Mommy blogs started out innocently enough, with mothers all over the world taking to the internet to share the ups and downs of their journey and the helpful tips they learned along the way. However, as their followings grew and influencer culture rolled in, these parents were suddenly gazing down the camera at an audience of millions. This brought with it a host of troubling trends, and since it’s all so new, the world is still catching up, and few if any of these problems are being adequately addressed.
If you follow any mom-fluencers, keep an eye out for the issues below:
1. Harmful “breast is best” rhetoric
If you aren’t able to breastfeed, there are other ways to nurture your child, including milk banks and baby formula for newborns right through to toddlers. However, if you follow some of the most popular mom-fluencers, your decision to opt for bottle feeding may come with lashings of shame and an unshakeable sense of inadequacy.
The scariest part of this is that most of these influencers aren’t actively shaming others for their decisions. However, when they say that they would never feed their child anything other than breast milk and express unqualified opinions, they can do real damage to the psyches of new mothers.
2. Overexposing kids
Remember when embarrassing baby photos were only pulled out at 21st birthday parties? Those days are long gone. In the age of the mommy blogger and Instagram influencer, the lives of children are documented online for the world to see. The problem is, they are too young to give their consent. Influencer culture is still too young for us to be able to gauge the long-term impact of this trend, but it’s easy to imagine that the children of influencers may have some difficulties as they discover just how exposed they’ve been to strangers on the internet.
3. Putting children in danger
Overexposure is bound to be psychologically damaging for kids, but there’s an even more insidious threat lurking online. Once their pictures have been posted, influencers have little to no control over what happens to those images. Even images with download protection can be screenshotted. Worse still, many influencers are careless about what’s in the background of their images, making it possible for fans, stalkers, and predators to find them in real life.
It’s shocking that social media has driven people to be so thoughtless about taking chances with the safety of their children.
4. Attracting haters
Mom-fluencers are particularly prone to the wrath of haters, with people leaping to condemn their choices. These mothers face speculation that they’re getting botox while pregnant, accusations of poor parenting, and astonishingly detailed dissections of every post they make and Insta story they share. This scrutiny is forever archived in their DMs and in the annals of the internet.
5. The loss of the present moment
Whether you’re the influencer wrapped up in creating content or the audience member consuming it, the endless stream of updates can easily suck you out of the present moment. As mom-fluencers model a style of parenting where the phone is always in-hand, the idea of “living for the ‘gram” is normalized to a potentially harmful degree.
While there certainly are benefits to sharing the path of parenthood with others who are going through the same things, there’s no escaping the fact that influencer culture brings with it a deluge of troubling issues. Hopefully, by shedding light on the five problems above, we can begin to work towards solutions that allow the benefits of the mommy blogosphere to shine through.