This is the Photo that Got me Banned from Facebook
My day started beautifully. I packed up some lunch and some snacks in my new little cooler pack, feeling so good that I had my stuff together before the littles woke up. We had a play date at the river to prepare for that morning, and it was a BIG DEAL. This was a first for us in this new city. We just moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico a few months ago and we are new to the mountains, new to this park by the river, new to his particular homeschool group. It was a great big adventure for us.
I woke the boys up and they excitedly put on their bathing suits and smiles. Julien had been telling me he wanted to make new friends, and I was excited to give him a positive environment to do so. Children and families who also love nature? Yes, please. Let's be BFF's now.
We pulled up our minivan to the curb and parked, pulling all our crap out into the street. I chuckled to myself as I thought of a minivan I had saw earlier that week with a bumper sticker that said, "I used to be cool." Then we walked through a playground area where I had to herd the boys away from a drainage ditch and reassure them that it was NOT the river we had come to play in. We finally made our way down the path and to the meet up. The sun was shining, the river was flowing, it was a beautiful day.
Besides a few total freak out moments over the "strong" current, and one of my kids bravely getting to an island across the tiny rapids that he wasn't sure how to get back from, I found myself really relaxing and enjoying the laughter of all the kids on the sandy riverside beach. I admired all the families relaxed and cool demeanor as their kids floated through the currents and played with the sand. I applauded my middle son at his rock stacking skills. I captured some amazing moments of my free spirited son, Gabriel, climbing on to a lone log and showing off his newest walking stick. We ate lunch, took some group pictures, and then packed up to head home.
After some wining and complaining from the kids on the way home, and some serious sun exposure that morning, I thought it was time for a nap. So I blissfully snoozed for about an hour until one of my son's friends called on the phone to ask if he could come over.
I was still kind of groggy headed, but excited about the morning's activities, so after the phone call ended I decided to share the photos to facebook. And then it happened, the flag went up and I was put in "facebook jail" for the next week because I was now a repeat offender. "Of what?" you ask! Of posting a photo of my long haired SON in his bathing suit.
Facebook has started a new innovative to protect children, which I totally get. BUT they are using AI and the system is flawed, in my opinion. There is no real "review" process. They say there is, but it even tells you that your input will not affect their decision. And there is no direct person to clear up the fact that this is a photo of a young BOY (biologically and in every other sense of the term) in his bathing suit, just like other boys I have seen on Facebook in their bathing suits. He just happens to have long hair.
I have seen many families with long haired boys have the same problem, so I know I am not alone in this. It is maddening to be accused of sexualizing your child, when you are posting that is both innocent and culturally acceptable.
The effects of this ban are that:
- I can not contact one of my clients who is trying to set up a meeting place so she can pick up a painting I made for her family (she does not live in the city, and I don't have her phone number because we have been speaking through messenger).
- I might have to cancel an art class I had coming up because I can not answer messages, and I can not post or reply to comments about it. So people won't know where to go, or what's going on, because they only follow me on Facebook.
- I will not be able to post anything leading up to the "angelversary" of my son Elijah's passing. It is in 3 days, and I am terrified of people forgetting that it is an extremely important date to my family. Please do not forget Elijah. This September 10th marks 4 years of the last day we held in in our arms.
I was extremely pissed at first, but with these sucky situations has also come some wisdom:
-I have put too much stock in Facebook. It basically runs my life.
-I need to start getting people's emails and phone numbers for back up, and finding other ways of communicating with the public...
Why does that seem so hard?
Facebook dominates the world right now! It's where most people get their news, entertainment, socialization, find out events in their area, and share their story. Heck, today I even noticed Facebook has officially launched it's "tinder" like dating option. You don't even have to get another app for that...EVERYTHING IS ON FACEBOOK!!! So is it a necessary evil now?
I'm curios, what do you guys think. Do you NEED facebook to stay relevant and connect to people? Or can I ditch it and still figure my way out in a new city, meet new people, and advertise my events? Leave me you answer in the comments below.
Oh, you want to see the picture that got me banned??? Here it is:
I am such a horrible person... (insert sarcastic smirk here).
Here are some much less offensive pictures from our wild homeschool outing that day (oh the sarcasm):
In conclusion, if you need to contact me don't do it through Facebook, at least for the next 6 days or so... I have a contact form on this webpage you can use here. It is sent to my email, which I check pretty regularly.
Sending you guys all sorts of love. Don't forget to let me know if you think Facebook is a necessary evil or not in this "modern age," in the comment section below.
Artist. Author. Illustrator. Changing the world one act of kindness at a time.
Check out Kelly's AMAZING children's books at: www.kellyairhart.com