A while ago, Dooce had a post about her decision to write about her daughter Leta on the internet. Then, the Game Theorist had one too. And he referred to a Slate article about this very same topic. I have a feeling that Beth is going to do something similar.
Like most people, I am ambiguous about this. Unlike Dooce, I don’t make money from my blog; does this make matters better or worse? I’m putting my children in just as much danger as she is and/or exploiting them just as much and I can’t even make money out of it? On balance, I think it makes no difference. Dooce isn’t writing about Leta for the money, she’s writing because she loves her and that’s true for all of us. I started this blog to let my family know what the children were up to. So now that I am moving back to Ireland I will give it up, you observe. Not at all. I love it. I am keeper of the family archive. At the end of every month I print down a selection of the 100s of photos we take and put them in an album and carefully label them (don’t hate me). I write about my children because, I know, if I don’t, I will forget. I write about them on the internet because I am a show-off and I love the attention. If I didn’t have a blog, I would intend to write all these things down, but I wouldn’t. I like being part of a community (no scoffing) and I like that people read what I write (kind, good, generous nice people, unlike, say, my brother who can’t understand why anyone on earth should be interested). I suppose I could wait until the children are old enough to read it themselves but at the rate the Princess’s reading is progressing, it could be years before we get any progress on this front.
I spoke to my mother about this the other day. This is the woman who does not use her credit card on the internet for safety’s sake and who, for many years was very reluctant to use the internet at all on the basis that she might accidentally download something illicit or dangerous or both: this despite constant reassurances from her children that you usually have to pay for that kind of material. In response to my concerns, my mother said briskly “Nonsense, they are very lucky children and they will be delighted to read all about themselves when they are bigger.” You know, maybe she’s right.