We all talk a lot about “oversharenting,” or what to post about our kids on social media, how much info is too much, and whether we might be embarrassing them…one day. Well it turns out these questions apply well beyond potty training photos, as evidenced by one presumably well-meaning mom who tweeted about her son yesterday, starting a massively viral #himtoo meme — and related clapbacks from the social web.
You can imagine just how quickly this went viral.
Reactions ranged from men trying to claim that they’re the real victims in the #metoo movement (don’t get me started) to women standing up against sexual assault (again, sigh), to some truly hilarious parodies.
This is MY son. He singlehandedly runs a small hotel. He’s a homeowner. He knows a boy’s best friend is his mother. He goes a little mad sometimes. He won’t go on solo dates due to the current climate of false accusations by radical anti-shower-stabbing feminists. I VOTE. #HimToo pic.twitter.com/qSYY7Cy46E
— Night of the Living Marble (@living_marble) October 8, 2018
This is my son. He was #1 on the charts. He won’t go on solo dates even though he never gave up, let you down, run around, or deserted you, make you cry, say goodbye, tell a lie nor hurt you #HimToo pic.twitter.com/Q5sMpGIVR3
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) October 8, 2018
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) October 8, 2018
Then, late last night, the last thing I expected to happen, happened:
Her youngest son, Jon Hanson, chimed in with a tweet of his own.
According to several tweets to both friends and strangers, he believes this was a misguided attempt by his mom “trying to get my brother a girlfriend.”
This good-natured man made a lot of us sit up and take note — is this guy for real? Is he punking us? But my Twitter BS meter is fairly sharp, and he seemed like the real deal based on his reactions and responses to friends.
The story took the best possible turn very late last night, when the son in the original tweet, Navy vet Pieter Hanson, started a Twitter account called @thatwaasmymom (OMG dying right here) specifically to “correct the record” and “turn negatives into positives” in the most amazing way possible.
That’s when the Internet fell in love with him.
He didn’t get mad. He didn’t get defensive. He was self-deprecating, charming, and positive, all without (entirely) selling out his mom.
For the hundreds of thousands of women for whom #metoo is not a joke or publicity stunt, and it’s certainly not some “radical feminist” man-hating act of revenge, but a very painful process, Pieter’s genuine alliance and call to believe women meant the world.
But his tweets didn’t stop there.
Note: This is a way better follow-up than “Listen to my Soundcloud.”
Whatever else went wrong in this insane social media tale, Pieter and Jon’s mom raised raised what seems like two terrific men.
(And, dare I say, I don’t think Pieter will have trouble finding dates after this; as for Jon, he’s already engaged.)
Last week we hosted a Twitter social to help combat anti-bullying and discuss good online behavior, and some of the main points we offered included turning negatives into positives, de-escalating confrontation, not responding to trolls, and giving people you disagree with the benefit of the doubt. No one has demonstrated all of these things better than Pieter and Jon — complete with cat photos.
There’s a good and important lesson for us parents here, too — even if you mean well, even if you really really want to fix up your single adult child, let’s think twice about what we say about them on the internet. Especially when they’re probably old enough to find their own dates.