Monday, March 19, 2007

Sticks and Stones: Life on Parenting Boards and Listservs

April Peveteaux has a great piece on Babble about rampant acts of parental meanness online.

In her first-person account of her experiences in the online parental world, Peveteaux wrote:
“The truth is, these boards can make us feel like we’re doing things wrong just because we’re not doing them the same way as ‘goodmommy919.’”

In writing how she became pre-occupied and extremely bothered by people who personally went after her online, she added:

“I know I’m not alone in obsessively talking about and participating in bad behavior in the confines of an online parenting group. Emily Nussbaum outed the New York City moms of UrbanBaby in her now infamous (among the procreating set, anyway) New York magazine article, ‘Mothers Anonymous.’ Take a scroll through the BabyCenter forums and you can find all kinds of sweetness and light side-by-side with borderline abusive pro- and anti-circumcision declarations. So how does a nice list like ours turn into a minefield? Are we fighting battles online so we don’t have to fight them in our homes? Or do our online rivals make us so angry that we wind up snapping at or neglecting the children for whose welfare we were supposedly going online in the first place?”

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