Why I Stopped Mommy Blogging

by - August 06, 2019

why i stopped mommy blogging - parental oversharing

It's been such a long time since I last wrote on my blog, and for a few good reasons.

Let me first tell you that I was working on my master's thesis about mommy blogging and the risks it poses to the privacy of our kids—and I unearthed a lot of valuable yet scary data that prompted me to forego mommy blogging.

Here are the hard facts about mommy blogging (specifically, parental oversharing) and how it made me rethink my blogging practices:

Children's embarrassment and online harassment

Several long-time mommy bloggers have reported that their blogging practices have not only disrupted and harmed their lives, they have also shared that their children's privacy have been compromised in some ways.

At some point, our kids will ask for privacy, especially when they start school. 

Christie Tate, an American blogger, claimed that her nine-year-old asked her to stop blogging about her because she felt embarrassed to see numerous photos and articles about her posted online. 

Heather Armstrong, author of the pioneering US mommy blog Dooce, also related that her daughter felt uncomfortable with one of her mom's blog posts beginning in the third or fourth grade.

Even worse was a mother who shared a supposed to be harmless photo of her twins potty training. Next thing she knew, she discovered that her daughters' photo was reposted on a website for pedophiles, and it was manipulated to something she deemed "twisted." Imagine the horror!

Katie Joy, another mommy blogger, also shared that people have been bullying and harassing her online. Her social media accounts got reported and taken down, and she even had to change her phone number thrice because of incessant phone calls from stalkers! Just think how this could happen if it was your child who was the target of this kind of treatment.

Stranger danger

Adding to the last anecdote about online harassment and bullying, children of otherwise popular mommy bloggers could be in danger outside of the realm of the internet.

One mother shared that complete strangers would approach her son and knew him by name, because they claimed to have recognized him from her articles. Although her young son was unfazed by this, think of how this scenario could turn for the worst if a stranger with malicious intent approached your child.

For older children, they can start questioning why random strangers would recognize them. Darlene Cunha, a mommy blogger, felt the need to quit mommy blogging for the sake of her children, not really because of stranger danger, but because her kids have felt way too comfortable in the limelight. She fears that their complete trust in the internet could bring them harm in the future—and the internet is such a dark place to tread on.

Our children's digital footprint in the future

Another thing to consider is our children's dignity and sense of control as they grow up.

Today, children can have a digital footprint way before they are born: birth announcements, photos of their ultrasound, etc. Although harmless at the moment, the more their digital footprint builds up, the more difficult it is to track and control in the future.

Parental oversharing takes away our children's ability to take control of their digital footprint should they wish to do so when they're older.

More alarming is that hackers, data brokers, surveillance authorities, and other third parties could easily misuse and collect these information, both legally and illegally, to harm children’s privacy and online security in ways we cannot imagine.

The web never forgets

This one is what made me really backtrack on my blogging: the web never forgets. Ever.

An online content, once indexed by web crawlers, can be difficult to delete from search engine results even after the original web page has already been removed. A single web page can also be duplicated multiple times on the Internet through caching and cookie syncing, and can be retrieved through archiving websites such as WayBack Machine and WebCite.

Even on social media sites like Facebook that provides you "complete control" over your data, this isn't an assurance. Whatever you post there, whether it's hidden from the public or deleted in the future, can stay in their records indefinitely. Which is why I never created a Facebook or Instagram account for my toddler.

It stands to reason, then, that disclosure of a child’s personal information online beginning at an early age has the potential to last a lifetime.

What can I do now?

My daughter is still young, and I've taken measures to be mindful of what I post about her on social media and on my blog. Misis Blog may be a "mommy blog" for all intents and purposes, but I will be steering clear from sharing personal details about our lives, and especially about my daughter. 

I will stop mommy blogging, or parental oversharing, but it doesn't mean I will stop blogging altogether.

Besides, I'm still paying for this domain hehe!

As for my thesis, it's been put on hold for now. (Hello, motherhood!).

How about you, what are your thoughts on this?


You May Also Like

0 comments