Slate's family correspondent Emily Bazelon was relieved recently to learn that her 8-year-old son has no hits on Google. Not for lack of trying! She writes about her young son, Eli, occasionally, but obviously she doesn't want her child to be an Internet Persona, Fair Game for bloggers and commenters. But then, she's writing about him in Slate. And her husband's name, which is presumably her son's last name, is readily available on Wikipedia. She's dangerously close to crossing into the territory of the chronic familial oversharers whose crimes against their children she ponders in her essay. Like remember Neal Pollack? "His young son Elijah's bathroom habits are fair game for Pollack's blog, but his son's discovery of his sexuality, Pollack says, is not." Jesus, Neal, you just did it again. Dear internet: blogging about your children is child abuse.
The essay repeats the sad claim that Gawker (via Joshua Stein) attacked a 4-year-old when we professed our annoyance with his father, who turned his real-life son into essentially a shitty character in his alterna-dad narrative. This is what blogging does to your loved ones! They become mere extensions of your online Brand, your crafted persona, as much Fair Game for mockery and abuse as you yourself, because you are using them.
Bazelon worries that in writing (or blogging) about children, mommybloggers and their ilk are creating a nation of oversharers. She even says their children might end up like—horror of horrors—Emily Gould! But this is the problem: we are pretty sure Emily's parents aren't the over-sharing ones? And, in fact, it is the mommybloggers—in the guise of, say, Dooce—who ushered in this terrifying new era of no filters or propriety. Dooce, who became famous for relentllessly writing about herself, her family, and her job. And who even more famously lost that job because of it. She doesn't write about her kids anymore, though, so she's ok!
So be warned, bloggers with kids! We will continue hating your kids, because you leave us no choice.