As 26-year-old Seth Martin idly scrolled through his Facebook newsfeed during a moment of procrastination at work last Friday, he saw something frightening enough to elicit a gasp that could be heard throughout the surrounding cubicles. It wasn’t a hideous selfie or an especially scandalous piece of news, but rather a picture of what Martin was sure was hands down the ugliest baby he had ever laid eyes on. And it wasn’t just any random child from one of his 1,157 “friends”, it was his cousin Stacy’s firstborn son, Kiefer. “Picture the scariest looking cast member of American Horror Story: Freakshow, put their face on a baby’s body, and you kind of get the idea,” he replied when asked to describe his new first cousin, once-removed.
The young medical records assistant expressed great dismay for his decision to even open up Facebook, “I mean, I hadn’t gone on in weeks or posted anything since, like Christmas. I was thinking of just deleting the damn thing cause all I ever see these days are complaints about the weather, stupid memes and political rants from people I hated in high school. And I can kind of stomach those things, but this…this is a whole new level of vomit-inducing.”
To make matters worse, Martin accidentally clicked “like” below the photo, blaming it on a moment of absent-mindedness. “I don’t know, I was just distracted or something. Or I did it out of habit. I didn’t really mean to “like” it,” he said. And perhaps out of familial obligation or guilt for not having congratulated his cousin earlier on this momentous event in her life, he then proceeded to comment on the photo, writing something about how “adorable” little Kiefer is and how he “can’t wait to meet him.” “Those things couldn’t be further from the truth. Good thing Stacy lives on the opposite coast and my mom and aunt don’t really get along. I hope to God I never have to lay eyes on that hideous thing. I don’t know how I’d react,” Martin said, shaking his head.
The last time Martin recalls seeing Stacy was at their grandfather’s funeral, six years ago, when they were both sophomores in college. Because they were never close as children and hadn’t really spoken since a rather disastrous family reunion in 2004, they exchanged condolences and a few awkward words, and that was the extent of their interaction. “I’m pretty sure the next time I see her will probably be when Grandma dies, which I’m sure won’t be for a while, and by that point, maybe Kiefer will have outgrown his ugliness?” he said with just a touch of skepticism.
Until then, Martin has decided to deactivate his Facebook page; he has decided to stick with Twitter as his singular social media platform because he knows none of his family members have accounts, at least for now. “Dealing with annoying comments from my mom and getting millions of invitations to events I never want to go to was one thing, but dealing with the possibility of ugly babies haunting my dreams is where I draw the line,” Martin said as he live tweeted a co-worker’s comical struggle with the copy machine.