March 29, 2012
As if we don’t have enough reasons to love Sweden already (great furniture, family-friendly politics, etc.), the country has now dubbed its national Twitter account “the world’s most democratic.” Here’s why: the nation’s Curators of Sweden project invites a newly-elected citizen to take over Tweeting each week, and officially encourages these citizens to share diverse opinions with the feed’s 28,000 followers. Last week’s presiding citizen, Natashja Blomberg, a mom of two, did just that by posting a photo of herself breastfeeding — followed by one of herself tandem breastfeeding (nursing both of her kiddos at once) – and declared her Twitter rein a #breastfeedingriot. Other moms in Sweden and beyond tweeted in support, picking up on the hashtag and even suggesting a #boobrevolution is in the works.
Curators of Sweden project managers fully backed Natashja’s Twitter riot, saying “Equality is something Sweden likes to promote and we're happy that she does it in her way.” (Can I relocate internationally yet?!). But the vocal mom wasn’t simply preaching to the choir by publicly web-rioting; in fact, a recent study found that while 85 percent of Swedish 18-to-22-year-olds are pro-breastfeeding, four out of five of them also feel moms should cover up when feeding their babies in public. (18-to-22-year-olds seem like a weirdly limited demographic to hit up for opinions on public breastfeeding — what about the rest of the adult population, people? – but there you have it). Americans, obviously, are also staunchly divided on this topic, yielding a steady flow (pun!) of controversies for the public – both on and offline -- to debate.
It remains to be seen whether the breastfeeding riot will continue on Twitter (the most recent Tweet with that tag went up 11 hours ago as of the time I’m publishing this post), but regardless, Natashja’s utilization of (extra-democratized) social media to share her pro-public breastfeeding stance was well-timed and well-executed. Hats – or, hey why not?—tops off to you, Natashja! And an official blog nod to Sweden for setting another great example the rest of the world would do well to follow. (You can follow the Curators stream here).
What do you think of the Twitter breastfeeding riot? What topics would you address if you ran a national Twitter account for a week? Looking forward to your reactions to this one!
PS. Riot= Not Quiet. Jump aboard, Mamas: