Friday, August 24, 2012

A modest proposal regarding kid pictures on Facebook

Pictures of kids on Facebook, or POKOF, is a national epidemic, costing every American worker an average of several seconds a week of otherwise productive Facebook browsing. Browse any social media outlet and you’ll see the stories of trauma inflicted on innocent observers. According to no less an authority than Mashable, parents of small children are the number one source of annoyance on Facebook. Every day untold scores of childless Facebook users report mild psychological duress after being exposed to dozens of photos of babies who all look the same and are not nearly as special as the children’s parents believe them to be. Fortunately, most of these offenses are quickly reported to the authorities and/or the victims’ Twitter followers, but the problem continues to expand every day.

An innovative tech company recently tried to assist victims of POKOF by introducing UnBaby.Me, a Google Chrome extension that detects pictures of small children in your Facebook feed and replaces the offending images with photos of attractive women, dogs and other infinitely less scarring material. As beneficial as this app is, many Facebook users don’t realize that the social network already features a much more effective tool to end the suffering. Here’s a step by step solution to banish babies, toddlers and other undesirables from your feed.

  1. When a friend posts a kid pic, click on his or her name. This will take you to a profile page. Move quickly, as prolonged exposure to the offending material can have long-term side-effects.
  2. Hover your cursor over the “Friends” box underneath his or her banner photo.
  3. A menu will pop up. Scroll down to the option that reads “Unfriend.” Click it.
  4. Refresh your browser. The kid pictures should be gone, along with all other updates from and Facebook contact with that particular friend.

Some may think it harsh to ban a friend from your feed entirely, but it is a small price to pay for your peace of mind. Your friends are bearing daily witness to one of the most life-changing, awe-inspiring experiences existence has to offer. The care and upbringing of the children in those photos likely occupies 95% of their non-working hours, to the point that their kids are very nearly the only topic about which they can converse with any authority. Their sleep-deprived, monomaniacal thought processes may even assume that sharing an occasional glimpse into the joys and frustrations of their new lives might bring some happiness to their purported friends.

Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. It is your right and responsibility as an internet user to make sure that you are exposed only to images and experiences that are exactly tailored to your own tastes and interests. Remember that your friends’ children are in no way special. Only you are special, and it is your solemn duty to remind the internet of that at each and every opportunity.