First World Problems: Grin (And Bear It) For The Camera


Oct 22, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at contact@theswaddle.com (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: A friend of mine is Instagram-mad. When she’s with me and my 11 month-old daughter, she takes tonnes of pics that end up online. I’m trying to keep photos of my daughter off social media as much as possible. (I don’t post her photo to my own accounts.) I’ve told my friend this, but no change. How do I get her to stop?

Oh, the pressures of being a new parent in 2015. I feel you. But as the mother of a tablet-wielding, app-crazy 9-year-old, I feel like inviting you home, wrapping you in a blanket and giving you some chicken soup for the new mommy soul. Because it’s going to get a lot worse. A lot worse.

Sure, you can set boundaries, watch your offspring like a hawk when they’re online. But at some point, you’re going to have to make your peace with the fact that being afraid of the Internet in this day and age is like being afraid to breathe. So, as annoying as your friend might be (believe me, we all have those blissfully-oblivious-to-the-dangers-of-oversharing types in our lives), I suggest you take this as a type of e-vaccination. It’s not for your baby; it’s for you. Your friend’s posting will immunize you to the effects of parenting in the age of hashtags. In my opinion, every new parent needs such a shot, if he or she is to make it through those turbulent tween years without having a nervous breakdown every night. Because you can stop all your friends from posting pictures of your child online — but seeing your daughter rehearsing her duckface and attempting to take a selfie? There’s no unseeing that.

I’ve decided if it ever comes to that, I’ll just fight fire with fire and threaten to start twerking in front of her friends. So, you see, there’s always a way out. But for now, I suggest you breathe. Or just grab your friend’s phone when she goes to the loo, dump it in the fishtank and tell her the cat did it.

PROBLEM: One of my friends is a know-it-all. She has a pretty superficial understanding of any given topic — from parenting, to nutrition, to current events — but has to share it in-depth and like it’s scientific fact. Do I keep correcting her, or do I just nod and smile?

Hahaha! I had one of those in my life. It used to drive me to the brink of madness in the beginning. But then, I decided this could be a workable relationship. See, I lived in my head a lot and she had a way of talking without pausing for breath (or checking if the other person was really listening). So I decided my time with her was best spent making my mental to-do lists, planning dinner, re-shuffling my schedule for the week, or critically analysing the latest episode of Homeland. You get the drift.

You could keep correcting her, but I don’t see the point ’cause she kind of sounds like Michael Scott to me – “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you’re getting the best possible information.”

You just have to start seeing her as a character in a sitcom. It could turn out to be all the entertainment you need.


Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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