A New Yorker article greeted me yesterday morning. Hso Hsu reviewed a new book written by Leah Plunket. It describes what happens “when the slow telos of parenthood meets the insatiable rhythms of social media , the book’s title contains a warning:“Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk About Our Kids Online. Plunkett argues that “sharenting” happens any time an adult in charge of a child’s well-being, such as a parent or a teacher, transmits private details about a child via digital channels
“There certainly may be an element of proud boasting: “Oh, this? It’s just my daughter’s tastefully mismatched outfit,” “Admire my toddler son’s taste in jazz,” etc. But these carefully chosen glimpses of adorable bliss often do little more than mark a tranquil reprieve during an otherwise arduous day. The isolation of parenthood delivers one to strange places, especially in the early going, and you need your tribe. Sharing images or stories on social media makes the experience bearable, connecting one to a larger world at a time when the scales and contours of life feel as though they are shrinking.
Hsu has a son, he attempts to look at the situation from the child’ perspective.“Sharenthood made me consider my own choices: whether it was healthy to use my son’s e-mail address to sign up for mailing-list-only coupons, why YouTube only recommends pirated cartoons to me these days. Yet it’s impossible to generalize from a child’s perspective. Some kids grow to be embarrassed by what their parents post, while others wonder why they aren’t featured even more. Mine might one day wonder why so many videos exist of him asking for “jazz,” which, for a while, was the word he used instead of “music.” “Sharenthood” didn’t resolve anything for me, and maybe that’s asking too much. In the end, Plunkett’s advice is to “make more mindful choices” about our digital lives. Yet parenthood is often such a blur that mindfulness seems impossible, a kind of deliberation and peace that might as well be another country. As adults, we should know better—even if we often have no idea what we are actually doing. “
More simply put, and in my language, the argument being made is the children may have a right to privacy As everyone knows, by now, I do not have children so this article did not strictly apply to me, but it does indirectly. Do passerbys, friends, lovers, acquaintances, professional have a right to privacy? Am I emblazoning them on social media through the blog and Instagram. Emblazon, what a word.1 (Each shirt was emblazoned with the company name:) decorate, adorn ornament, embellish, illuminate; colour, paint.2 A flag with a hammer and sickle emblazoned on it: depict, exhibit, show, present., display.
I shall now defend myself against any charge that I depicted, presented or displayed others.
1. No children so therefore no display. I was once a Granny, an excellent one as a matter of fact. But I have been reduced to being a very nominal one. I do not discuss the grandchildren nor the wrongs that were committed upon me.
2. The second defence is that people are not named. All most all people have nicknames so no one knows their real names. Nicknames abound. What a fun word – abound: packed with, be crowded with, be thronged with, be jammed with; be alive with, be overrun with, swarm with, bristle with, be bristling with, be infested with, be thick with; informal be crawling with, be lousy with, be stuffed with, be jam-packed with. My blogs are chock-full of nicknames and will continue to be overrun with them. The individuals mentioned can be recognized but not known to the entire universe and everyone (usually) loves their nicknames. They are complementary and funny, if I do say so myself. For awhile, I got a nickname or two. My favourite was B.A, (squared, which stood for Bachelor of Arts and Bad Ass, That nickname was a ‘gift’ from the Equinox Gym in Vancouver. One of the few I ever got, not counting a hopelessly arthritic knee that has been replaced.
3. I do steal ideas from CPI – but not really. I share her brilliance with others. We communicate through email and talk of serious matters and she has excellent insight into a number of matters and a person or two. She has not objected but best I ask her and I shall.
4. I have mentioned at least one person on the blog by name but it was a person (s) who used my blog for the furtherance of his /her/its own cause. (whatever that cause is, was, or may be). Therefore I feel justified in the use of his/her/its name.
5. I occasionally mention people in their official capacity praising the work that they do. One example that comes immediately to mind is Jeff Wickman, the administrator of the retirement fund that enriches me: MCERA. There have been others, they have a public position and preform their duties excellently and should be recognized.
6. I have a wide array of amazing professionals who remain nameless – known only for their rank (not cereal number). Their professional are as follows: Internist, Dentist, Financial Advisor, Wise Man, and Care Giver. There may be others but they do not immediately come to mind.
7. My hair stylists and nail people are mentioned by their first names. Occasionally the place of business is mentioned but it is with permission in the hopes that the business will profit,
8. I have favourite restaurants and they are mentioned. My favourite in the whole universe is the Rex Whistler at the Tate Britain in London England. At the moment I am mad about Max’s. I managed to go there a week ago as Personal Driver came and got me and picked me up afterwards. Need I remind folks that I had my knee surgery on August 27, 2019. I am definitely a healer – NOT a heel – a healer. (hahahaha)
You shall hear more about my miraculous recovery accompanied by photographs tomorrow. Today it is fun provided by friend David from London.