Jan 8 2014
“Let’s start 2014 with happiness. If you ‘like’ this, I’ll write something that I find beautiful about you!”
I saw a status message in this vein on a friend’s Facebook page. I clicked “like”–more to convey that I “liked” that she was doing such a nice thing, rather than “like” as in, “Send me a compliment ASAP.”
Perhaps fortunately, Facebook’s “likes” are not so nuanced. So I got a compliment from her. It made me feel warm, fuzzy, and appreciated. And so I decided, you know what? I’ll do this too.
I posted this as my status message. The “likes” started pouring in. And whether they “liked” it because of my intention or because they wanted to see what I’d say about them, I decided I was going to write something for each one of them.
I won’t lie–it was time-consuming. I wrote on my phone with one finger as I put my 14-month-old down for her nap. I wrote between dot painting projects with my 2-year-old. I wrote in the glider, the baby asleep on my lap. I wrote in the carpool pickup line (car in park, don’t worry). Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 11 2013
Yesterday we helped NPR’s Planet Money on its search to find a cartoon-themed bat mitzvah t-shirt that turned up in a bin of donated clothes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Once he saw our post about it, Adam Soclof at the JTA went on a hunt for the namesake of this amazing shirt from 1993.
Somehow he ended up finding Rachel Aaronson (maiden name Williams, whose name was sewn into the tee thanks to Jewish summer camp) on Facebook, which led him to interview Rachel and identify Jennifer Slaim–the bat mitzvah girl–who he also interviewed on this bat mitzvah tee fiasco. Check out the interview to learn more about Jennifer’s Betty Boop obsession, her thoughts on her bat mitzvah tee winding up in Israel, and an amazing video of her daughter dancing to MC Hammer. Mmm-hmmm.
UPDATE: NPR got in touch with Jennifer and Rachel and posted this update, including an amazing picture of the two wearing the bat mitzvah t-shirt at the bat mitzvah. The story will be airing on All Things Considered tonight.
Well, folks, never underestimate the power of Facebook and Jewish geography. And keep donating your old tee’s to those in need–you never know when a story could unfold.
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Nov 6 2013
It took me a long time to admit it, but I’m the person everyone has been talking about. I’m the person who uses Facebook as a world-wide picture sharing site, a 21st century baby brag book. It’s me; I’ve “ruined” Facebook for the cool kids.
I wasn’t always this type of person. In fact, before I turned into me, I used to hate people like me. You know the people I’m talking about: the kind of people who post funny things their kids say (or things they think are funny), share anecdotes from playdates, or statistics from doctors’ visits; the kind of people who (gasp) use their kids as their profile picture. You’re not your child, I would silently fume as I would see yet another one of my friends fall victim to the rampant child-picture-appropriation on Facebook. Your child is not your identity! Your role as a parent doesn’t solely define you! I would swear that I would be different–I would still be ME (as signified by the oh-so-telling Facebook Profile Picture). And yet, as soon as my baby was born and was big enough to wear a hat with ears–bam, he was my profile picture. I mean, come on, how could I resist? He was wearing a hat. With ears!
So how, after consciously trying not to, did I turn into this person? Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 28 2013
Monday’s post from Sarah Tuttle-Singer, “We Need to Quit Telling Lies on Facebook,” has officially gone viral. With 76,000 Facebook likes (ironic?) and 5o0 comments and counting, it’s been a thrill to see so many people relate to this post about the realities of parenting. We asked readers to send in their own pictures and stories for our #NoMoreFakebook campaign, and below you’ll find them. It’s not all pretty, and it’s certainly not all ideal, but it’s all very real. Share your own #NoMoreFakebook stories on our Facebook wall or on Twitter and join the phenomenon!
Blair Young: Nourishing our toddler with cheese steaks and mayonnaise. She also tasted red dye #3 well before turning 2:
Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 25 2013
So, according to Facebook, this is how I spent my Saturday with the kids:
My children and I woke up with the sun, smiling and ready to kick ass and “make it a great day.”
My hair was shiny. My smile, too.
We drank our morning drinks in latte cups–frothy foam mustaches lacing our lips.
We played backgammon, our skin mottled by drops of shade in the morning light. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 4 2013
Yes, I talk about my kids on Facebook, and occasionally may brag about them. Deal with it.
No one should have to, though, according to many, most recently Bruce Feiler at the New York Times who recently wrote, “What subject could possibly be so clear-cut it has elicited once-in-a-generation unanimity? That parents should stop bragging about their children.”
Well, consider that unanimity destroyed. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 26 2012
I am that mom.
If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog, you know the kind of mom I’m talking about. The one whose posts constantly contain some halfway funny anecdote about her children. Whose photo albums are so filled up with pictures of a day-by-day documentation of their little ones that you have to scroll through 100 different images of Junior covered in food to find one of her. Status updates, links to news stories, pictures of messy faces, smiling faces, crying faces, all of it stares out at you from your newsfeed as one giant example of what is annoying and over the top.
Yep. That’s me. Annoying and over the top. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 18 2012
I have lost a couple of friends over my conversion to Judaism.
At least, it seems to be the reason after I mentioned in passing that my husband and I were going to start conversion classes. The next thing I know, none of my repeated phone calls get returned and they are no longer my friends on Facebook. No other reason could possibly make sense, because we hadn’t had a fight or falling out.
The other most common reaction when people learn I’m converting to Judaism is to invite me to a Christian bible study. Now, this reaction may be more common here in the Bible Belt, but it still strikes me as odd. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 29 2012
We truly are an entitlement-driven culture.
I’m not talking about welfare or tax breaks–I’m talking about people feeling entitled to KNOW things they have no business knowing. I could blame it on the internet, or too much information, or Facebook for encouraging over-sharing. Truthfully, though, this sort of butting in happened waaaay before the internet age made everyone experts on any number of things, including medicine, politics, and entertainment. My favorite examples, though, involve knowing (and judging) someone else’s childbearing decisions. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 5 2012
Two of Alina's kids (on the outside) with a friend in the middle.
I really enjoyed (and appreciated) Erika K. Davis’ piece: Do You Talk to Your Kids About Race.
I was all set to answer her question with delightful and pithy anecdotes about how we do things in our interracial, interfaith and intercultural household (dad: African-American, mom: Soviet-born Jew, three kids: all of the above), when my eyes fell on some of the comments both on the original article, and the Kveller Facebook page:
I am not sure that it’s necessary to have a specific talk about race unless your child brings it up or encounters or observes some type of racist behavior….
Yes, but not unless it brings itself up naturally. There’s no reason to address it otherwise…
It should be a non-conversation….
Kids don’t notice it until you tell them about it…
First of all, the latter comment is blatantly untrue. Read the rest of this entry →