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Annoying vs entertaining parents on social media: Elf on the Shelf

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I’m in a punchy mood today. I didn’t get enough sleep, I’m bored because my next workshop isn’t until late January (thus my trip to Paris is much needed), and I’m annoyed I’ve become such a wimp to the cold (my feet are freezing!). So I’ve decided to vent about this new holiday tradition: elf on the shelf. You see I thought this meme that I found somewhere online was great:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.05.56 AM

source: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vpa2h

But you know what I don’t find amusing or entertaining, but really annoying?

This guy:

2012ElfontheShelf-Snowy_id_8503815363_CC_BY_mbaylor_47469309@N00

(from creativecommons by mbaylor)

It’s that time of year again where parents get all crazy with this stupid elf. And to look at it, you might assume that the dinosaurs and the elf on the shelf are the same. But here’s where they differ and why the elf annoys me so much. The dinos are for pure, hilarious imagination. No agenda behind them, anyone could do something similar with the toys their kids already have, and it was an idea that came about organically, how fun!

The elf? He’s a “thing”. Parents seem to try to out-do each other with it. You have to buy this specific elf with his specific book and then the kicker? The creep factor of this snitchy little elf,  from the website:

The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists.

While some of the things people have done with this elf have been amusing in a less G-rated way:

BirthControlElf

(my favorite from this contest at babyrabies.com)

The majority of the instagram photos I see are mundane and seemingly pointless, and a lot of people aren’t okay with just posting one photo. Nope the elf has taken over facebook and instagram feeds, parents almost getting “caught”, kids observing the elf, wideshots and close-ups of the naughty bugger. Ugh. I think that parents have gotten into this trend mainly to post to social media about how “original” they are. Its become less of a game with their kid and more of another “look at me” attempt. I’m not a parent, so maybe this is just lost on me.

Any thoughts on elf on the shelf? Have you heard of it?

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