video: Mum’s the Word: To Tweet or Not to Tweet
Friday, March 13, 2015
After sharing a story on Facebook about how I accidentally had been giving my daughter dog treats that I found at Grandma’s house (they looked like Oreos, I swear), I began to think about how parents can know the difference between sharing just enough or sharing too much.
Usually, before posting anything on social media, I ask myself whether or not a particular post is potentially shaming my child.
If the answer to that is “no,” then I ask the next question.
Is this actually interesting or funny, or will it really just make people quote Will Farrell’s guest character in The Office, “[Your] baby could be the star of a show called, ‘Babies I Don’t Care About’”?
Yet since this is such a controversial topic, I decided to get a second opinion. I reached out to some friends of mine, Brittany and Austin Null. You may already know the Nulls as the YouTube family, The Nive Nulls (see YouTube video below).
Based out of Kansas City, The Nulls are a family of four, soon to be five, who have a popular YouTube channel. Their videos celebrate Austin and Brittany’s daily life with their kids, Audri (almost two), Kai (15 months), and the baby on the way.
Since The Nive Nulls now have over 200k YouTube subscribers, I thought they’d probably know a thing or two about navigating the murky waters of parenting in a "twittering" world.
So on Monday, we grabbed our computers and sat down for a Skype interview like the trendy, tech-savvy parents that we are.
Read below for my Q & A session with the Nulls.
First off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you guys started off? Was it just for fun or did you know where you wanted to go with your videos?
Austin: Well, first I started making videos by myself just on my free time. It started off as a fun outlet for me in 2010, and then I made Brittany do it.
Brittany: I was skeptical at first because I thought our lives were so mundane, but then I decided to try it anyway.
Well, you seem to have a lot of viewers since 2010. When and why do you think you started to become so popular?
Brittany: The kids.
Austin: Yeah, we went from 5 thousand subscribers, when it was just Britt and I, to 40 thousand subscribers. People were like, “Oh they’re not just that funny couple anymore, they’re that weird family…. so mainly cute kids.”
How have you handled criticism about your parenting on social media?
Brittany: We used to get a lot of criticism when we first had Audri. But, people have backed off now that we have a third kid coming. But also, now I don’t always feel the need to always respond. There have also been some instances where some of the advice has actually been helpful. Like when I have been dealing with something and someone suggested a different way on doing something and I thought, “Yeah, that’s actually a good idea.”
Austin: It’s good to remember that most people mean well.
I have a lot more questions for you, but here’s the last formal one. How have you avoided “oversharing” on your channel or other social media platforms, and why do you think parents today post stories so publically?
Austin: It’s a generational thing. I think this generation is really interested in connection and opening up to others. It’s based on openness and vulnerability.
Brittany: It’s all a way for us to relate. Sometimes, though, you have to back up and evaluate. There needs to be a happy medium.
Austin: Social media should help keep relationships together and not embody the entire relationship.
Related Slideshow: 4 Ways to Stay Youthful While Parenting
Here are four ways to stay youthful while parenting.
Play with your kid. I don’t mean take them to the park for them to stand awkwardly alone while you watch SNL clips on your Iphone. When I say play with your kid, I mean pull out the dollhouse or Legos or whatever your child likes and get on the floor with them and make believe. Put away your smart device, step into a cardboard box, and journey with your child to Neverland.
Pick activities that you both enjoy. For instance, just because you have a toddler doesn’t mean you have to go see terrible films like Rio 2. If you don’t want to see movies like that, trust me, your two or three year old will not hold it against you if you wait to take them to see something a bit more interesting, or with an actual comprehensible plotline at least, like How to Train Your Dragon or Paddington. Picking activities that are actually appealing to both of you might help you becoming better at intentionally engaging with your child.
Take your son or daughter with you on outings that you would normally go on by yourself. There are some hobbies, like taxidermy and ventriloquism, that you might want to do solo. However, there are also lots of things that adults like to do that can easily be enjoyed by children. Some of these activities might be hiking, traveling, or getting pedicures. When we bring children into our worlds, we let them know that they are important. At the same time, we also let our friends, who might not have kids yet, know “Hey, see this little dude? He aint goin’ nowhere.”
On the flipside, make time for a guys’ or girls’ night out. Our children are often our main priority, but that doesn’t mean they are our only priority. Making sure that we are in good mental health is just as important as making sure we are in good physical health. Children are incredibly intuitive, and they can sense when we are stressed, happy, or sad. They are also, bless their little hearts, incredibly self centered and often think those emotions directly correlate to who they are and what they’re doing. So, make time for yourself. Make sure you hang out with your friends to laugh, vent, and de-stress. You will be happier and in turn your children will also be happier knowing that Mom or Dad is smiling.
- Mum’s the Word: 4 Ways to Stay Youthful While Parenting
- Mum’s the Word: 5 Secrets for Surviving Toddler Tantrums
- Mum’s the Word: Four Ways to Say Goodbye to the “Supermom”