Because I am on some “mommy blogger” list, I get pitches all the time from “freelancers” who’d like to write for me. Most often they are from companies looking for free publicity.
Sometimes they’re trying to promote a product overtly, as in, “I would like to write an article on how to choose a crib,” signed something like, “[email protected]” But sometimes they offer a generic parenting topic they hope is interesting enough for a blogger to slap on her site, and then it’s embedded with links to whatever the company is pushing.
That’s what I assume this one is, below. But even if it’s not — even if this writer truly is a freelancer writing articles for zero money (and how does that work?), I am DISGUSTED by his/her/its knee-jerk assumption that of course a mommy blog would LOVE a piece filled with pointless, worst-first warnings about _________ (fill in the blank).
These “service” articles grab whatever is on the mom horizon — food, summer, sunscreen, playgrounds, playdates, fhdeasddif
and now Pokemon Go — and figure out what terrible thing just might occur, even one in a million times. And this is such a common part of the parenting world — the advice about a hidden danger article — that it has become the default way we look at childhood!
We RACE to come up with some new worry someone else may not have thought of yet. We CONGRATULATE ourselves for seeing danger the others may have missed. We feel GOOD when we can point to one instance anywhere of something BAD happening and say, “See? That’s why you should never let your kids…”
So here is museum-quality example of how instant and insidious the fear industry is. Note that the letter isn’t even addressed to anyone in particular, indicating it was sent far and wide. Spread that fear! (Boldface mine.)
My name is Amy and I am a freelance journalist working on a story about Parenting in the Digital Age. I imagine yo have heard about the latests Pokémon Go craze (or maybe have a few strangers playing it near your house). I have been following this game and I am personally worried of all of the risks children and teenagers are being exposed to by using this app.
From planned robberies and driving accidents all the way to being lured by sexual predators, the game goes from innocent fun to harsh reality. I would love to write an article for www.freerangekids.com discussing this new phenomenon. It could be titled “Should You Let Your Kids Play Pokémon GO?” or “How To Teach Your Kids To Safely Play Pokémon GO”. Since your blog covers relevant topics, I’m hoping you’ll consider sharing a post, as this is a topic (like many others such as cyberbullying, online predators, over-sharing, sexting, etc.) that needs to be brought into the limelight….
Best wishes, Amy
Best wishes for what? Kids at home all summer under the bed? Parents distrusting their neighbors? A society obsessed by stranger-danger? No thanks.
Kids, go out and play! – L