is anything but supportive.
Natural moms, modern moms, working moms, stay-at-home-moms; pretty sure they're all the same. Most are just doing the best they can to produce happy and healthy children. However, somehow your Facebook "Support" Group has turned into a public forum for bashing any parent who doesn't do everything the exact same way you do. Just a few weeks ago, I actually read a post in a natural mom's support group, where a woman was asking for advice on how to tell her friend what a terrible mother she was, because that friend had opted to bottle feed her baby instead of breastfeeding him. What's worse is that hundreds of moms chimed in, in disbelief not that this woman would be so mean and judgmental of someone who was supposed to be her friend- but that some awful woman would do this to her "poor child!"
A support group, no matter it's preface of beliefs is meant to support people. Not bash others. But I guess really, you only support moms who are exactly like you in your group!
2. No one in your group knows how to use basic Facebook functions.
More of a personal pet peeve than any, but I feel like if you’re technologically advanced enough to be a part of Facebook and join different 'groups', you can figure out how to use Facebook’s different functions. I hate being a part of a group where it’s hundreds/thousands of members ask the same questions, over and over again. I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s this little option within each group called the "search" button. You can use it to search for certain keywords or frequently asked questions/topics. So, stop being the 400th member this month to ask your mom group what their favorite breast pumps are.
Even worse is when you do have a valid question you’d like opinions/answers for and instead of flooding your notifications with legitimate and helpful answers, you get hundreds of “F” or “Following” comments. For heaven’s sake, someone teach the group that there’s an option to receive notifications on any post you want without wasting everyone’s time and blowing up their phone with nonsense consonants.
3. Your group has been brainwashed into thinking they're trained medical professionals.
Your Facebook support group has turned into a giant freaking WebMD forum. Thousands of posts pour in on the daily asking for medical advice! I had no idea so many doctors worked for Facebook! But thank God for them! Without your members, we wouldn’t be able to diagnose staph infection, vaccine injury, or be able to cure the flu. No Barbara, we can't help you figure out why your baby's farts smell like tacos. Here's a thought- try calling your pediatrician.
Then there’s the pregnancy tests. If you can't tell in real life whether or not that test has one line or two, how the hell can we tell from a grainy iPhone photo? And how does posting it in Sepia change that? I have an idea! Try waiting a few days and testing again like the rest of humanity, or I don’t know, going to the doctor? Face to palm....
4. Constant group drama.
If your admins are constantly posting about how they’re the “boss” and “what they say goes” or someone’s always whining about what another member said-chances are I’m checking out. My seven-year-old gives me enough drama to fill my days and then some. I don’t need more.
Luckily, not all groups are bad and like the rest of the internet, you have to take everything you come across with a grain of salt. I have been lucky enough to become a part of several groups that have built me friendships and given me a real sense of community. But if any of the previous four statements sound even the least bit true of your 'Mom Support' group, I urge you to make some changes. Being a mom is hard enough without the constant criticism of others, drama, and misinformation floating around. There's a better way to "support" each other.