Netmums v Instamums

There’s an ongoing thread on Mumsnet talk (last night about 460 comments strong) discussing/debating the ‘Instamum’ phenomenon. (rhymes or too wordy?!)

Many Netsmums (if some of them are real mums?) are calling out the Instamums and dads who are being given free stuff/advertising and not declaring it’s an advert. The thread has developed into a debate over child privacy, safeguarding, some of them saying that showing children on social media without their consent amounts to child exploitation.

Some of the comments were very intelligent and thoughtful. Some began to get a bit nasty and sarcastic (the old correcting someone’s grammar to undermine their opinion) but it was interesting. Most of the comments on Mumsnet are anonymous – good because people can say what they think but perhaps bad because comments can become quite ‘troll’ like.

As I mention in an earlier blog ‘The Weird and Wonderful…’ people aren’t doing the same thing as they do in real life as they do online. Whether that’s saying something you wouldn’t normally say, having interaction with someone you wouldn’t with in real life or showing something that doesn’t really reflect reality. These online platforms make it so easy to do. And that’s where the lines become crossed and the grey areas start.

I can see both sides of the argument and I have friends and family in real life who have strong views for and against social media use. Yes there is this ‘Instagram’ world which is being used by advertisers and influencers in more of a subtle or duplicitous way to sell products, but you could argue it’s just more sophisticated and that the advertisers are doing what they have to do. The Instamums are like the popular girls at school (remember they were called cliques then) who everyone wants to be but slags off. They can seem one-dimensional.. perhaps that’s what’s annoying the Netmums.

If any of the Instamums don’t question what they’re doing then maybe that’s a good thing as they’ll keep doing what they’re doing and succeed. However, it got me thinking about what I’m doing writing a blog about places I go with my son. I haven’t asked him. Who is seeing and potentially using these photos? Or is this a paranoid thought? One friend said to me it’s only other mums who are interested. The internet is awash with pictures of children.. how is posting a picture of yours going to exploit them? It’s a tricky one and in our ever-changing world, which is becoming more and more online, where will it end up?

The online world is weird and nothing like real life (there are Sci Fi films about it) I’ve just seen a ‘fan’ account of an Instagram family which reminds me of ‘fan’ accounts of reality stars or even celebrity relationships.. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and I’m fascinated to stay alive for the next 50 odd years to see how it all pans out. Maybe it will be like The Hunger Games and I’ll be part of the show.



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