My favourite person on Facebook is a 58-year-old woman we’ll refer to as Nancy. Nancy is the mother of an old college friend. We became friends on Facebook my sophomore year of college, when Facebook opened up its network of users to include those outside the walls of higher education.
It’s been nearly 10 years since Nancy and I became friends, and I look forward to seeing her status updates every day. Why? Because Nancy is a “Facebook Wine Mum.”
OK so, you’re probably wondering, what or who is a Facebook Wine Mum? But you probably already know one! She’s a mum who posts about it “being 5’oclock somewhere!” or “needing an IV of pinot grigio!” She’s the 60-year-old equivalent of a high school junior who had their first box of Franzia in someone’s basement.
The term was first mentioned on Twitter, according to Topsy, by user @capecodkyrakyra on March 24 of this year. But a few weeks earlier, the definition had been added to UrbanDictionary.com as:
Though there is no mention of social media or Facebook in the UrbanDictionary.com defnition, that’s usually where the wine mums unite. And don’t be fooled. Being a Facebook Wine Mum isn’t just about loving alcohol. Facebook Wine Mums can be found posting memes or updates about needing coffee, vacations, weekends, or ice cream.
Sometimes they post about their kids or husbands. Other times they post about wishing their kids or husbands would leave them alone.
And their not just using Facebook — you can find wine mums on Instagram and Pinterest, too.
I find Facebook Wine Mum culture both endearing and entertaining.
The post below, a promo for a floating wine glass that also can be propped up in the sand, was endlessly shared by the mums I am friends with on Facebook. For days. For weeks! The sharing never, ever, ended. Originally posted by a radio station’s page on June 8, the ad haunts me to this day. (Weirdly, radio stations share insane amounts of Facebook Wine Mum content.)
There’s something to be said for this.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey wrote “How Mums Won the Internet,” explaining to us millennial folk that while we might be the most savvy at internetting, we are not the intended audience for the majority of massively viral content ricocheting around the web, coming from sites like Little Things, or Viral Nova, which craft grabby headlines that play into readers’ emotions and get millions of monthly visitors.
“… Moms are both “more clicky” and more eager to share,” Dewey writes, then shares “the words of Viral Nova CEO Sean Beckner: ‘To them, Facebook represents a highly intimate social club, a place to share pictures of your kids and requests for health advice and that video of a puppy sleeping with a baby that almost made you cry.'”
Unlike their children, Facebook Wine Mums (baby boomers) are not in the mindset of developing or curating their internet personas. They are not self-conscious. They, unlike their kids, are not out to convince everyone their life is perfect through a series of carefully crafted filtered photos.
In fact, they unite to revel in the fact that their lives aren’t perfect!
Facebook Wine Mums are the best.
A popular Facebook group “Mums Who Need Wine” has 700,000 fans (a quick search confirmed four of those fans are mums I know, and none of those mums know each other.)
MWNW is a site, a blog that at first glace, looks like it was created to be a community for mums to connect with one another and share (what else) memes. But it’s also a business — partnered with the California Wine Club to provide wine in bulk to its readers for a price club dollar amount.
In 2011, when MWNW had 400,000 fans, The Huffington Post wrote that wine is increasingly being marketed to mums, citing these online communities. Former HuffPo reporter Laura Stampler wrote at the time:
These popular sites serve as a virtual mother’s group where mums with a sense of humour vent about day-to-day parenting issues. One “Mum Who Needs Wine” recently asked the group if she was the only one who had ever served her child Oreos for breakfast. (The Answer? Oreos are a kind-of justifiable food group.) On OMG, one mum declared, “it’s probably going to be a long summer when you look at a bottle of wine & think about making homemade popsicles with it.”
Brian Feldman, writing for The Awl, explains the worst meme the internet has to offer
: The Minion memes. And Tech Insider’s Molly Mulshine took note that there’s no one more obsessed with Minion memes than mums.
But what do their children make of their Facebook Wine Mums? Turns out it has given them something to aspire to.
A quick Twitter search for “Facebook Wine Mum” yields mostly the same kind of tweet:
Can’t wait to be a middle aged mum who drinks wine all the time and shares minion memes on Facebook
— Bethany (@bethanyschagane) July 18, 2015
I can’t wait to be a wine mum who posts all of her kids achievements on Instagram and Facebook
— elizabeth (@e_graveline20) July 23, 2015
Occupation : future white soccer mum who makes terrible jokes on Facebook about wine and chocolate
— JENNY (@nahjenna) July 17, 2015
facebook wine mum posts make me feel so alive
— maddie mueller (@maddieluvstacos) June 14, 2015
For the haters out there, I encourage you to embrace Facebook Wine Mum culture instead of making fun of it.
After all …
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