Hitting the books: Why you shouldn't blog about asking a cop to go shopping for you

In her new book, Stephanie McNeal explores the public personas and private lives of three of the internet’s most influential lifestyle bloggers: Caitlin Covington, Mirna Valerio, and Shannon Bird. The book, Swipe Up for More!: Inside the Unfiltered Lives of Influencers, is an unflinching look at the interplay between the two worlds, and the consequences of actions and perceived actions. One story in the book recounts a 911 call made by Shannon Bird in which she asked a local cop to make a midnight milk run for her hungry baby. The officer came through for her, buying baby formula and delivering it to her house in the middle of the night. Shannon was grateful to him and decided to share the saga on her Instagram Story. However, the story went viral and soon faced a backlash online. People painted Shannon as the epitome of a clueless white woman using her privilege to call on law enforcement as her personal errand boy. The decision to post about the cop and the formula had a profound impact on every aspect of Shannon’s life and career. It caused her to rethink her actions and their implications, and she has become acutely aware of her white privilege and the need to consider it when posting online. The incident also resulted in real-world consequences, with Shannon receiving hate online and even Child and Family Services showing up at her house following a report that her children were in danger. Shannon has been traumatized by the experience, while her husband has taken a more laid-back approach, not letting online criticism bother him. Overall, the story shows the potential consequences of sharing personal experiences online and the importance of considering how they may be perceived by others.

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