Parenting In Front Of The Camera: Internet Fame At A Cost?

by Mike Cruse
Originally Published: 
YouTube.Com / DaddyOFive

It seems these days that internet fame is literally a heartbeat away. One shared status on Facebook, one massive tweet on Twitter, one amazing picture on Instagram, or the granddaddy of them all, a viral video on YouTube. We’re all just a press of the button away from the whole world sharing our story, our joke, or our snapshot of our life.

And as a society, we’re starting to crave that attention. We want to be the next one to be seen, to be talked about, to be admired, so much so that as we get deeper and deeper into the age of the internet, people are looking for new and creative ways to get that fame — even parents.

I know right off the bat it sounds like I’m being judgmental. Maybe I am a little, but trust me when I tell you I also understand because I crave that attention too. But there are some lines I just won’t cross in search of attention.

Since becoming a parent, I have tried very hard not to judge other parents. I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve stuck to that principle. I may not like what someone is doing, or agree with their methods, but in no way have I looked at another parent and told them they’re bad parents or that they shouldn’t have kids. It’s been really hard, and yes, I know there are plenty of people in this world who deserve to have that said to them. Trust me, I know — I was “raised” by one of them.

But last week I came across a video that was, and still is, getting a ton of attention. The video claims to be a “prank” video. That’s a popular term creators like to use on YouTube these days. I think they feel it gives them an out, or the ability to say, “It was a prank. Everyone was in on the joke.” You know, like the loser I talked about last week who was sexually assaulting men, claiming all the men were in on it. To which the whole world said, “Yeah right!”

This week’s jackass goes by the name of Mike Martin, aka DaddyOFive. Mike is a YouTube personality who regularly “pranks” his kids for the sake of views. And by “prank,” I mean he verbally unloads on his children with a barrage of mean-spirited insults, wrapped in a nice little package of overused cuss words. In his latest video, Mike and his wife repeatedly scream, “You fucking did this!” and threaten to take away all of their youngest kid’s possessions. But don’t worry, it was all a prank — or so we’re told over and over.

Not exactly sure what I’m talking about? Well, while I hate to give them anymore views, here is the video in question:

Now, the outrage to this video has been fast and furious (sorry, no pun intended). Of course, Mike and his wife’s answer to all of the anger is, “You’re all haters!” Because apparently, it’s 2005 still.

Newsflash, Mike and wife: No, we are not haters. Being a hater means we would be jealous of what you have. And while I can’t speak for all the other people angry about your YouTube antics, I am not jealous of you in the least. I do not want what you have because what I see is nothing but dysfunction.

Look, I’m glad you have a large following. I think it’s fantastic you get all kinds of free stuff from companies like Microsoft and Sony, and trips from Disney. But that’s a good for you, but a shame on them. Shame on them for supporting a creator who makes his living berating his kids.

And this isn’t an isolated incident either. Watch any of Mike’s vlogs. They typically are godawful 20-plus minute scream-fests, where a lot of the time, the only thing understandable is some variation of the word “Fuck” being yelled at the kids, from Mike.

Now, all that said, do I think Mike and his wife are bad parents? No, I don’t. Do I think they love their children? Of course, I do. In fact, I will give Mike credit that in one of his videos he explains to his youngest son that hitting a girl is wrong. He gave a very serious and touching speech to his son about how a real man uses his brain and his heart over his fists. That, is an awesome parenting moment.

But none of that changes my opinion of Mike and his wife. They are, in my opinion, not good people. They can keep up this diatribe of “It’s all a prank bro,” and “The kids are in on it,” all they want. Keep selling it — we ain’t buying it. There is no way your youngest children are that talented, that they can turn on that real emotion, know everything is fake. The tears, the pleading, the genuine fear in their eyes. Because if they can, get those kids into movies; your house will be littered with Oscars and Emmys in no time.

Still not convinced? Go look up Mike’s video where he “pranks” his youngest son by destroying his Xbox with a hammer. Well, first he screams and cusses at him for getting a low test score, then proceeds to destroy a broken game console, all to get his son’s reaction, which turned out to be hysteria, and a young boy screaming (post-reveal it was all a prank), that Mike’s constant pranks hurt his feelings, and that he’ll never forgive him. Does that sound like someone who’s in on the joke?

Of course, your kids know what you’re all about, Mike, but judging the genuine fear and reaction in their eyes, they also know that rage is a real thing too. They just have grown up knowing that their entire life happens in front of a camera. That kind of psychological fuckery is going to have major consequences down the line.

And just like it was pointed out to Brookelyn last week when she said all the guys were in on the pranks of being groped, that changes nothing. It’s lose/lose for you. You’re either a shitty person who verbally abuses your kids, or you’re a no-talent hack who has to pretend to be a shitty person who verbally abuses their kids in order to get equally shitty people to follow you, so you can feel justified. Either way, you’re a shitty person.

A quick addition: Just after I finished writing this, I got a nice little surprise. Mike, along with his whole family in tow, posted a new video. A message to, who else, the haters:

All right, let’s do some quick takeaways from another long video:

– This video felt stale, like everyone had time to get their story straight.

– Mom asks if anyone was traumatized. Kids say they don’t even know what the word means. Off to a great start!

– Mom justifies what they do by saying, “The kids prank us too.” Yeah, maybe, but the kids don’t corner you and get in your face and verbally assault you. So, sorry no dice there.

– Mike and his wife continuously say how “the haters” (sigh) keep calling them bad parents and child abusers, which prompts the kids to come to their aid. Nice tactic.

– The youngest uses some interesting terminology about page views, almost like he was told what… Nope, nope, give them the benefit of the doubt.

– Kids equate not being abused and having a good life with material possessions. Not good.

– Wife says proof they’re not abusive parents: They’ve already been investigated for abuse,because of this channel. Ummm, what?! And you’re angry when people call you out?!

– According to the mom, we are the ones who cause the drama. We are the ones who give their kids issues. Well, it’s good to know the screaming and cussing in their face isn’t the cause. Glad we cleared that up.

– Mike and his wife wanted to clear the air that they don’t get Medicaid or food stamps. They pay more taxes than us (i.e., we make more money than you, slobs), and they don’t approve of people who do get food stamps. But we’re haters?! Okay, got it.

– And of course, “haters” about 489 more times. Seriously, Taylor Swift is one more hater away from suing them for copyright infringement.

– Video closes with Mike saying if they lose their channel (proof they’re feeling the heat) that it will really hurt their family. Guess you should have thought that one out better.

So there you have it, folks. This is the kind of shit people resort to in order to be seen on the internet. Why? Well, unfortunately sensationalism sells. There’s a piece of me that believes them, that this is all for show. But as I said before, that doesn’t make any of it right. In the early part of their “Haters” video, one of the children says, “You can’t judge our family,” which earned her a fist-bump from Mom. Sorry kiddo, you have a lot to learn. Yes, we can judge your family. You all put yourself out on the internet for the world to see. You want the fame? You want to claim that you’re putting on an act for everyone to see? Then you have to take the judgment that comes with it.

And finally, Daddy and MommyOFive, please, for the love of all that is good, stop telling us we don’t get it. Sure, a handful of whiny people, sure, they don’t get it. But when the an overwhelming majority of people see your videos and are not just angered, but hurt by them, it’s you who doesn’t get it.

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