TMI? » Teeny Manolo


By Glinda


There has long been a debate in the blogosphere and the writing world thanks to the likes of Ayelet Waldman that moms these days are just a bit too blabby for their own good.

In the case of Waldman, (who just so happens to be married to Pulitzer-prize winner Michael Chabon and has a new book out) possibly extremely embarassing details of her young son’s life have been read by millions and millions of people. Without his consent, as you know, he’s six or something. Also, very personal feelings that she has toward her children and parenting in general, some of which, despite their honesty, may be a painful read for her kids in later years.

There are also thousands of moms on the internets who do exactly the same thing. Posting highly personal and embarassing things about their kids. Oh sure, it’s cute when your kid eats his own poop, (uh, maybe) but will he truly appreciate your candor when his buddies find that blog entry ten years from now? Or perhaps in this age of MySpace, pretty much nothing is embarassing any more.

I don’t have a problem with telling the truth about motherhood and kids. It’s not always easy, it’s often cute, and sometimes mildly infuriating. But just because parents nowadays have the ability to publicly write about the trials of their daily lives, including the actions of their kids, should they? It might feel cathartic at the time, but is it really in the best interests of the children? Do total strangers need to know all about you?

Criticism on this topic abounds, with much of the vitriol directed toward the most successful writers and mommybloggers, such as Ayelet and Heather Armstrong.

But I think this speaks to something larger in our society. We want DETAILS, people! We want to know all the juicy facts about a person and their family, so that we can live vicariously through them. REAL names, REAL places of residence, we want it all! I’ve noticed that some of the biggest bloggers are the ones that lay it all out there. And I mean ALL.

In the meantime, I’ll toddle around my own corner of the internets, content with cute pseudonyms and perhaps not quite all the facts, ma’am.

One Response to “TMI?”

  1. raincoaster Says:

    I just led a talk at Mental Health Camp on anonymity and pseudonymity online, and it discussed many of these issues. It KILLS me how many people on Twitter use pictures of their children as avatars, so nobody recognizes them. But, hello? They now recognize your children. Smart? I think not.

    It’s particularly offensive when someone uses an online handle for themselves, but uses other people’s real names; when it comes to children, they are not in a position to say, “well, I knew she was a blogger so I was fair game when I decided to go hang out over at her house.”

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