Em Clarkson does her best to solve matters of the heart this week…(Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Em Clarkson is here to solve all your problems.
Well, sort of.
As Metro’s agony aunt the influencer, author and content creator (busy much?) is primed and ready to be a sympathetic ear, an oracle of wisdom or, quite simply, a stand-in for that girl in the nightclub bathroom you share your thoughts and dreams with while waiting in line.
While she stresses she’s no alternative for therapy, Em is keen to talk through any quandary.
This week, she’s helping Metro readers navigate girl code and parenting with someone who doesn’t recognise the possibly dangerous implications of posting their child online for all to see.
Read on to find out what Em has to say…
I know a friend is buying dirty pants from other girls behind his Girlfriend’s back. Do I tell her?
Oh, babe, I feel for you, because YES, I do think you should tell her.
While we don’t know the intricacies of their relationship to know whether or not the parameters would constitute this as cheating, it would feel like a betrayal to me and if my partner were betraying my trust in any way and someone else knew I’d want them to tell me. Which puts you in a horrible position and I’m sorry.
As much as we’d like to think we’d honour girl code to a fault, the reality is a lot harsher than that. Least of all because this information is going to hurt this woman, and in being the one to give it to her, it’ll feel, to both of you, as if you are the one causing the pain. You have to remember that you aren’t. Even if she takes it out on you (old proverbs are often unfortunately ignored and messengers do get shot), you have her best interests at heart and will, in the long run, be protecting her from being hurt in other ways by her partner.
Metro’s Agony Aunt Em Clarkson says if my partner was betraying my trust in anyway and someone knew I’d want them to tell me (Picture: Natasha Pszenicki)
As for your friendship with him, realistically I think he is going to be angry with you for medalling in his relationship, he’s most likely going to tell you that it’s none of your business and he is going to try and make whatever unfolds in his relationship your fault, as you will have been the one to pull the pin.
Do not forget, it is not your fault, he is in the wrong, and if he cannot accept that, it’s on him. Knowledge is power but it’s also a pain in the arse sometimes, so I’m sorry for you that you know what you do, but I think you know the right thing here and that’s to protect this woman, in spite of your relationship with the man hurting her. The world needs more of that.
Ask Emily Clarkson: Your questions answered
My son’s dad refuses to stop posting our kid’s photos and personal info on social media despite me raising concerns (I work in cybersecurity so am probably more aware of the dark side of identity theft, child pornography, and am worried about the way Al is developing and people being unaware of the dangers impacting a child’s future)
This is an issue befalling more and more parents as we each try to establish what our boundaries are with the ever-growing beast that is the internet.
I completely understand your desire to protect your son and the fact you don’t want content of him shared online. I feel exactly the same about my daughter and know many of my friends do too (I have one friend who was put in the same position as you by a family member who shared a photo of her baby and then subsequently blocked her on Facebook).
It does feel for a lot of us, that the more we learn, the less we want to share. But in the context of this situation, you need to remember that you know more than most, due to your job. The full extent of our digital footprint simply isn’t understood by the vast majority of us, and I think you’d do well to be patient as you educate those around you. Having said that, you have previously laid down a boundary with your son’s father which has subsequently been ignored, and that isn’t ok. So, you need to communicate that to him.
For people who grew up with the internet the real-world implications can seem insignificant (Credits: Getty Images/Westend61)
For those of us who’ve grown up with the internet growing adjacent to us, I think we maintain an element of naivety about it, still believing it’s as simple as logging in and logging out like the two worlds aren’t totally entwined. And I don’t believe any parent shares photos of their kids with any ill intent, call it innocence or ignorance, most of us just want to believe the best of the people around us and show off our children because we are proud of them. But it’s important to you that he doesn’t do that, so you need to keep trying.
France is passing a law that looks to ban parents from sharing content of their kids without permission and I think that’s a good launching pad for this conversation. Bring facts, bring statistics, bring receipts if you have to, do what you can to get through to him the seriousness of what he’s doing, in your eyes. Tell him that best case scenario here is that you are wrong, but the worst case is that you are right. And then ask him, if there were even a 1% chance of that happening, why he really wants to take that risk.
Want to ask Em Clarkson a question?
With nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram and a reputation as one of the more honest influencers out there, Em is often asked for advice in her DMs. Now, she wants to do the same in Metro, as our newest columnist.
No topic is off limits. So if you’ve a question for her agony aunt series, email [email protected].
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