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Judgy Moms: Avoiding Public Shaming Online

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We're living in a time where the majority of people are armed with smartphones, no longer are we afforded the luxury of an oops moment without risking it going viral.

Whether you lose sight of your toddler for a moment and have a meltdown or engage in a personal conversation on a plane, today the world is watching and judging you.

An aim and shame society.

In a culture where we aim and shame instantly without considering the truth or consequences of our actions - how many of us have had those parenting cringe moments and are grateful they aren’t memorialized on social media?

Can we actually say we are perfect parents? Hardly, but when it comes to online behavior, we all can start becoming more self-aware of how we treat each other, as well as improve our own digital citizenship.

It begins with civility.

The three C's of improving our online behavior can help us prevent digital disasters and avoid oops moments.

1. Conduct: Take time to check-in with your emotions before you pick up your keypad. We're living in contentious times, anger is temporary - online is forever. The cell-phone is a great tool, but it can easily be turned into a weapon that harms people with words (or humiliating videos). Keystrokes can be used four ways - help, heal, hurt or to harm. Be sure you're using them the right way.

2. Content: Social media can be fast-paced. More and more we are reading about people that suffer with tweet regrets and post remorse. Take the time to consider what you're about to publish online. Is it going to embarrass you or humiliate someone else? Fifteen minutes of humor is never worth a lifetime of humiliation.

3. Caring: Many people know they should treat people online as they do offline, but that doesn't stop digital cruelty. I say, care enough about yourself to know when you need to click-out if you're about to leave a snarky comment or 'like' a mean meme. Don't allow your emotions to take control of your fingers. You are the role-model to your children and the next generation.

Before you use your keystrokes to shame or insult someone — pause and think about yourself. Your online behavior is a reflection of your offline character. The way you treat others says a lot about you as a person. This is your reputation.

It’s time we start bringing empathy back into our communities. With empathy it’s almost impossible to be cruel to each other.

5 Ways you can avoid public shaming:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Be self-aware of your offline actions.
  3. If you find yourself getting steamed, walk away.
  4. Have zero expectancy of privacy — wherever you are.
  5. Treat people the way want to be treated, always.

When it comes to parent shaming, there are no winners.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.