Surely you’ve seen those articles floating around the internet that you just feel compelled to read. Somehow, this one is going to make your life better, tell you what you can be doing better, or things you should stop doing.
One of those articles was shared recently in a Facebook group I’m a member of because of my daughter Salem’s Infantile Scoliosis. Along with the post, this other member posed the question, “Have y’all seen this?” It had a title like “12 Deformities that Happen After Birth” and proceeded with suggesting that mothers cause certain deformities by what they do or don’t do correctly. I read it immediately, and as I scrolled skimming, I came to number 8 – the curved spine.
Apparently, by this expert writer’s “research,” I had caused my daughter’s scoliosis by leaving her in a bouncy for too long or letting her sleep in a carseat or stroller. She cited no studies or actual research for any of her claims or opinions she portrayed as fact because there currently aren’t any that have proven to be causes. A flood of other angry moms commented on the post that shared this article within the group. Not only was everyone upset with the content, it turns out they had used one of our member’s photos of her child without permission. Many of us from the group contacted this website and shared our extreme displeasure for their sharing misinformation, use of the photo and the motive behind the whole article in general. Within an hour, not only was the photo removed, but the whole section regarding the curved spine was gone.
As I mentioned, studies on those particular causes have not been proven and we’re not yet sure what causes Infantile Scoliosis. But imagine for a moment that your child was just diagnosed as you stare in disbelief at an X-ray of a severely curved spine, and you think “how did I miss this?” There are so many emotions involved as you are thrust into this new world of medical terms, procedures, and maybe even a whole new lifestyle. Maybe it’s a different diagnosis. The last thing a mother needs is to be told that it’s HER FAULT. I mean, are you kidding me? Moms deal with enough in general … being told we’re doing things wrong or not good enough by the media or that nosy stranger at the grocery store. Add a diagnosis. And to top it off, the information being shared has no credibility. But maybe not everyone knows that, and they begin to believe it.
So next time you scroll past an article that reads “15 Things That You Should Stop Doing” or something similar, think long and hard about whether or not this article will add value to your life. Don’t read it if the title simply makes you feel bad. What about the website? Is it a credible source? And if you do decide to read it, are the facts being presented without any citing of studies or research? There are SO MANY pieces of information that cross our paths every day. Unfortunately, that article is probably still out there. But at least we were possibly able to save a handful of moms the heartache of having even the slightest thought that they had actually been the one to cause damage to their child.