The age of the internet has been fantastic in many ways, allowing people to grow closer, share their stories, and connect in ways that weren’t possible before. The experience of going viral isn’t always a positive one. Unfortunately, though, it also gives people a platform to name and shame absolute strangers — a habit that especially seems to target women and mothers. Molly Lensing is a part-time pediatric nurse who lives in Illinois and has three kids. She’s also the woman at the center of this controversial photo, showing Lensing seemingly ignoring her daughter, who’s on a blanket on an airport floor. It first went viral last year and put Lensing in the internet’s crosshairs:
Last year, a photo of Lensing and her baby daughter went viral after a stranger at the Colorado airport jumped to conclusions and posted a picture online. When the Facebook user Christian Naniot saw Lensing texting while her 2-month-old
Albert Einstein said,
“I fear the day that technology will take on our humanity… the world will be populated by a generation of idiots”
Anastasia was placed on the ground, he captioned a condemning Facebook post about the situation.The Facebook post indicting Lensing’s mothering skills has now been shared over 66,000 times.
When translated to English, the caption reads: “I fear the day that technology will take on our humanity. The world will be populated by a generation of idiots.”
Sadly, and yet unsurprisingly, strangers online jumped to conclusions about Lensing as a mother. With many accusing her of neglecting Anastasia in favor of her cellphone. But now, a year later, Lensing told Today her side of the story.At the time of the photo, Lensing and her daughter were caught in a Delta computer shut-down.
Anastasia had been held or in her carrier for many hours. My arms were tired. She needed to stretch. And I had to communicate with all the family members wondering where the heck we were,” Lensing told Today.
It was during this point of exhaustion that she momentarily placed Anastasia on a blanket on the ground next to her while texting family about logistics. And honestly, babies are placed on blankets on the ground all the time regardless.
The fact that Lensing was put in a position to defend her mothering decisions against strange men online is absurd.
Even if she hadn’t faced unfair judgment, posting the photo without her consent is already a breach of privacy. Particularly, since she had just started work as a pediatric nurse who works with babies.
“I absolutely feel as though my privacy was violated. I had recently started working on a labor floor, and I was terrified of my co-workers or boss seeing the photo and comments and believing that I should no longer work with infants. Thankfully, this never happened,” Lensing said.
When it comes to moving beyond the wave of negative attention, Lensing shares that she’s resigned herself to the fact that strangers online will think what they want. As long as she’s doing right by her daughters, all is well in her world.
“I ignore the photos and the comments and lean on those close to me who know the real me. I am powerless compared to the internet, and I know that I am the best momma to my girls and I know that I cherish them and am raising them the best I can,” Lensing shared
Cheers to Lensing, for transcending the internet buzz and doing her life.