Lisa Long article, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” made her receive both good and harsh criticism for exposing her child’s mental illness to the world. In Lisa’s post, she narrates the disturbing story of a life with her son who is thirteen years old. Apparently, the son has erratic emotional and behavioral episodes that frighten her. Therefore, the analysis focuses on points that it is unethical for Lisa Long to exploit the life of her mentally ill son according to the article.
Firstly, exploiting one’s family members to satisfy one’s blogging fans is not only unethical for a writer, but also heartless. Judging from the fact that Long’s son was only thirteen years old and mentally ill, there is no way he gave consent for his story to be highlighted. The friends, family, and associates of an author or blogger are not in existence to be the source of scrutiny on a blog. In addition, it is dishonorable for any individual to broadcast private or disconcerting information about another person without the consent of that individual. If Lisa decided to publish her own private and embarrassing moments for her blogging fan’s attention, it would have been okay since it is her own life.
Lisa is irresponsible for what she did to her son, who is given the alias “Michael” when she relates the disturbing episodes where Michael threatened to kill her. Exposing her son’s episodes could affect his future even if he got well and decided to live a normal life. One can say Lisa was somehow trying to punish Michael for making her life miserable by exposing his weak moments to the public. Any person who gets access to the post be it an employer, friend, or lover will be automatically repelled by Michael’s murderous ways, which can further affect her son.
Most people say Long should be given credit for publicizing her son’s condition terming it as bravery. However, Long’s decision to credit herself for the piece by putting her name further dehumanizes her intentions despite her efforts to change her son’s name. This is because part from her name, she includes photographs, which makes it easier for any individual who recognizes the family to quickly piece together that her son is the main character. Furthermore, she has been known to use other family members on her blogs such as her husband and her more normal children.
The justification that the Newtown massacre was crucial that it requires undermining the delicate future of Lisa’s in the name of endorsing expressive communication regarding mental illness is not enough to give the author credit. One cannot tarnish another person’s future in order to save another. As such, the author should have been anonymous since the situation was delicate. Regardless of the misery that Lisa goes through to raise a mentally ill child, exposing his weaknesses to the public to get recognition is completely irresponsible and unworthy (Rutherford 53). Being a mother to a mentally ill child, she should be the first one to protect him from the cruel world. Mentally ill children often only trust the people close to them and Lisa’s publication of her son’s condition is similar to bullying her son just like any other bully would act.
Lisa has published several spiteful and unpleasant posts regarding her kids where she dreams about caning the children or leaving them under another person’s care. In several publications, Lisa portrays her son as a regular boy prone to inciting her age by messing everything up. Lisa appears hell-bent on fame to a point that she is willing to expose her own family to achieve it.
I believe it was unethical to expose about her son’s private life, which can lead to people speculating her son’s life just because of a blog. Her mentally ill child can be in grave danger of being bullied and harassed due to his mother’s incompetence. It is evident that ‘Michael’ will never leave a normal life even if he fully recovers since the post will always be a reminder of what he was and his reputation to the outside world will always be that of a violent man.
- “‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective on the Mental Illness Conversation in America.” The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
- Rutherford, Adam. “Mother knows best.” Trends in Molecular Medicine 7.2 (2001): 53. Print.