The Wrong Viral Message

Social Media is a powerful tool, but it feels that all too often the wrong message is being promoted.Ā  From the likes of Katie Whatsherface to the latest “viral” breastfeeding message.

Which brings me nicely to the exact WRONG message I want to talk about.Ā  The breastfeeding one.

I didn’t realise that I am actually a little bit of a crusader with this cause and I am joining forces with the fabulous Boobie Milk to help promote the #PositiveAboutBF message but more on that later.

I want to talk about the wrong viral messages.Ā  The fact that a wonderful resource for supporting breastfeeding mothers Free to Feed has now felt the need to delete the page due to cyber bullies. The fact that the things that get people talking are always the wrong message. The fact that these messages are being used to fuel a mummy war that I’m not entirely sure exists to the extremes that the media makes out.

The girl who posted her picture up of breastfeeding.

That would have been lovely.

While drinking from a bottle of wine.

OK I get it, proving a point I guess

With your toddler flipping the finger.

Why would you even post that? Or think it was funny?

In my opinion that’s just teaching your child basic disrespect for others and while doing so you’re probably making many of the people who would have probably understood the message you were, badly, trying to give think why should they even bother? Why should we try to make a difference in the world?

There could have been a much classier way of doing this. Showing that it is ok to have a drink and feed. Maybe holding a champagne glass up while breastfeeding your youngest while cuddling your eldest? IF that was the message you were trying to promote.

The problem is people want to go viral. I’m the same. I would love to have a viral post, heck I loved it when I did with my Huffington Post 11 Mums You Find at Baby Group. I didn’t like when I got less than pleasant comments on it though.

So a post like above? On such a passionate subject like breastfeeding? What comments would you have got? What our your children going to see? And the way cyber bullying works did you get hateful comments on your most precious bundles of joy? How does that make you feel? Are you actually feeling the bravado you are posting, and if you are, is that because you were only looking for your 5 minutes of fame? Or are the negatives now outweighing the notoriety?

Is all of this happening because it is the 5 second shock factor posts going viral? The ones that provoke an immediate negative response?

Just because it seems that only the WRONG messages are going viral that doesn’t mean that the right messages can’t either.

Which is where we are looking at being #PositiveAboutBF. As I said I am taking a large admin role in the wonderful Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt with Boobie Milk because I love the positive message it promotes. As a spin off, alongside some like-minded bloggers #PositiveAboutBF has been born. To spread the right kind of viral message. To celebrate the achievement that we have through breastfeeding. To show us all in a positive light. And the big difference? We are doing this, not to “bressure” you or make you feel judged. We celebrate your achievements just as much as our own.

Which is the RIGHT message we are wanting to promote:

I am not raining on your parade I am celebrating my own.

We are celebrating #PositiveAboutBF and #PositivityinMotherhood. Let us not berate each other, let us stop being each other’s biggest critics and become each other’s biggest supporters. Let us spread the positive message far and wide and get the RIGHT messages going viral this time.


Mami 2 Five
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  1. July 24, 2015 / 10:54 am

    I’m off to investigate, I’ve been so bogged down with work and in laws being here (that’s a whole other EffitFriday rant in itself!!) that I’ve missed this. The internet is such a good tool and resource, it’s a shame when people abuse it and send the wrong message just for 5 minutes of fame!

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:47 pm

      Haha enjoy the investigation! I did take a screen shot and reading her comments she is very well justified in her beliefs. But the comments that have been received are verging on mean and questioning. While I don’t agree with the way she chose to put her message across I don’t think she should be attacked for it either.

      The internet is vast and your spread is far reaching and I don’t think we always appreciate that.

      Looking forward to the in law rant šŸ™‚

  2. July 24, 2015 / 11:02 am

    As if we need any more negativity in this world huh? Well done for writing this. #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:47 pm

      Thanks lovely x

  3. July 24, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    I completely don’t understand why breastfeeding – or most parenting choices for that matter – stir up so much anger. Some people breastfeed. Some people don’t. Everyone has their reasons for their choices. I tried everything I could to breastfeed my daughter, but it didn’t work. Now, she’s 18 months old and absolutely fine. As long as the parenting choices aren’t harming the child, it’s really nobody’s business but the family’s. Friendly advice is one thing – judgement, negativity and righteousness is something else. #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:49 pm

      Completely agree Shannon! It should all be about respect, and as someone said to me it’s not as though they walk into school saying I was breastfed/formula fed so I’m better than you! At least I hope not!

  4. July 24, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    Isn’t it funny how one person can do something really stupid (breastfeeding photo being the topic here), and #effitup for a lot of other Mums out there? The breastfeeding ‘topic’ (if you want to call it that) has gone so overboard over the world these days, that I just don’t know where to respond. I don’t know why it has to be such a big deal??!! I am a big believer in breast feeding. If you don’t like it….move on. But also, don’t flaunt the whole thing over the internet to get attention either. You are feeding your baby, full stop. Good post Laura. xo #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:53 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I think the media has gone and emphasised the “mummy wars” so they are bigger than they actually are. I wonder if they actually exist at times! I’m like you, I believe in breastfeeding but more importantly than that I believe that as long as you feed your baby then there is no judgement! X

  5. July 24, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    Yes, yes, YES! Getting it so right once again! Fab post lovely. Nothing else really to say because I agree with it all šŸ™‚ x

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:53 pm

      Thanks Natalie šŸ™‚

  6. July 24, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    Although I don’t have a picture of myself breastfeeding either of my children, I think they are wonderful, intimate and serene. It was my choice not to take one-for me. I think we are all just doing the best we can and when we don’t support each other it is tragic. I have made a personal commitment to not get into these battles because they are juvenile. Good luck with your campaign.
    And thanks for the linkup #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:55 pm

      Thanks Kristine. I think that you’re completely right its about being respectful and supportive to one another. Not belittling achievements or decisions.

  7. July 24, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    A great post. The wrong message can be easily sent, which is also seen by our children. Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone but it’s something that should be celebrated if you’re able to do it. In the same respect, people who don’t breastfeed don’t need to explain their choice as to why they don’t. We’re all mums doing our best and we should support each other whatever our decision. xx #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      Exactly lizzie – support not judgement! Celebration not belittling snipes! X

  8. July 24, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    I confess that I don’t understand the breastfeeding debate at all. People should just STFU and do whatever they think is best for their own kid, not worry about what others are doing

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:57 pm

      There’s another school of parenting called CTFD. Which basically stands for calm the eff down, which I think is a good message as well šŸ™‚

  9. July 24, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    I don’t get the whole breast feeding debate. If you want to do it, great! If you don’t, great! People should worry more about what they are doing than everyone else. Oh and if you think people shouldn’t breastfeed in public because their breasts being out is sexual, that says waaayyyy more about you than anyone breast feeding! Thanks for hosting #effitfriday, I do love reading everyone’s rants šŸ™‚

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      Thanks Debbie! I think a few things have blown the whole debate up into a mass assumed “mummy war” which isn’t as ingrained as everyone thinks. The problem is posting on such a passionate subject will always lead to an impassioned response xx

  10. July 24, 2015 / 5:42 pm

    I haven’t seen this photo (must take a look) but I agree, it’s always the sensationalist ones that go viral, never the good messages – people seem to share more when something angers them than makes them happy which I guess is human nature. Hopefully it hasn’t done the cause too much damage.

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      I hadn’t even thought of it that way Lisa but you’re so right, people share angry things!

  11. July 24, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    Love this – just think how much time everyone spends slamming everyone else – all that time people don’t have could most likely be found by eliminating that #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      That’s very true!

  12. July 24, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    What a great message Laura. Sounds to me that the girl who had posted that might have been very young? I have seen a lot of bad posts and the mothers are usually under the age of 20. They think everything is still cool and funny . I could be wrong, and there are a lot of young mothers who are great mothers and role models as well. I support breastfeeding and motherhood 100%. Thanks for hosting #effitfriday.

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      Honestly I’m not sure on age I just know it’s not an example I want to set my toddlers. I did truly feel awful for her because some of the messages were calling her parenting into question, one photo doesn’t show the story. And how must she feel to have people say that about her? The internet is a scary place at how quickly things spread x

  13. July 24, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    What a great way to put out a positive message. I didn’t see that viral post. Its a shame…I wonder if she realized how much attention the post would get. Or if she feels badly about it now. I’d like to think it was just a silly, dumb moment that exploded more than she ever expected. But I realize that some people just want attention no matter how they get it. Thank you for sharing. #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 5:03 pm

      Thanks Jessie. From originally reading the comments I think she did know. I certainly hope she doesn’t regret it x

  14. July 25, 2015 / 8:53 am

    I have to confess I get very frustrated regarding all aspects of the breastfeeding debate. My main issue is that men don’t participate in it which is madness; they’re our kids being fed and it’s long been recognised one of the best ways ot breastfeeding success is a supportive partner. Telling women not to do it in public is hardly supportive.

    Anyway, this was the wrong viral message to send out, you’re quite right. Even so, I don’t like the bressure to breastfeed. For many couples who don’t do it (my kids were only briefly breastfed) there is very good reason.

    Great post and thnaks for hosting #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 25, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      That’s true, it’s such a fine line between Bressure and positive support from the outside.

      You’re so right about the male perspective, I have seen some fantastic dad blog posts on the support aspect of feeding and it’s so refreshing to read from that perspective.

  15. July 26, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    I struggled to breastfeed my first, but I stuck with it and glad I did. But I’d never judge anyone who decides not to or can’t breastfeed. It’s sad that this went viral and love that you are doing something positive about it šŸ™‚

    • Laura
      July 27, 2015 / 7:35 am

      Thanks Helen! I think quite often all the messages that go viral are the ones with the 5 second shock factor x

  16. July 28, 2015 / 10:15 am

    I didn’t see that photo but you’re right what a silly message to try and send something viral. I breast fed my first for 9 months and had to give up due to returning to work. It is the most beautiful bonding experience you can have with your baby. I am hoping to do it again when baby number 2 comes along.
    I’m not sure where all of this debate and divide has come from but breastfeeding seems to be a very touchy and controversial subject at the moment which it shouldn’t be.
    Kerry x


    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:45 pm

      It really is, mention breastfeeding and light a torch. Boom. Which is sad because it is an achievement for so many and should be celebrated but so many people feel they can’t because of a perceived war. Celebrating your own achievement isn’t belittling someone else’s? I mean I’m very happy for someone who got a first in a law degree for example but that would never be me! X

  17. July 28, 2015 / 10:28 am

    Before I joined Motherhood, I had no idea of the ‘competition’ or ‘war’ at hand. I find it so sad. All I care is that I manage to survive the day and keep my two babies entertained and moderately free from tantrums (although that’s easier said than done).

    The Media casts all the wrong representations, we need Mummies like you to stand up and show it how it really is xx

    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:43 pm

      Thanks Kirby. I’m the same I didn’t realise the mass “mean” war culture. I’d love to keep my toddler from tantrums. I’m failing mostly! X

    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:41 pm

      Thanks Claire x

  18. July 28, 2015 / 12:23 pm

    I suppose it’s the shock / surprise factor that tends to make many messages go viral; thankfully it’s not just the negative that have their quality about them. It’s great to be part of a positive message that goes viral, because they’re not 15mins wonder but here to stay and change lives.

    #PostiveAboutBF is a message that is already viral, and will continue to be. Why? Because it’s a reflection of the personal experience of so many in the loving act of feeding and nourishing their child. Thanks for helping to lead this message šŸ™‚

    I’m still hoping that Free to Feed might yet continue. #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:42 pm

      Thanks lovley and thank you for coming along for the ride šŸ™‚

  19. July 28, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    Isn’t it so sad how out of hand things can get with social media, I mean of course every blogger wants a viral post, but, what lengths is it really worth going to? Also, is it really worth it when so much negativity seems to come out of it, even if it’s a positive post people will find holes to dig….it’s sad!!
    I think sending a positive message about breastfeeding is wonderful, I also think that unfortunately there is some people who get a little preachy with it (not you!!!) and that’s not nice either!!!
    It’s hard one!!
    Keep on spreading the positivity though lovely it’s a good thing you’re doing!
    #twinklytuesday x

    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:40 pm

      Ahh thank you Chantelle! It’s a fine line to tread, I’ve friends who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t, who didn’t want to and didn’t, who went with the flow and did, and who worked really really hard to overcome difficulties. There is no difference with any of these girls or their babies all are loved. And that’s all that matters. It just needs to be a happy positive message about everything! X

  20. July 28, 2015 / 11:28 pm

    Social media worries me on so many levels. The way people behave on it, beyond the bloggers, beyond people you don’t really know. I’m sometimes – scratch that – often shocked by what comes up in my news feed from friends. Surely we all need to take a step back and actually think about what we’re doing before hitting the like button.

    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:38 pm

      I’m with you Jen, some of the things that pop up I’m like woah. And with the digital footprint do you really want to be associated with something you shared because of the “shock” factor?

  21. July 29, 2015 / 11:27 pm

    Love what your promoting with the breastfeeding so important I think the reason viral things go viral s because the divide opinion or massively shock people its that that makes them want to click share! x

    • Laura
      July 30, 2015 / 6:36 pm

      Thank you! It is such a shame that things have to be massively shocking to go crazy but I guess I’m true of that myself. I mean everyone has heard of Katie Hopkins but no one seems to like her. I can’t imagine having to live like that. Or have my kids live like that x

  22. August 2, 2015 / 6:22 pm

    Maybe there’s something about me that isn’t like the average person, but I genuinely want to share positive messages, not negative ones. I’m always confused when people say that positivity doesn’t market as well as negativity. You nailed it with it being about celebrating our own successes, not shaming people for their challenges.

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

    • Laura
      August 3, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      Love your positivity Sadia! I’m with you x

  23. August 4, 2015 / 12:13 am

    Laura, I love this post. You are so right. So many times the wrong type of blog post goes viral and I am sure that is because of the shock factor. Us women, us mothers should stick together and ensure that the right messages about motherhood are conveyed. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Laura
      August 4, 2015 / 9:05 am

      Thanks lovely, I get when the nice funny messages go viral (like did you see the alternate Peppa Pig from Unmumsy Mum?) But the messages that lead to people attacking you, your children and your parenting? Just not worth it xx

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