Crossing the Kvelling Line?
Spring is here and that means little league baseball. Seven-year-old Ezra is in the AAA division of the Taney Youth Baseball league. If you are friends with me on social media, you know that I post a lot of Ezra's game highlights.
If I weren't me, and I were friends with me, would I see another Taney Leopards video and think, "Ugh, again with the baseball. We get it. Your son is Mike Schmidt."
Oy. Yep. I totally would.
With all this documenting and posting and like-tallying, how do you know when you are crossing the kvelling line?
I'll tell you when. Tuesday night, the kid had a monster game. I wanted to kvell like a bubbe at a Mah-jongg table.
When I posted my video of Ezra's home run on Instagram, I paused for a moment before hitting "share," thinking, line crosser? Yes, I answered myself, especially considering that this was the second home run and third at bat video I have posted this season.
But I couldn’t help myself. I shared. Because I am proud. Ezra, winning or losing, smiles (with a mouth stuffed with Big League Chew) for the duration of the game. On the pitcher's mound, he beams like he just stepped into the Wonka Factory. I am mystified as to how a person as clumsy and sports-inept as I am could produce a child so deft, so agile. And when I am really proud of my kid, I don’t know about you, but I want to shout from the rooftops and set the PECO Tower pulsating with my news.
Instead, I post.
And to think, just a year ago I was off Facebook entirely. (I still had a profile because I feared if I deleted it I would be simultaneously erased from existence; I just didn't post anything.)
I loathe Facebook. It's a chazzer. It eats all my favorite apps and is always waving that aggressive thumb in my face. That bully of an icon follows me everywhere I go online. "You just bought Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Tablets on Amazon! Share your purchase with your friends on Facebook!" It stalks me even when not at my computer, like when I'm stuck in traffic behind a food truck soliciting "likes." No, King of Falafel. I will not "like" you on Facebook.
But a little over a year ago, I started checking Facebook more frequently because it's the only way my older son's karate teacher communicates with the class. Then I started this blog last summer and used Facebook and Twitter to share my posts. Then I checked in weekly. I started jonesing for likes. Then I became a daily user.
It's a quick luge from there to oversaturating the feed with my kid's baseball highlights. Although I held back from posting any of his spectacular pitching footage, so, you're welcome.
But if I ran into a friend on the street, would I tell them the story of Ezra's home run? Would I describe how he smacked it straight through right field to the fence, how he ran around the bases with an open-mouthed smile, how his friends rushed him after he crossed home plate and how his face radiated unfiltered joy? I mean, in my mind, it was like the last scene of The Natural.
Face to face on the street? It would depend on the friend. As a bonus, I wouldn't have to call them at 20 minute intervals to see if they liked my story.
It's so easy to crow online. I don't know anyone with a social profile who hasn't bragged in some way, be it through kids, concerts, parties, promotions, life events or little league. We all have different thresholds for how much we tolerate. We all have friends whose feeds we unfollow.
But maybe, while I am quitting habits (17 days off the Candy Crush) I should go on a little posting diet. Ezra has a game on Mother's Day. It would be a nice gift to myself and my family to watch the entire six innings without documenting. (But if I don't document, and he hits a grand slam home run, did it happen?)
So if you run into me on the street and want to hear the highlights, just let me know — I'll gleefully share.