I know it seems like summer vacation just started about five minutes ago but we're already starting to hear those three little words: back to school. And those other two little words: pumpkin spice, but that's another story. Honestly? I am not ready for back to school. I still want it to be summer but back to school is upon us and out come the back to school pictures. If that's you, I have a few things to say.
When your kids start school depends on where you live – some students are gearing up to start in early August while others don't go back to school until after Labor Day (old school and I'm so jealous…we're a mid-August family). School supplies are in the store…heck, Christmas decorations are in the store but I'm trying my best to ignore that because it's FREAKIN SUMMER thankyouverymuch. I'm getting emails from my kids' school about online registration and meet the teacher night. Ready or not and like it or not, back to school season is upon us.
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To the back to school picture haters on social media
In addition to buying new crayons and new clothes, today's parents are also all about the perfect first day of school pic for social media. Some parents get super clever and creative while others (raises hand) wearily tells her kids to stand still on the front porch for one second so mama can take the picture that she almost forgot. If you want to find some fun ideas for first day of school pictures, do a quick internet search. You'll either be inspired or feel bad about your Instagram skills.
No matter what the level of creativity, I love looking at everyone else's back to school pictures on Facebook and Instagram. ‘Tis the season for cute kids with shiny new sneakers who are eager to learn. Unless they're my kids, who are wearing last year's sneakers because they still fit.
Unfortunately, it's also the season when the “Face-Jerks” come out to play. For every sweet picture of a kiddo with a new backpack getting on the bus, there's a corresponding back-to-school picture hater who is whining about these adorable kid pictures “ruining his newsfeed.”
Whatevs, crabby patty. Do you hate cute puppies and baby goats doing yoga, too?
First day of school pics are “a thing.” They’ve always been a thing, even before social media allowed our everyday details to be instantly shared with hundreds of people. That's right. Before Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and whatever else is out there, people took pictures of their kids' first day of school. They were placed in albums, frames and sometimes in those three-dimensional photo cubes — remember those?
If you have school-aged kids, you take pictures of their first day of school. You share them on the Internet: standing on your porch with new clothes, getting on the bus, with their new teacher, who manages to smile brightly in spite of the fact that seven parents in a row asked her to pose with a small human she just met.
It's a parent thing.
So if you're one of thoese people who is inclined to complain about the “flood of kid pictures” in their news feed or moaning about being “overwhelmed” by the amount of back-to-school snaps, you might want to move on or unfriend me because you won't find understanding here. I will blitz social media with my kids' first day of school pictures. You've been warned.
I get that my kid's brand new Star Wars lunchbox isn't big news for everyone. I understand that the sentiment I attach to my kids' educational milestones isn't shared by all. I know my overzealous Instagramming on the first day of school isn't interesting for every single person I'm connected to on social media.
But let me put it to you this way: there are a crap ton of things I see on social media that “don’t apply to me” that I don't spend my time and energy complaining about. Such as:
1. Fantasy football, fantasy baseball or any sport preceded by the word fantasy
If you partake in fantasy miniature golf or badminton, whatever. I'll snicker and roll my eyes. I might even throw you a bone and give your status update a like because I'm nice like that.
2. Your opinion on the NFL draft, March Madness or the Stanley Cup
If I want to know about sports highlights, I watch ESPN or ask my husband, but do you see me whining about “too much basketball stuff” in March? Nope to the nope. I look away. Easy peasy.
3. Your ‘grams from “in da club” on a Thursday night
Yes, I get it. You’re young, unencumbered and hangovers don’t kick your butt. If you wear a crop top, people don't run away in fear. I'm sure it's nice to be you.
Do I hate on your “look at me I’m having an awesome time in high heels eating food not called chicken nuggets” status updates? No. I don’t.
4. Your status updates about your Jamberry nail stuff, belly-shrinking wrap thingies, 3-D mascara or “executive cookware” parties
There are plenty of people out there who like to kvetch about direct sales in their newsfeed. I don't love seeing this, either, but if one of my friends is trying to make a few extra bucks or score some free makeup, is that hurting me? No. Sure, there's a line that can be crossed with overenthuasiastic salesmanship but seeing someone's Pampered Chef or lula lipstick whatever in my feed? Not hurting me.
We are all guilty of over-saturating our news feed with something now and then… or maybe every day. Social media is an extension of our lives and a way to share what’s important to us right now — whether that's starting school, dog poop on the floor or beer pong.
How about exercising some options besides complaining? Unfollow. Unfriend. Hide updates. Or, just turn the other freakin' cheek to something that makes someone else happy that you don’t happen to care about.
And to all of you out there complaining about there being “too many cute kid pictures?” Please. Your mama probably took pictures of you too. They probably made her happy. And if that doesn't offer you any comfort, there is light at the end of the tunnel:
It’s a little thing called pumpkin spice.
For those of you who need to plan what you're going to be complaining about a month in advance, you’re welcome. And seriously, if you don't like my kid pictures, don't look. It's as simple as that.