There was a time when I used to feel outraged by things I saw in the news. Poverty, poor healthcare, lapses in the education system, politicians being their usual wanky selves, you know, the usual shit. I’d get upset about it all, get angry, perhaps have a whine to my partner about what I saw. I no longer have this outrage because I feel that it has been unwittingly outsourced to a special group of people called the Facebook mums.
I’m sure you’ve seen it on your own news feeds. A link to some article which describes Tony Abbott as an arsehole and, despite the post only being minutes old, hundreds of comments in fervent agreement, written with such passion that at times I fear we’re about to have a revolution.
(It has to be said that I don’t want a revolution. I live in a small city with poor transport. That might be a reason for said revolution, but how the hell will I get anywhere if people are out on the streets protesting? It’s bad enough that the eastern side of the city is completely inaccessible to me twice a year with Clipsal 500 and horse trials – I don’t want that to become a permanent thing.)
When Facebook mums get upset about something we all hear about it. Gone are the days of curtain twitching and pram walking to the neighbours for a gossip over coffee, these days any blight is posted online and then instantly shared by that mother’s friends because apparently there’s some unspoken law in the Facebook community that any post where grievances are aired must be shared with the world. Immediately.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy the Facebook mums rants. Like whenever the current ‘it’ pop star does something mildly risqué on television, I get quite excited, looking forward to the avalanche of disgust on Facebook the next day.
My favourite posts are the ones talking about the governments inaction on issues like poverty and public healthcare, coming from those who live quite comfortably and whose babies were born in a plush private suite.
I shouldn’t complain – it was Facebook mums that rallied together in an online campaign to get that sexist arsehole Julien Blanc to leave our shores. That incident alone is proof Facebook mums have power in this country.
I have noticed the dynamic shift from those who are first time mothers. Previous benign ‘this is what’s happening in my life’ posts change to political, revolutionary calls to change the world we live in.
I guess motherhood does that to you. We all go around shrugging our shoulders at what’s happening around us until the day we realise the world we’re creating is what will be left to the child we created to experience. I can see how that would motivate someone to make the call to change. Yet if we can make the change without a revolution, I’d greatly appreciate it.