When a mother posted photos of her sick toddler’s birthday party, she wasn’t expecting people to spend time making fun of her little girl’s appearance.
The South Carolina mom was excited to share the sweet photos of Mariah Anderson, who recently celebrated her second birthday. Little Mariah suffers from a chromosome duplication syndrome that has left her significantly impaired, as it causes motor and learning delays. The photo of the birthday girl she posted went viral, but it wasn’t because it was a sweet photo of a 2-year-old — it was because a bunch of internet idiots were making fun of her appearance.
The girl’s mom, Kyra Pringle, is so upset with the negative attention her daughter’s photo is receiving. Watching her talk about the situation with reporters is heartbreaking. Mariah’s prognosis is poor, and the family cherishes every day they have with their sweet girl, and it’s unfair that they have to not only deal with the heartbreak of possibly losing a child at a young age but also the fact that the girl’s photo has become a joke.
I love technology, and I love the internet. I think it’s amazing what it allows us to do — for example, work from home, interact with friends and family across the globe and connect with people in ways I couldn’t even imagine when I was a teen in the ’90s. What I don’t love about the internet is how one can upload, post and comment with a certain degree of anonymity. People type out things they would never say to your face, and some of the most vile thoughts get spewed out for all to see, cloaked behind a keyboard and an internet connection.
I think a lot of people don’t really think things through — it’s almost like they don’t realize the person whose photo they’re ridiculing online is an actual person. In this case, the person is a seriously ill child whose family is thrilled she’s still here to celebrate her second birthday.
While it’s wonderful that people are now seeing this sweet photo and most realize what a treasure Mariah is, it’s horrible that the initial reason is that people were calling her a leprechaun and posting the photo for a laugh.
Sharing photos to ridicule someone’s appearance is unfortunately commonplace on social media, but sharing a little kid’s photo for chuckles is lower than low. Hopefully this family will return to normal once Mariah’s photo loses steam, because they need to concentrate on loving their girl, not worrying about hurtful comments from asshats.