A Social Media Parable

Last Saturday, we had a wild night planned. I dropped Kate off at a birthday party, and since we had some time to kill before picking her up and getting crazy at the local corn maze, Andy, Sam and I went grab some dinner.

We have loads of dining options in our little town (I mean, at least three. Four if you count McDonald’s.), but since bar food is my favorite cuisine, we went here:


As you’ll note in the picture above, Laff’s has two doors. The one on the left has a sign on the door that says “21 & over only.” The door on the right says “Family dining entrance.” We had forgotten Sam’s fake ID at home, so we just kept things simple and went in on the family side.

I was fiddling around on my phone while we waited. I “checked in” at Laff’s on facebook and uploaded a cute picture of Sam with the caption “You’ve got a baby. In a bar.” Quoting the old movie “Sweet Home Alabama.”

It was then I made my fatal mistake – instead of uploading the picture to my wall as I had intended, I posted it on the wall of a group about our hometown. Facebook mobile didn’t give me the option to delete it, so I commented on the photo admitting my error and apologizing. I posted the picture on my wall as I had intended, and forgot all about it.

Then, all hell broke loose.

By the time I checked FB again the following morning, my accidental posting had elicited all sorts of responses – everything from “That’s funny” to “we dont want to know about your baby in a bar, isnt that against the law??? Or do you want to portray children in bars, thats just shows you how twisted you are.” (Note: the grammar abuse is not my own.)

I was even reported to Facebook for this atrocity. (So far I haven’t gotten a call from Mark Zuckerberg chewing me out, but I’m still holding out hope that he’ll be in touch.)

And it just went on from there.

It was utterly ridiculous. I mean, am I the type of person who would take my three year old there late at night, prop him up on a bar stool and put beer in his sippy cup? NO. Am I the type of person who would go there on St. Patrick’s day and purposefully write in the wrong winning teams on the March Madness bracket hanging on the wall only to find out too late that it was not a dry erase marker but a Sharpie? Maybe. But that is neither here nor there.

Here is the point of my story – the lesson we can all learn from this random and odd occurrence.

Though there were a couple (very vocal) conscientious objectors, the vast majority of people who responded did so in my defense. A few of them I knew – a childhood friend of my mom’s and my third grade teacher, among others – but for the most part, I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me, but they still spoke out on the side of justice common sense.

That’s the thing about social media. When you put stuff out there – about your business or your beliefs or your preschooler’s alcoholic tendencies – you’re opening yourself up to criticism. In a lot of cases, the fear of a potential negative response prevents people from entering this space at all. And that’s a shame. Because the beautiful thing is that when complete insanity that does happen, others are there to add their two cents. I actually came out of this situation in which I was being flamed feeling great, because so many others had a sense of humor my back.

It’s like Sam says – the good guys always win.

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10 Replies to “A Social Media Parable”

  1. I keep going back and checking the remembering germantown page just to follow the controversy. It is hilarious to me. As someone who has been well and good flamed before, I’m glad so many people stuck up for you!

    Funny Story: When it was just a bar, I once told Grandma Brads that I wanted waffle fries like they have at Laff’s for dinner. At the time the shock on her face didn’t make much sense to me, being 5.

  2. so let’s recap…you didn’t bother to teach sam his letters and numbers and then you take him to this den of iniquity so you can have some waffle fries? hang your head in shame, burns.

  3. Em, thanks for the link! Yesterday was one of my top three biggest days for views thanks to the controversy!

    Your prowess at Motherhood and Parenting has fueled my fame!

    As to Mac, Grandma was wondering if it was “take out” or if UKNOWWHO took you in!

    As to pre-school home numbers/letters learning…my school taxes are so high, if I had kids now, I’d make them potty train the little munchkins too!


  4. As it so happens, alcohol will take sharpie off a dry erase board, which there would have been plenty of at Laff’s, had Sammy not drank it all. Too bad!

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