My Daughter is 19, so she has come of age with the influencer/vlogger generation. There is many a lifestyle personality that my daughter has followed on YouTube, many a live event she has attended and many a book she has bought.

As with all the things, as she has grown up and gone onto face different challenges, so have these vloggers. One vlogger that she followed for a while has recently become a Mother.

Instead of posting pics of how to decorate your first apartment and mall hauls, this vlogger now shows Mommy/baby things. This is a natural move: do you know how much money there is in baby paraphernalia?

Recently this vlogger posted a video of the home made baby food she had made for her child, who was about a year old I think. Along with the comments about how did you make that food, there were also comments of wow- could you feed that baby a little bit more and if you feed the baby that much they are going to become fat because the quantities she showed feeding her child were considered rather large.

So…

Of course we can ask why the vlogger is sharing their life with us at all, but that’s a silly question to pose in 21st century world where people make their living by streaming pretty much everything they do all day. Vlogging your day to day is a thing.

Voyeurs by nature, people subscribe to these channels. GenZ and Millennials are reaching out to one another through social media. The internet is the community rec center, the church basement. the scouts for the new age.

But with the people who find this just plain entertaining, and the people who want to emulate a lifestyle, you also have the people who want to shoot you down.

Along with a tiny bit of voyeurism comes a tiny bit of mean. People can’t help but be mean to one another. For every positive comment this vlogger received was a negative comment. People interfering with what this Mom is doing.

Just because you have a presence on social media, does it mean that others are allowed to attack you?

In the 21st century, is this how we have learned to treat others who are different than ourselves?

In the 21st century is this how we have learned to treat others who do things differently than we do?

Should we ever be attacking anyone’s personal choice as to how and when they feed their child?

Should we ever be Mom shaming?

Fifty, one hundred years from now, what will history have to say about trolling and online shaming?

Is this the best that we can be?

https://anchor.fm/laover50/episodes/Rent-or-Buy-es19vi

95 thoughts on “Mom Shame

  1. I actually talked about this in therapy. How putting yourself out there risks criticism and attacks. I don’t think it is ever right to shame someone for their parenting unless it is neglect and or endangerment. It doesn’t matter if it is real life or social media

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Completely agree. Yes…if there is true harm suspected it’s one thing. But the criticism we give one another on social media? It’s shameless. I know that every post I make is fodder for someone to mock me or worse. How is this a good thing?

      Liked by 4 people

  2. There are very unhappy people out there who try to make themselves feel better by criticizing EVERYTHING. If you’re going to put your life out there on social media, you better be prepared for this and grow some thick skin! I tend to feel sorry for these people, rather than get mad at them. They must have miserable lives.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Because they’re miserable and want to spread it around. Also, I think social media trolling is the least of what we have to worry about insofar as how history will remember this point in time!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Maybe we should pat a little bit less attention to what someone did in the 14th century and spend a little more time thinking what we are doing in the 21st

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I think we should do both. I am a huge history buff, and am fascinated by how people lived, survived and thrived in the past. Also, those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. Most people are too busy being offended or criticizing to care what they’re doing.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Hmmm, first thing that comes to mind is that in future (as you wondered) there will be no need to sort through the world’s garbage (as is common for archeologists in our times) for insights into our way of life…it will all be antiseptically preserved on the internet for millennia! And yet, what of the interpretations extrapolated of such?
    🙂
    Happy Tuesday, LA!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Can’t you just see the future’s equivalent of SNL sorting through our debris saying things like: “This picture of a thumb’s up against the backdrop of a comfy quilt on something called instagram proves these people still sucked their thumbs long into adulthood”
        Or some such thing?!
        🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Or that Instagram and YouTube were temples. Almost every building of ancient times was some sort of a temple because people gathered there in large numbers. So these could be the virtual temples according to future historians

        Liked by 2 people

  4. We are creating our own history, just as those before us have. I feel pretty confident that there was mom shaming throughout history, we simply have the means to make it very public now. Human nature is evolving so very slowly so when future LA’s and Deb’s look back they will likely be pondering these same questions. As to the interpretations, it may be better to let that go and just live your best life now because we can’t control how others will respond.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I suppose that highlights the concept that everyone is fair game anymore and yes, that does say a lot about society in general in a very sad and hurtful way.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Exactly. We’ve torn down statues and stopped publishing books and rewritten history yet we have not learned a thing from our predecessors. This is our legacy.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. And that speaks to the inherent versus learned aspects of being human. I used to love this debate between hard-wired response or learned and internalized behavior. That’s probably why I fell on the sociology side, because I do believe humans have the ability to learn, change, adapt, and become better. The question seems to be do we want to, especially when social norms constantly continue to perpetuate negativity and hate.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I do wonder if there will be a reverse trend at some point and vlogging and influencers will be a thing of the past. People will realize how crass and commercial the world has become and a longing for some privacy will take over. For those who engage in this sort of Uber-exposure of their lives, well they certainly have to know how to deal with the critics (or ignore them). I won’t feel sorry for them, but it is a shame that there are those negative people out there. Always have been, always will be.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. EESH. So this is a big reason I don’t want to publish a book. I am actually going to discuss this in the podcast tomorrow.

    My feelings are mixed. Let’s say you are telling the world (as a vlogger) that “this is the only way to do it”, then yes, be prepared for criticism. But if you are sharing the way you are doing something and saying something like, “everyone is different, and this is just my point of view”, I feel like criticism should be framed differently. That sounds stupid even as I write it. I guess maybe it depends on what is being shared? Does this make sense?

    There are many bloggers/vloggers/influencers (gah, hate that word) who purposely stir the pot to get views. I do not know WHY. That is the last thing I would ever want. Attention and views and vitriol.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Well yeah…publicity is publicity. But if you’re just being real and honest….for people to criticize you is a problem. Yet…it’s done every single day

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I suspect that in 50 to 100 years, mankind will have made life on our planet unlivable for our species, so there will be no history to record our early 21st century foolishness and obsessions. The Earth will be blissfully quiet and none of the remaining creatures will miss us.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. I believe it has to do with hiding behind screens. People feel the freedom to act in ways they never would in person. Whenever I got a nasty comment on one of my SwimSwam articles, I’d take it personally and feel hurt. My son told me to never read the comments. But I could never do that.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Opinion is not done with malicious intent and would imply that you have the right to give an unasked opinion. If you walk down the street and tell someone they are fat, I’ll call it shaming.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This makes sense to me. I’ve been wondering for a long time. It just seems everything is not shaming. I’m also not sure where I am on the question about being an influencer who puts his/herself out there all the time to be viewed. I’ll be thinking about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True. I guess I’m wondering who can ask if you’ve fed your baby too much or too little? For example, “It seems like you’re feeding the baby a lot of food” is different than “You’re feeding your baby so much; s/he’s gonna be fat.” But nowadays, you could say the former and someone will still feel shamed.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know I have gotten unsolicited parenting advice from relatives, people at school and strangers on the street. If I don’t ask for your opinion, i don’t want to get it. If your doctor says it, then you listen

        Liked by 1 person

  9. A prime reason I stay away from social media with the exception of promoting my site. I’ve seen way too many people lose their sensibility inside social media. I’ve not seen too much in the blogosphere, though I know it exists, and I vehemently disagree with these approaches. Shaming and blaming just to do so is mean, and actually says way more about the person doing the shaming and blaming than anyone else. Good question, LA.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I came to learn a while back about trolling. How people go online just to give other people shit, in the guise of offering up a different point of view or opinion. It’s a waste of time, as I’ve also come to learn, to get into a war of words with these people.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I think there are trolls out their who like to cause drama and comment mean things because they are hiding behind a screen. I don’t think it’s ok to shame someone for doing something differently than you unless is is harmful in some way.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Along with most things on social media, commenting has gotten way out of hand. Why do people want to be mean to other people? Does it really make them feel better about themselves? I think we need to get back, as a society, to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You don’t have to be a follower of Jesus to see the value of that. Just be kind. It’s the best thing you can do for others and for yourself.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. You can only use the music if people use Spotify so as I build an audience, I need it to be available everywhere.

        Like

  13. There were times when moms would take it upon themselves to talk about other moms and their choices, but it was confined to a social group now that the groups are bigger everyone can listen in. I am afraid that yes, you can expect when you put your life on view for everyone who has a computer or smartphone that not everyone is going to have only positive comments. Maybe it isn’t right, we should all be supportive, but think about it the other way. Did maybe some people feel that this vlogger was being a bit superior in showing that she makes her own babyfood because she is shaming the people buying it at the store. Either way shaming is not right but it is part of social media.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. LA,
    My therapist once told me that the key to developing thick skin is to repeat this mantra as long as it takes for it to sink in — What people think of me is none of my business. I think in general, this is a pretty good rule of thumb. I’m sure there are some exceptions to this. You do want to listen to people you know and trust from whom you ask advice or opinion. However, if you’re going to seek external validation from strangers and take what they say to heart, you’re just setting yourself up. You’re going to get good and you’re going to get bad. I’ve so been there. Ouch! Mona

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Everyone seeks external validation it seems. But I don’t think people should be so quick to judge…it’s a a slippery slope no matter how you look at it

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I hate any kind of shaming, and think there is no excuse for it. However, being the old coot that I am, I truly don’t understand why anyone would put intimate aspects of their day to day lives online for others to see (and comment on, because we KNOW what human nature is, and how easy it is to tear others down in order to build ourselves up.) I also can’t help but think that there’s something wrong with doing it with a baby or child, because they don’t have the choice in the matter. I know: different generations, different values. But that’s my take on it.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. We are in a world where criticism has become a staple wit of some people;people criticize nowadays without reason,cause and discretion.Social media has augment this routine tendencies.And that is why we should be discreet and shrewd in posting anything online,except you are emotionally strong enough to withstand criticism;because it’s unavoidable.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Part of me believes, nowadays, if you throw it out there for all the world to see and judge, your skin better be thick as gator hide to handle the backlash. I question those who live their life on the Internet and then become offended or hurt by those who express disagreement or criticism. That said, there’s no tolerance for different opinions anymore in our culture and certainly no room for grace or mercy. For people who feel the need to shame and find fault with others, the Internet is the perfect place for those “hit and run” encounters.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s just it: if we put ourselves out there we have to expect critique/criticism. I think if it’s done is a “nice” way it’s fine. It’s when people do it with malicious intent that I have a problem. Why be specifically mean? I just don’t understand

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I was speaking about this with my partner the other day, about trolling in general and being horrid online, I think within the next 10 years we should see a change and people start to be held accountable for horrid comments. That combined with hopefully raising a “kinder” generation . Fingers crossed !!!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I agree with this wholeheartedly. In feel the mom shaming happened far before the advent of online streaming of the day-to-day, though. Whether it was excluding the mom and the park or the stay-at-home-mom vs the working mom “debate”.

    Whatever era, whichever medium it takes, it does boil down to putting others down to make oneself feel superior.

    Seems we haven’t come far from the elementary school yard, no?

    Like

  20. Over the years I have read a lot of blogs. I have avoided telling the writers of fashion blogs that they are facile, I have avoided telling travel writers they are killing the planet with their flying and, only yesterday, I avoided telling someone that their Meghan and Harry themed blog would benefit from an injection of facts and accuracy.

    Sadly, not every reader is as polite as me.

    It would, however, be easier if 90% of blogs, particularly those written by smug, unwrinkled, young people, were banned and WP was left to the wrinkly old cynics who have something decent to say. And you. Because you aren’t old or wrinkled. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Mom shaming has become a thing in this day and time and I whether it wouldn’t be. You are correct, people share there lives on the internet and instead of people appreciating the transparency they bash them. My hope is that in the future there will be no need for this type of shaming.

    Happy Monday! Have a great week!

    Like

  22. I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said, but in my opinion, we should never be shaming other moms for the way they decide to raise their children. Of course, if there’s neglect, then that’s a different story. But if it’s just a difference of opinion on how a child should be raised, I like to go with what my own mother would tell me growing up… “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. This is truly a different world we live in, there is no Emily Post for virtual etiquette, maybe we need to agree and establish “virtual manners” when interacting with each other on-line, it seems to work well, for dinner parties, social interactions, and phone calls? C

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I take some comfort in anything and everything I see anywhere I see it that reinforces what I have told myself, my daughters, my mom and just about anyone else who might listen – the only opinion that matters is your own!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great read! But let’s do remember that we cannot please everyone or even expect them to be as kind like us. So, if someone cannot handle such criticism…it is best to not share everything on social media. At least leave a little bit of privacy in our lives life and only then we would somehow be able to have a peace of mind. 😉❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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