Before You Instagram That Mother’s Day Post

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“Before Instagram, your mom was the first person who shared your photos to the world. Happy Mother’s Day.” -Lee Gardens group

In honor of Mother’s Day tomorrow, I’m going to share my thoughts on the Mother’s Day Social Media Phenomena that washes over all platforms (especially Facebook and Instagram) for 24 hours every year.

I was inspired to write this post after stumbling upon this video by “Cracked” which makes fun of the way we praise our mothers on Social Media while simultaneously ignoring them on their special day.

The short video depicts several circumstances where the digital world gets in the way of Mom’s Day. The mothers are trying to spend time with their children who are too busy tweeting about how much they love their mom or aggressively taking Snapchats to commemorate the holiday. One man goes on about how his mom is the reason he is where he is today, so he decided to give back… by posting about it on his blog. A woman says she will post throwbacks of her and her mom all day long “because [she] loves her…and [wants] people to know that.” The irony was too good. I laughed at every scene and until I realized I was laughing because I’ve experienced those situations with my own mom.

 

I love going on Instagram during holidays to see all the cute pictures of my friends’ families. The captions are perfectly sappy and there’s so much love! Until I realize that majority of these moms/other family members have no idea that their child posted about them. It’s hard to collect how I feel about Social Media in this light. While it’s very sweet to see that many people love their moms and families, it can also seem that these posts are insincere. Today many individuals try very hard to create the perfect online identity (myself included). And in trying to look like a good person, it’s critical to showcase the importance of family!!

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A picture I Instagrammed 5 years ago of my mom and I. She probably never saw this!

This year I decided to be less digital since I won’t be with my mom on Mother’s Day for the first time ever. I sent her flowers with a note, which was sort of like an Insta post but cost money and required me to plan a few days in advance. Social Media posts do not mean anything to my parents since they are “too busy to make those dumb accounts” but I definitely know parents who would be upset if they didn’t get a special SM shout-out. There’s infinite family dynamics and very interesting to think about how these play into the intentions behind social posts about loved ones.

One of my favorite examples of how Social Media positively impacted Mother’s Day was a video done by cardstore by American Greetings a couple years ago. The greeting card company created a YouTube video titled the “World’s Toughest Job” that went viral and racked up 25 Million views.

 

The video shows candidates interviewing for a job that has:

  • No breaks
  • No vacation days
  • No weekends
  • Unlimited hours on foot
  • Increased work during the holidays
  • No sleep

Oh, and absolutely no compensation.

The interviewer says that the job is worth it because the “meaningful connections you make and the feeling you get from helping your ‘associates’ is immeasurable.”

It’s then revealed that the position is actually the description of Mothers.

The video was very impactful for it has the interviewees and viewers thinking about how excessively demanding this job is. I know I personally was thinking about how I would never even apply for a position like that… Until I realized it’s exactly what my mom (and dad) do for their four children every single day. I thought that cardstore did a superb job emphasizing how much mothers do in addition to prompting viewers to get their moms cards to say thank you. It’s a win-win situation- the best kind of marketing campaigns.

So this Mother’s Day I challenge #IS6621 to remember their moms in the flesh, too!

Thank for a great semester. I had a great time in this class and learned invaluable information and ways of thinking.

10 comments

  1. Thanks for posting what we are ALL thinking. If you want to make a nice gesture to your loved ones, make sure they can see it. Otherwise, the post isn’t for them, it’s for you! Luckily (or maybe not) both of my parents are VERY active on social media… so they see literally everything I do online. However, I think that when people post throwbacks or heartfelt messages on social media, the true meaning becomes lost. I have for sure fell victim to social media fomo and posted something online in order to make sure people knew I loved my parents. All in all, the true intentions can be blurred in these situations. Great analysis!

  2. Awesome post. For the posting of mothers day online I think an increasing number of parents are getting involved on social media especially as their child is ending college because their kid is of legal drinking age and has a lot less that they feel the need to hide for their parents. So I think if your mom does follow you on social media this is a great gesture on mother’s day as long as you get off the phone/laptop after pushing send. Besides that I agree with what you wrote and I do find it strange that people post things directed at their mother even if their mom is not on social media. Also great video at the end!

  3. Love this post, Kaitlin! Something that we can definitely all relate to. It is interesting to think about how our whole feed is filled with posts about mothers and they don’t all have social media to even see that we post about them. Also a great reminder to be conscious about the amount of time we spend on social media around other people–which has been a benefit of this class for me. Great way to tie up the semester and very timely!

  4. so funny that you comment on all the mothers day posts. Today i was scrolling thru the gram and was amazed by how many people were giving their mom a shout out. Funny thing is the moms probably have no clue! but anyways, i guess that is what makes the internet so fun and exciting. You can show love to your mom or rally a political protest. Crazy stuff.. good luck in the future!

  5. Really liked this post! I find all of the Mother’s Day social media posts from children whose mothers have no clue funny (ones from my sister of our mother included), but this Mother’s Day, I’ve noticed that there are a ton of more moms on Facebook (which honestly didn’t shock me that much) and on Instagram (which did) that I had previously thought! Maybe it’s just me and my friends’ hip moms, but I found that I couldn’t even make that joke anymore. I also loved that video from American Greetings. It’s sweet, accessible to all those kids making mom collages, and highlights (+ corrects) the misconception that motherhood isn’t hard work. Kudos to American Greetings!

  6. Such a relevant, articulate, and thoughtful post. You mentioned a lot of things that I’ve been thinking as I scrolled through social media the past two days. I’m sure your mother was incredibly appreciative of how you chose to recognize her on this special day. It makes me wonder how e-card companies are doing now that people have social media. Frankly, your post is a reminder that what happens in private (or face-to-face) can be so much more meaningful than a shout-out, like, or Facebook post. Nice post and great examples!

  7. yifanhong04233 · ·

    It is so funny that people constantly post photos on Instagram for their moms, who actually don’t know about it. But I can see that Internet is a place where people try to get focus from others instead of really “loving” their mom. But that’s the chrisma of Internet–full of uncertainty and wierdness. Good post, and good luck on your finals.

  8. Do something special ‘about’ your mom. That cracked video was hilarious and the World toughest job video is a classic. These are prime examples of how our generation is just obsessed with documenting things on social media simply to show it to people. Is your mom even on IG or FB or Twitter to see these things. Is this what they want and is this what they will appreciate the most? Social media has taken over holidays with family to the point you cant have someone blow out birthday candles without it being on someones snapstory or have a toast with someone saying wait wait hold the glasses right there so i can take a photo. great post though!

  9. “There’s infinite family dynamics and very interesting to think about how these play into the intentions behind social posts about loved ones.” Great point, and I think this perfectly sums up the craze of posting about your mum on social media. I’m not someone that likes to do it, and I don’t really get why most people do it. I feel like sometimes people are just looking for an excuse to post a picture of themselves, and if their mum happens to be in it, then great! But like you said it all comes down to the family dynamic to dictate whether it is appropriate to post or not. Great post!

  10. It’s funny, because my mom is one of those rare exceptions that is a social media queen! She posts more often on Facebook than I do, is on Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more.. SO, yeah, she’s all about those posts. Regardless, in most cases older people really won’t see posts that have been dedicated to them, and that really is a bummer. I like to imagine that people have the decency to at least call their moms (not just text) and let em know how much they mean to them. Anyway, this post had been hyped up to me on twitter and I can’t say I’m disappointed; thank you for your insights and have a wonderful summer!

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