A mother who found herself being shamed across the internet over a photo has shared the truth behind the viral ‘scandal’.
Molly Lensing was sitting at Colorado Airport last year, looking at her phone – while her two-month-old daughter, Anastasia, lay on the floor – when a by-stander snapped a photo of her.
The image was shared on social media, positioned so as to shame Molly for being more engrossed in her phone than her child, and quickly went viral.
Each time the photo was shared, it would attract a new string of vitriolic comments criticising Molly, and the hate turned personal after she was identified and began receiving equally hateful private mails on Facebook.
A year on, and Molly has spoken out about the image, which she claims was taken completely out of context.
Aside from the fact that Molly’s privacy had been violated with the capturing and sharing of the image, there was a very specific story behind the photo.
She told TODAY that the photo was taken while she and Anastasia were caught up in the middle of a Delta Airlines computer shutdown.
Paediatric nurse Molly was trying to get home to her native Illinois but, due to technical issues, she wound up spending 20 hours waiting around for a flight.
Explaining why Anastasia was on the floor when the photo was taken, Molly said: “She had been held, or in her carrier for many hours. My arms were tired. She needed to stretch.
“And I had to communicate with all the family members wondering where the heck we were.”
Molly said that once the photo went viral, and her name was associated with the post, she was inundated with abuse. And after just starting a job on a labour floor, she was terrified that she would be prevented from working with children.
A year on, Molly has learned that the only way to win against the sea of internet trolls is to focus on herself and her family.
“I ignore the photos and the comments, and lean on those close to me who know the real me,” she revealed.
“I am powerless compared to the internet, and I know that I am the best mama to my girls, and I know that I cherish them and am raising them the best I can.”
It’s amazing how a bit of perspective can completely change a situation.