I’m noticing a weird trend on Facebook lately. At least, I think it’s weird. Maybe it’s just because my kids are older. It’s hard to be sure. But more and more over the last year or so, I’m seeing parents make fan pages for their kids.
In 2020, maybe because of COVID, this seems to have taken off. If a kid has a favourite sport or hobby, something they spend a lot of time doing, then apparently there needs to be a fan page.
This is done, clearly, because we all want to follow the primary hobby of every kid of every adult we know.
Or maybe it’s so that there will be a specific record of the early days of a future world class tennis player, golfer, painter, pianist, or whatever.
Probably, it’s both.
And I don’t really get it.
Yes, my kids are older, with the youngest approaching legal adulthood, but I don’t understand this parental quest for childhood micro-celebrity, often before the kids are even into double digits in age.
I love my kids. They are amazing and incredible individuals. But you’ll notice I don’t post a whole lot about them and I never have. I don’t want to feed them into the machine that puts value on what people do by counting likes and reactions on social media posts. If one of them wants to be famous for something, I’ll do whatever I can to promote and help them. The same is true if they want to start a business or a charity or play a sport or have an artistic career.
I want them to succeed. More importantly, I want them to find things that they love to do and to feel good and right about doing, regardless of social media thumbs up.
Because, when it comes down to it, that kind of validation is mostly transient and irrelevant. How many likes you get on a post is essentially meaningless. Yes, they’re nice. Yes, sometimes they’re an indicator of whether or not your message, if you have one is reaching anyone. Sometimes they’re even a guide as to conversations you could be having. But they’re not really validation of anything by themselves.
I like people to post what their kids are up to now and again. It’s nice to be able to see if they’re having a good childhood even in the midst of the global semi-apocalypse we’ve got going on. But I honestly don’t see the need for a parent-generated fan page for any one kid and their favourite activity unless it’s a private one for family and really close friends. Even then, is that really what’s needed? Post a picture now and then.
But I’m getting a couple of invites per month. And sometimes those are repeat invites, which means the parent is just sending that invite to everyone on their Facebook friends list who hasn’t already liked the page. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to get me interested in what their kid is doing if I’m not already at least peripherally part of their life.
You love your kids and are proud of them. I get it. I feel the same way about mine. We’re both right. But not necessarily for each other.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by