Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yo, Momma

A twenty-something friend of mine has a blog, which probably comes as no surprise to anyone at all familiar with cyberspace. Her particular blog is about being a new mom. She is not only a good writer, but hilariously funny. She writes about all those embarassing moments the rest of us would rather bury deep in our subconscious and forget forever.

None of this surprises me. What does surprise me is one of the things my friend has written about in several of her recent posts -- the seeming current societal acceptance of public criticism of one's parenting techniques by other parents. And these people are not family members or friends; these are people you meet casually, people you meet in the coffee shop or in the line at the grocery store. These are folks whose names you don't know and who you will most likely never run into again, at least if you change the time of your daily Starbucks run.

I admit, its been many years since I was the parent of a young child, but I do not remember other parents criticizing my parenting skills openly and directly. Perhaps talking to me indirectly (ie, hinting that a different approach might be worth my looking into) or talking to another parent behind my back about my less-than-perfect parenting techniques, but never giving me direct criticism to my face.

Is my memory faulty? Were the parents of my generation just as bad, just as smug, just as arrogant? Perhaps, but I don't recall that the superior knowledge of the all-knowing parents spilled over into bad manners back then. Has the ability to write anything you please in MySpace and Facebook and Blogger spilled over into actual conversation? Have these social networking sites thrown Miss Manners off the island? Has the twenty-something generation ever heard of Miss Manners? If so, do they even care?

Its a Brave New World out there.

1 comment:

  1. I think the difference even between 15 years ago(when I had my first) and today(I have a 7 week old now) is pretty big!
    And I do think that the upsurge of impersonal (and instant)communication has something to do with it. It seems that people now are in too much of a hurry to be polite anymore.
    And at the same time I remember certain passionate people trying to convince me that thier way of doing things was better than mine... I never paid them much attention then or now! I'm comfortable with the way I do things... and don't care if others do it differently. : )