In a perfect storm of posts lately, “mommy blogging” and “attachment parenting” have become the hot topics of conversation. I have not blogged about my own personal stories for some time because I have been focused on helping one of my children through his own “perfect storm” transition in his life. A transition that will not be a part of any of my blog posts. Why? Because it is not related to my social media niche – it is personal.
What has snapped me out of my self imposed personal “opinion” writing seclusion? It seems that while everyone embraces the new world of sharing – many keep forgetting some basic media 101. Media 101 are the rules I use to engage in the social media sharing world. I am not saying I have it down to perfection – but my personal “media” rules do help guide me in this new environment where the lines between news and opinion have blurred. So I thought I would my personal opinion to Time Magazine, Jamie Grumet, Mashable and everyone else that should consider developing their own Media 101 rules.
Media Training 101:
- Dear Time Magazine – While I really appreciate you including me in your 2011 Time Top 140 Twitter Feeds list (seriously – I do appreciate that). And even though you forgot to include me this year (maybe you left my out by accident), I am still a regular reader of Time magazine and have the online site included in my daily RSS feeds. I also understand that journalism is journalism, and while it may seem tempting to be provocative with your cover photo and your headline – I suggest in the future you just pick one and not both. It is kind of like accessorizing with fashion – it you are wearing an over-the-top beaded dress that has bright colors, you need to tone down the accessories to let the dress shine. Of course I think every problem can be solved with a fashion metaphor. Another good tips is not to use the term “mommy enough”. All moms that raise their kids in a loving environment are “mommy enough”. Enough said.
- Dear Jamie Grumet – You should feel proud that you are raising your kids in a loving way. Don’t ever let anyone judge you for that. It is great to see the parent blogging community come out in support as well (including MomsLA). But when you talk to journalists, reporters and those in the news business – realize their job is to be provocative and to start conversations. Sometimes they do that in a way that is detrimental to you and your family. It is not personal – it is just the business. I like to consider what my kids will think when they are older before I pose for public pictures with them. But of course – finding that balance is a moving target as they get older. Currently it seems everything embarrasses my 13 year old. Also, the internet likes to make fun of things in something that is called “Internet meme“, which can be a magnifying force.
- Dear Mashable– You have enough amazing writers that are moms, so when posting about “mommy blogging” please get input from one of them. Also – don’t use the color pink and aprons in infographics talking about moms, that is so 1950’s. From a term standpoint, the appropriate one to use is “parent blogging” because Dads are also a big part of the blogging community. The real story is that parenting is challenging and isolating at times; parents started blogging as a way to share, get information and interact with others. While many parent bloggers have created businesses around their blogging, it started out as a passion and still is so for many others. The parent bloggers that have businesses from their blogging either have a professional background related to their niche or a new found talent that they are taking to the next level.
- Dear blog readers – Please don’t become lemmings and take the bait when journalists become provocative, that is their business (i.e. to get people to read their article!). MommyPsychologist brought up the lemmings concept and I agree. We can’t forget that part of journalism is provoking conversations. I think in situations that are offensive, it is important to state our objections by commenting. Or share your perspective with a blog post that creates the image you want. Sabrina Parsons from Forbes shared her version of an attachment parenting picture: her with her baby in a sling. Most of, don’t buy into the mommy ways – parents need to not judge each other (I agree with Christy Matte on that one). But in many situations, humor is a good way to respond. For example, MamaPop blog did a good job of using “humor” to respond to the Time breastfeeding cover controversy. Humor is also another good way to parent (laughing is good for you!). Update: MamaPop also snagged an interesting interview with Dr. Bill Sears!
While it may seem that I am being a lemming as well to jump into the controversy discussion, I view this as sharing my opinion on media interaction (and throwing in some of my own humor). I did not take the bait, I feel that every mom who raises their kids in a loving environment is enough. I have to admit – the controversy did bring up some amazing blog posts. But when it comes to using humor, Jenny Lawson (a.k.a The Bloggess) is the Queen of finding appropriate respones to outrageous media questions. Next time I will ask her to share her media 101 rules. Or maybe Taxidermy and Media 101 rules.