Over-Sharing – The rise of the daily vlogger

Recently, daily vloggers have made their way into the mainstream news – particularly those of the parenting variety. The drama with Sam and Nia Rader – if you remember, he announced her pregnancy to her, followed it up three days later with news of their miscarriage – causing a lot of people to doubt the veracity of the pregnancy at all – and then were kicked out of Vlogger Fair for threatening behaviour over it – has brought daily family vloggers to the public attention, and opinions are very mixed on them.

They’re seen as different to bloggers, in that most bloggers maintain a sense of anonymity – or at least, try to. We’re under no illusions, and know that most of our readers know SB’s first name, and mine and D’s first names too – but we still use the shortenings, just because I think it will be better for her as she grows up to have a nickname, rather than her real name, plastered all over the internet. I’m certainly not paranoid, otherwise we’d have taken extra steps to make sure her name never got out, but we’re keeping in mind the fact that she’s going to grow up in a very internet-savvy world.

We’ve considered vlogging. It’s definitely something I’m interested in, and D is quite keen to have a go too. I don’t think we’d ever get to the extent of doing daily vlogs, but every now and then it’s a way of shaking up the typical blog format, and it feels a little more personal – getting to see the people behind the words. The recent controversy caused by some vloggers has made us think twice about it.

We follow several daily-vlogging families in the US – I started off watching Daily Bumps shortly after I got pregnant, when their son Ollie had just been born. At first, we loved watching it, but it quickly became evident that it was being used more as a vehicle for Bryan to advertise his music than anything else, and we stopped watching.

We watch Ellie and Jared, and Cullen and Katie – two families who seem much more down to earth, and although they’re still daily-vlogging, they show more actual day to day life – not self promotion, no engineered situations, just honest family life, which I like in a daily vlogger. I’m not alone in disliking the vloggers who seem more pretentious, or aren’t as concerned with their children’s security – I’ve never watched them myselves, but British vlogging family the Saccone-Jolys get a lot of online hate for their videos.

And then we have Sam and Nia Rader; currently the social pariahs of the video blogging world. I don’t know where I stand as to whether their pregnancy was real or not – I think, if Nia was pregnant and had a miscarriage, she has lost out on a lot of support that she could have done with, thanks to her husband’s need to overshare everything. If it was a stunt to get more views and go viral, then I think shame on them both, but I suppose we’ll never know for sure.

I do feel sorry for Nia. Just days after the controversy of the miscarriage, it emerged that her husband had been on the Ashley Madison cheating website. Yet again, rather than deal with it in private, Sam made a video, where his main concern was reassuring everyone that Nia had forgiven him – but, more importantly, God had forgiven him too. If your primary concern after being caught cheating on your wife is whether God forgives you, you need to sort out your priorities (plus, if adultery is a sin, I wouldn’t be too sure that the big guy does forgive you, to be perfectly honest).

They continued daily vlogging until they went to VloggerFair, a convention where lots of video bloggers meet up and do panels and interviews and meet their fans. Sam approached several other vloggers, whom he perceived as having attacked him on Twitter – in reality, one had posted a tweet weighing in on the situation, and the other – Cullen, of Cullen and Katie – had simply retweeted it – and became verbally abusive, threatening physical violence while Cullen was holding his eleven month old daughter. Sam and Nia were ejected publicly from VloggerFair – and, sure enough, they created a video to explain, containing footage from VloggerFair, and typical deflecting behaviour from Sam, leaving out vital information and making out that he had been victimised.

Suddenly, they announced that they were taking a break from video blogging for a couple of weeks, in the wake of the VloggerFair drama.

So his wife having a miscarriage was not reason enough to take a break from video blogging. And his wife having to deal with the fallout of discovering he was a cheating bastard was also not reason enough to take a brief hiatus. However, once Sam had been publicly humiliated, and forced to leave with his tail between his legs? Well, that was time to take a break, obviously.

I share a lot on the blog – I’ve always prided myself on being honest about parenting and pregnancy. There are a few things that are off limits – I don’t blog if D and I argue, which is thankfully rare, but that’s because I don’t think it’s fair on D, and I don’t want to air our dirty laundry. If something awful happened, such as a miscarriage, I don’t think we’d even question it – we’d take a break from blogging, and wouldn’t discuss it until we’d come to terms with it a bit.

Maybe Sam and Nia’s style of vlogging has always worked for them in the past. Sadly, this time it appears to have backfired, and now serves as a warning to all other parents who share their lives on a daily basis – if you make your lives public property, everyone’s going to have an opinion, and it’s not always going to be a pleasant one.


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