On Family Blogs (opinion)

On Family Blogs (opinion)

Several months ago, I began developing and writing a thriller about a psychotic mommy blogger. I have been dealing with the subject for quite a while now, as every now and then, I saw a mommy blogger (and daddy blogger!) pop up on my Instagram and I returned the favor and checked out theirs, only to end up bewildered about some of the content that they presented: Some of it as raw as it can be, some of it as fake as it can be, and some healthy in-between, and then a minority who quit it altogether and are now creating awareness of the ups and downs that they were facing as a family blogger.

While I let people live and do whatever they decide to do with their lives, I am still allowed to form an opinion, which has sharpened over several months of research that I have been conducting for my script.

There is a mommy blog, for instance, that I kept re-visiting every now and then for many years, because when I started out as a web designer, I really liked her designs. I re-visited her after about 10 years again, and by now, this blogger has developed so many issues, her once happy family blog not only turned into something else but her narcissism is also shining through every new post in an aggressive manner of “F*ck this sh*t”, “F*ck y’all, cause this is my life”, or openly attacking a woman she stole the husband from; also, after 10 years, her pets began to die. Obviously, her content inevitably had to change over time, as her kids were growing older and becoming more independent, leaving her no other option but to start writing about her (true) self, and some of her readers began questioning her character. Her mask (that was her role of a mother who kind of had it all together) finally began to dissolve so to speak.

Given the example above, what I do not understand about mommy/daddy bloggers are their true intentions at times. While I do understand that their posts, if done respectfully and with good intentions, can help other mommies/daddies to find solutions for raising their children or to connect with others and form a sense of community in an often isolated position, I see the dangers of the pressure involved that inspired me to write a story:

1) The identification with their family or marriage/relationship often comes across as a personal lack of identity (e.g. in Instagram descriptions like “Wife/Husband of…” or “Mom/Dad of…”). Making your children or partner a description or an extension of yourself and, thereby, responsible for your identity, happiness, and success is not only an unhealthy dependence but can also quickly turn into a form of emotional abuse. You are you, and as much as you love your partner and children, they are not you and should not be held responsible to make you you. Who are YOU?

2) The lack of privacy threatens the existence of intimacy, trust, and security in relationships, especially when imposed on innocent children who cannot defend nor protect themselves from the exposure and uncensored content. It can even lead to long-term damage and problems with interpersonal relationships in their adult lives .

3) A major lack of privacy can lead jealous and obsessed followers to stalk and follow bloggers into their physical space, imposing immediate danger to themselves, their children, and other family members.

4) The commercialization of a family (blog) adds pressure to each family member to paint a perfect picture, because only a successful family is a successful business. This sort of enmeshment is a sign of unhealthy boundaries.

5) Bloggers may feel pressured to remain in a toxic relationship/marriage, because a separation/divorce would force them to change their concept or have their business crumble entirely. This way, they can also avoid a loss of identity and the potential shame and feeling of failure involved.

6) The pressure to produce content on a regular basis can quickly turn into compulsiveness and a “fake it ’til you make it”-attitude, putting additional psychological strains onto the blogger and his/her family for the sake of being “productive” or getting “attention”.

7) Children grow older and will leave the house one day. There is no longevity in a mommy/daddy blog, so “What comes next?” is a good question bloggers should ask themselves about the long-term purpose of the blog, especially if it is connected to a business (see example of the woman above).