ARTICLE: The Shaming of Izzy Laxamana

I haven’t touched on it a lot here, but you may have figured out that I don’t post a lot of photos of Chick. This is true of my anonymous blog, but also on my personal social media accounts. There are a ton of reasons for this, which would make a great post but… well, the holiday season is busting my ass right now, and I hardly have time or energy to put on socks in the morning.

In summary, Mr. O and I have decided that we want to honor Chick’s privacy. He may love having his photo all over the interwebs. He may be intensely private. He is currently 5 months old, so all we know for certain is that he likes chewing on his hands. As who he is becomes more clear, maybe we’ll revise this policy.

We arrived at this decision after a lot of discussion about the role Mr. O and I want social technologies to play in our lives– how we use it ourselves, how we want to use it as a family. This is is where we landed, and it seems to work for us. I don’t think people who post pics of their kids are terrible humans. It works for them, so go forth and post. To each their own, and all that.

Anyway, while I was trolling my Facebook feed I came across this article about how parents are using social media tools in disciplining their children. The story the article starts with is pretty well known, but I think the writer does a great job of connecting this to a larger historical arch of the role of public shaming throughout history. Communities have always sought to punish people and behaviors that fall outside what has been agreed on as “acceptable.” These tools just amplify our impulses, albeit to an extreme.

Of course, there is a huge difference between posting video of your child’s first steps and video of their biggest failures. I don’t mean to conflate the two. Still, as I sort out what kind of parent I want to be, I thought this was a really interesting take on how our parenting happens within the context of a community, be it IRL or virtual.

ARTICLE: The Shaming of Izzy Laxamana




  1. My Perfect Breakdown · December 18, 2015

    I think figuring out what works best for you and your family when it comes to social media is critical. And, I think it’s very wise to realize that the decisions you make today will impact your child as they grow up.
    As you say, people who choose to share are not horrible people, but I know I would have been mortified if my parents shared my photos, good or bad, with the entire world. And so we will likely be very limited when it comes to sharing on social media. All that said, it’s pretty easy for us to limit what we share since neither of us are on Facebook and my blog is anonymous. 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · December 21, 2015

      Not on FB? You smart lady. I have times (like now) when I have to go on an FB break. Usually it starts because I’m feeling glum about how “terrible” my life is over something tiny and idiotic. I go on an FB break, and within a week or so I feel back to normal.

      Social media put the massive in mass communication. So I see the appeal. It also just doesn’t feel right to me, and for me. I do think it’s interesting how easily these tools (including the addition of cameras in our pockets) have been adopted for the best and worst of ourselves, though. People make a big deal about how teenagers are too prone to post things that might be embarrassing or damaging later. I think parents also need to check themselves too.

  2. thebarrenlibrarian · December 19, 2015

    I’ve struggled with this issue quite a bit. What I arrived at was that any blog posts with pictures become private after a few days. Facebook is hard because it’s how my husbands family gets to see her, so I’ve locked down my page pretty tightly and I made a group where I can post a bunch then just do a few here and there on my own page.

    I hate the idea of shaming a child through the Internet. It makes me sick to my stomach. I’m glad you guys decided what works for you.

    • thecommonostrich · December 21, 2015

      I like your rules! And the use of a private group makes a lot of sense too. Seeeee… there are ways to use these tools for good. You’ve given me hope.

      Yeah, this public shaming thing is pretty shocking to me too. I can see how some parents may feel at their wits’ end when they’ve got a problem, but there is something about this that steps over the line. And then there are the people who watch or like or whatever these posts/videos. It speaks to some icky qualities in humans that I really had hoped we were done with.

  3. InfertileGirl · December 19, 2015

    I feel the same as you, not comfortable with my child being all over *my* social media. I’ve never been a huge sharer anyways and although sometimes I’d like to post things because “look how damn cute my kid is”, I refrain. I also remember how annoying it was to be inundated with people’s kids on Facebook while still trying to get pregnant. So the rationale is twofold. Social media is a wiley beast…best not to mess with it.

  4. thecommonostrich · December 21, 2015

    YES! There are moments when I wish I was a poster because holy hot damn, my baby is adorable. In those cases, I just text a photo to my sister or my dad. It gets at the impulse without the broadcast factor.

    And also yes to the whole “not wanting to make other people feel like crap” thing. It’s like a Pavlovian response to cringe every time I see a cute baby photo in my FB feed. I’d hate to think I’m doing that to another person.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s