When I first found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to jump on Facebook and interact with other expectant mothers, after all I didn’t know anyone who was pregnant and there were only so many times I could tell my husband what size the baby was. By the time it got to the size of a blueberry he had already zoned out, so Facebook groups seemed to be the obvious place to connect with others who would share in my enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before I realised that people are idiots and they give shitty advice.
One of my friends is a registered nutritionist with a legit degree and her advice is based on current, relevant research. She also has a toddler which I believe is the ultimate masters degree when it comes to understanding fussy eaters. Whenever I saw a concerned mum post about something in her realm of expertise, I tagged Sarah in the post so she could comment. So Sarah did the right thing, she gave FREE advice to a concerned parent. The conversation went a little like this:
Concerned mum of a toddler: “Should I do this?”
Registered Nutritionist: “Registered Nutritionist here, this is the current research and advice regarding that.”
Idiot: “That’s not right, I know better. You shouldn’t give that advice. I was introduced to solids too early so I have IBS, allergies and asthma. I did this with my kids and you should do what I say.”
Me: “Well food-issue-Mcgee I really think that your talent in providing up to date accurate information in a mum Facebook group is going to waste. You need to donate your body to science for vigorous testing ASAP as you have found the sole cause of asthma, allergies and IBS. Seriously what were we all thinking listening to experts who say early introduction to food is good when you had all the answers the whole time!? Oh by the way I’m being sarcastic because you are an idiot.”
I didn’t say any of that of course because it’s not OK to attack or bully other mum’s ever. I just had the conversation over and over in my head for over a week until I was satisfied that the idiot had learnt her lesson and would never give shitty advice again.
Well it turns out I was wrong! The idiot was back, this time with even better advice on a comment I made:
Concerned mum of a baby that cries all the time: “Can anyone recommend a Chiropractor?”
Me: “Yes, I had an excellent one in Winthrop, helped us so much, here are the details.”
Idiot: “You don’t need one, they just want to make money off you, my baby cried, it’s normal for babies to cry.”
Also me: “Well It’s-my-baby-she’ll-cry-if-she-wants-to, firstly the question was to recommend a chiropractor, not discredit a whole profession of licensed practitioners. Next time I need a healthcare professional I will call you, god forbid the pharmacist will try to make money off me. I feel so stupid for taking my 3 month old to a chiropractor because he cried all the time. I mean, it worked and we found out he had one leg 2cm longer than the other but what a waste of money. I could have saved a few hundred dollars and let him be one of those kids at school wearing one platform shoe because his legs were uneven.”
I didn’t say anything like that though because again, attacking other mums on Facebook is not OK people. I just fumed in silence while driving to work giving her lots of hand clicks and head snapping but I’m sure she felt that energy, right in her core.
So why does this shitty advice annoy me so much? Surely I should be used to it by now, I mean it is Facebook after all. Well it’s the impact of these ‘experts’ weighing in on the conversations that bothers me. The impact is silence… all it does is stop people who have credible advice or opinions to stop commenting in fear of getting attacked. So please, next time you read a post by a concerned parent wanting valuable advice or opinions, stop giving shitty advice.