I don’t want to see your kid’s rash. I don’t want to see their weird lumps and bumps. I don’t want to see their sores, weeping or otherwise. I don’t want to see a possible allergic reaction on their cheeks – or, worse, their bum cheeks.
I am in several Facebook mums’ groups. I love them. They’re fantastic. Hugely supportive to women struggling with self-doubt and loneliness. Funny and helpful.
But being in several Facebook mums’ groups means my daily feed has a good chance of including a poorly taken close-up photo of spots on someone’s child, with a request to identify what these spots may be. Sometimes there’s a disclaimer, like, “I have been to a doctor, but he didn’t seem concerned,” or, “I have rung the GP and made an appointment, but I just thought I’d ask here first.”
Like, they’re not really asking for a diagnosis, but they are.
I have never posted a helpful comment in reply to one of these photos. Why not? Oh, possibly because I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING. And if I had medical training, I wouldn’t be giving my advice away for free to strangers. (Plus, it wouldn’t exactly be very professional. How many doctors do you know that do consultations via Facebook?)
Anyway, what happens if you post a photo of your kid’s spots and nine mums say “heat rash”, three say “allergic reaction”, one says “meningitis” and one says “red texta”? Who do you believe? The answer that comes up most often, or the worst-case scenario?
I’m all for getting a second opinion on medical problems. Of course there're doctors out there who get it wrong. It’s just that I think a second opinion on medical problems should come from another doctor, not a bunch of real estate agents and party planners. (Who are, of course, good-hearted and well-intention-ed people.)
This isn’t my main problem with these kind of photos. My main problem is that they’re gross. I don’t want to be confronted with a close-up of someone else’s child’s diseased skin. I have my own children’s grossness to deal with. It’s more than enough.
I go on Facebook to take a break from that kind of thing. I don’t want to see more of it.
LISTEN: Why Aussies make the best parents, and all the ways we do it better than the Brits. Post continues below.
Baby spam? Fine. Real spam, served up for dinner? Also fine. A child’s skin that resembles a slice of spam? No thanks.
Isn’t there any etiquette about what photos you post on Facebook? Maybe there should be. Because these kind of photos aren’t confined to mums’ groups.
I have friends who post pictures of their broken toes. Do I really need to see a swollen, purple digit when I could just read an amusing description of how my friend injured herself?
If you wouldn’t stick it in my face in real life when we’re at a coffee shop, then don’t stick it in my Facebook feed. Please.
Have you ever posted a photo of your child's [insert ailment here]? Tell us below!