Prelude - Mommyblogging; Exploitation or Art?
By audreyh68 on February 27, 2009
For the past several months I have been
fervently working on a piece about "Mommy-Bloggers", (are we all tired
of that title? Or are you still OK with it?), and the assertions that
we exploit our children via either sharing personal stories about
raising our children, (this can include day-to-day antics, habits,
milestones, and just about any other thing you can think of that your
kids do.), and posting photographs of them on our blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and just about any other social media outlet you can think of.
the past few months I've had the privilege of interviewing several
people around the country from organizations including the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Internet Crimes Again Children,
to various psychologists and psychiatrists who deal with sexual
offenders. I'm grateful for the time and information I was granted by
these individuals and will be forever appreciative for the service they
perform in their various lines of work, all in the name of protecting
our most precious assets...our children.
On a lighter note,
I'm also deeply appreciative for the extensive patience extended to me
on behalf of those I've spoken with and interviewed because, in the
interest of full disclosure, investigative journalism was not my major
in college and is definitely not my forte. I was a Broadcast
Journalism major. My experience is that of an on-air disc jockey and I
occasionally submitted pieces where I interviewed the likes of Marilyn
Manson, Rob Zombie, and others like Modest Mouse...not exactly the kind
of material that intellectually challenged me or required me to dig
deep into a subject of great personal relevance. My personal writing
comes from a place of love, humour, and sometimes pain. So to move
into an area where the topic can not only be potentially controversial
as it relates to mommy-bloggers, but often times disturbing in regards
to the things I learned about pedophiles, child pornography and the
exploitation of our youth; I worry that I might not be adequately
qualified, or possess the skills to write about something so
important. However, I am a writer; more than that though, I am a mother and I hope I can do this topic the justice it deserves.
piece would not be complete without the input of the people, the
parents, the writers and bloggers who comprise the community of the
blogosphere. So now I'm reaching out to you.
I want to know your own opinions on this topic. I want to know what
your limits are; the things you will and will not write or post about,
What are your own concerns about images posted of our children and
whether you think it constitutes a risk, and whether you think, down
the line, our children may read our words about raising them - those
shared experiences we can all relate to and commiserate with, and will
it cause them any undue stress, pain, or as some allege, years spent in
a therapists office trying to come to terms with mommy writing about
potty-training difficulties? I used potty training as only one example
but in all honesty, there are myriad things we all write about that some in the blogosphere claim exploits our children either for profit or popularity.
the next two weeks I hope to gain enough feedback from you to fully
round-out this piece and publish it, barring any further disruption of the Maine power grid or TypePad digesting my drafts!
Feel free to leave me your thoughts and opinions in the comment section
of this post, or you can email me at iambarkingmad (at) gmail (dot)
com. I really look forward to your own contribution to this, and your
thoughts on something that is important to us all.
by Melissa Ford
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