The Internet is written in ink, but many social media savvy parents wonder what exactly constitutes a stain. Should parents swear on Twitter? Post pictures of themselves drinking on Facebook? Is it appropriate for parent bloggers to publish that post admitting they felt like throwing Junior out a window? There are no easy answers, but plenty of differing opinions.
I’m careful what I post although it’s evolved. I started with strict, self-imposed rules: Facebook was for people I knew, Twitter was for people I wanted to meet. Certain channels were for personal use only and others were only business. But the lines between what was business and what was personal became impossible to separate, so I threw my hands in the air and gave up. Because of the blurred divisions, I would never curse in writing. (Though I’m sure though someone will now try to dig up some instance where I did to prove me wrong.)
Our children grow up. Do you really want them to see that you told them one thing in person and did something else online? Not me. My daughter has been stalking my tweets for a fewM years now. And LOL! I stalk her as well.
We are our children’s nearest roles models. If we post inappropriate photos, how do you tell them they can’t do that? As soon as they are old enough they start questioning you with the hard questions: Did you do drugs? Did you ever get really drunk? When did you have sex? I guess you could lie to them… (snicker) But, everything lives forever on the Internet so I’m of the interNOT mindset. But there are those looking for their 15 minutes of fame, for example the man who shot his daughter’s laptop and posted the video on YouTube. What will his daughter shoot when grows up and becomes a parent?
I’m a dad who has been writing about parenting for almost five years. In the course of those hundreds of posts, I’ve cursed. A bunch. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I understand I’m a role model for my son. It’s something I take seriously and a responsibility I’d never shirk. But the idea that parent bloggers who drop an occasional F-bomb on their websites are in any way irresponsible is one I just can’t get behind.
My son is only 4.5 years old, so he can’t read my blog or follow me on Twitter. But I know that will all change soon, and in a few years he’ll be able to read everything I’ve ever written. All of my pain, joy, humor, and angst with strategic profanity sprinkled in like Rachel Ray uses garlic in her culinary creations. I’m not talking about ALWAYS using foul language, but rather using it when it adds something to the writing. And believe me, it does add something if done correctly.
I’m not writing for my son. He’s not my audience. I’m writing for other parents and my personal brand is conversational and unconventional. I want to make my readers feel like they’re talking with a friend, and I don’t know about anyone else but my friends swear. While I may run my site as a hobby that was never intended to produce revenue, I’ve still managed to work with some top-notch brands who haven’t been scared off by a little salty language.
I’m not perfect as a parent. None of us are. But I think it’s extraordinarily shortsighted to judge parent bloggers negatively just because of some stray curse words.
Or, in other words, “f*ck it.”
So what’s your point of view? Is it acceptable to throw out a few expletives here and there?
About Aaron Gouveia
Aaron is a 33-year-old father and husband from Massachusetts. He’s got a son far too perfect to possibly be his, a wife way too beautiful to have married him, and a golden retriever who takes up way too much of the bed. A former award-winning journalist with a penchant for turning a phrase, he now enjoys working as a content manager for a prominent compensation website. He started The Daddy Files in 2008 when he realized how few resources were available for soon-to-be dads.
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