Instasize: How are you today?
Dad and Buried: I'm good, how are you?
IS: I'm doing great. We sure love your account. We think it's so funny. Your Instagram.
DB: Thank you.
IS: It's awesome. We're so thrilled that you're willing to do this with us. Thanks again for taking the time.
DB: Actually, I use your app so-
IS: You do?
DB: Yeah, I do.
IS: Awesome. Oh my goodness. That's great. How long have you used Instasize for?
DB: I don't know. I've had it on my phone for a few years. It's annoying to ... if I screenshot a tweet or something that I just want to make into an Instagram photo, it doesn't fit. So, I open up your app and shrink it down or do what I have to do. Put a border around it or whatever.
IS: Oh my gosh, that's awesome. Well, that's what we like to hear. I'm glad that you've been able to use it for your social. That's great. That's awesome. Great.
Welcome to today's episode of the Unfiltered Podcast. We're so excited today to be interviewing at Dad and Buried. He is one of our favorite kind of ... I guess what would you call yourself, Mike? What kind of Instagram following do you have?
DB: I guess I'm a parent blogger. I used to blog more. Now, I'm more on Instagram and memeing and stuff, but I don't really know what to call myself. It gets sticky when you start to try to call yourself something because it's kind of embarrassing.
IS: Yeah. I love that. I love that. We'll just go for that. Mike is who runs the Dad and Buried account. I know a lot of you follow that account. It's really popular for both memes and just brightening your day. I know that I always go to your account whenever I'm like, okay, I just need a pick-me-up. So, kind of fun to see how you've been able to do that.
IS: Mike, can you kind of tell me how you got started on Instagram?
DB: On Instagram, well I started an Instagram I think like everybody else did when it first showed up. I was just taking random pictures, and if you scroll all the way back, years and years, there's some really terrible photos. I'm not really a photographer. I didn't know what I was doing, and it wasn't really until maybe four or five years ago, if that, that I started to kind of dovetail my Instagram presence with kind of what I was doing on my blog and on Twitter and stuff which was just basically making fun of parenting, and mocking my kids, and bitching about being a parent.
IS: I love that. I love that. It's obviously I feel like one thing that I love about your account is it's very authentic. There's not really ... You go to some people's accounts and it's very edited. Very, I don't know, fake. I feel like yours is very real, and you've been able to connect with so many parents. What kind of inspired the memes?
DB: Well, my kids and just being a dad and being a parent. I started my blog probably about 10 years ago, and when I started it it was a few months before my first son was born. I had seen my friends have kids and kind of withdraw from their social lives, and kind of change their personalities.
When I started my blog, I was like that's not going to happen to me and I'm going to use the blog to kind of hang on to my sarcasm and my cynicism, and kind of my sense of humor, and write about my kids that way. It's kind of always been in character a little bit. I do try to keep it real. When I do exaggerate, it's never in the 'my kids are the greatest' way, it's more like 'my life is hell' kind of way which is usually a little bit true and a lot of joke. I always say I love my kids but I hate parenting because it's really hard, and challenging, and very annoying, and exhausting. But I wouldn't trade my kids, but I wouldn't mind if I had a nanny.
IS: Yeah. I do that. Yeah, I totally get that. Can you tell me a little bit about your kids? How many do you have, and what are their ages? That kind of thing.
DB: Sure. I have two kids. I have one who will be nine in September, and he goes by Detective Munch on my social accounts, and my three and a half year old goes by The Hammer. His nickname was given to him by Detective Munch because he wanted help naming the kid. Initially, he wanted to name his little brother Toilet. We said no. We put the kibosh on that idea, but we let him choose his nickname. We thought The Hammer was pretty cool, and he lives up to it. He's kind of like Bam Bam from The Flintstones. He's a little blonde and kind of a maniac. Just this past weekend, he hit his head and had to get five staples in his head because he fell down on something, yeah. But he's fine.
IS: Kids are so hard. It's hard parenting. Do you ever think about when your kids get older if they go back and look at your account, they're like, "Dad, why'd you post this about me!" What are your thoughts on that I guess?
DB: I've gotten this question a lot, and it used to be before kind of ... I'm a little bit more well-known now so you kind of know what you're getting into hopefully when you come to my page. But there were a lot of people who were like, "How could you say this about your kids?" And, "How could you make fun of your kids or call them a-holes or whatever? What about when they see this?" My stance has always been, A, at home my kids know I love them. They know what I'm really like, and it's obviously a bit of a persona, and I'm not constantly calling my kids assholes to their faces. Just online. Just behind their back. B, my kids odds are are going to grow up with a similar sense of humor of mine just from being around it, and I think they'll mostly get it.
That said, as my eight year old gets older and gets closer to being a tween or a teen or whatever, yeah I think it's going to be a little bit dicier, and I'm going to have to be a little more careful about what I share of him. I'll probably have to start talking to him about what's okay for me to share. But I'll still make joke, maybe I just won't show his face when I do.
IS: Yeah. I think that's a great way to look at it. I really think it's cool that you're just ... I love that you're just being yourself, and you're not necessarily sheltering your kids which I feel like [inaudible 00:14:06] a lot of people that we've talked to before, I feel like it's a very sheltered community. I don't know the Instagram world. I'm curious, do you let your kids be on Instagram?
DB: I'm lucky so far in that my eight year old he knows of it mostly just because my wife and I will talk about it if I post something, but he doesn't have a phone, and he's not really on the internet yet. He's mostly just kind of doing Mindcraft and games and stuff online. He's not going really to YouTube or to social media sites and stuff. I haven't had to cross that bridge yet. When it does come up, I'll probably block him so he can't see my account.
IS: Oh my gosh. That's so funny. Do you have an opinion at all on should kids have access to social media? Particularly Instagram I guess is what I'm asking for.
DB: I think in this day and age, it's kind of naïve to think that they won't find a way and won't get access. The odds are that social media is relatively new, but it's not going away any time soon. They're going to grow up with it. Like anything else, I think you just got to kind of teach your kids the rules, and how to behave, and what's right and wrong in terms of using it, and what they should share and not share, and then hope for the best which is pretty much what parenting is. You try to tell them what to do and what not to do, and then hope they do it. Then, you find out.
IS: Yeah, for sure. For sure. I love that. So, you run these two accounts on Instagram. Do you do anything else as a hobby, or do you work as well, or what are you doing every day? What is your everyday look like I guess?
DB: I'm in marketing. Usually I'm a content writer, and a freelance writer, and a marketer. I'm actually in-between jobs at the moment, so I've had a little bit more time to devote to this. Which is funny because years ago I was a stay-at-home dad for about a year and a half when I was in a similar situation, when I got laid off from a job, and that was kind of when I really started getting on Twitter and social media, and getting my blog onto social media, and doing that kind of stuff. That's when I started to kind of take off. A couple of things went a little bit viral and that kind of thing. Now, I'm kind of back in that situation.
But it's taking up a little bit more of my time. I've gotten some freelance opportunities. I have a podcast where I basically just do what I'm doing with you right now, expect we pick a different topic every week that I rant about and make fun of my kids about. The rest of the time, I try to get as much sleep as I can, and taking my kids places because my wife makes me.
IS: I've noticed on your account, I was looking through it this morning and yesterday, I love how fresh the content is. I don't feel like you're necessarily ... Because I feel like a lot of meme accounts I see, it's like very popular memes I've seen a lot. How do you come up ... obviously your kids, but how do you make it just so punchy and to the point? Is there a process you go through when you're creating a meme?
DB: Sometimes. I spend a lot of time on Twitter before I really even got on Instagram, and that definitely kind of hones your skills of writing something kind of pithy and punchy and to the point. Sometimes I'll post something on Twitter, and if it does well there I'll know that it might make a good meme.
DB: Sometimes I'll hop on something that's happening in the news, or a current meme that's going around and I'll tweak it to fit my brand per se. A couple years ago or last year there was a big, famous photo from one of the NBA finals games with Lebron James looking exasperated at a teammate, and I turned that into being something about a parent relating to their kid. That went on Buzzfeed and stuff. Sometimes it's about hopping on what the latest trend is, and sometimes it's just leaning into your own thing. I have no shortage of jokes about my kids. It's actually the reason we had a second kid so I could keep refreshing my material.
IS: I guess as a dad, I know this is a kind of cheesy question, but Father's Day is coming up. What does it mean to you to be a dad, a father?
DB: What does it mean to me. I don't know. Look, I love my kids. It's really hard and frustrating at times, especially when you see them doing stuff that you know that they've picked up right from you. But it's the most important thing probably I'll ever do just in terms of you have the chance to mold somebody, and hopefully kind of make them into somebody who can make a difference. Maybe in ways that you haven't. Most of my impact has come with funny memes. Hopefully my sons can accomplish something a little bit bigger.
But I always wanted kids, and I have two brothers, and my parents ... I had a really good childhood. I was never trying to recapture something that I missed by having kids, and I think sometimes that can be the challenge is if you go into having kids looking for something that you didn't have, that's a lot to put on your kids and on the experience. For me, luckily, it's been kind of free of that baggage which isn't to say it isn't difficult and hard, and sometimes I don't regret it. I wouldn't mind being able to go on vacation by myself every once in awhile, or even have five minutes to myself every once in awhile. But nothing will replace like yesterday my son threw a tantrum for a half an hour, and then when he finally tired out he laid on my chest for 20 minutes, and that was kind of made everything worth it.
IS: Aww, that's awesome. I think that's so cool. Honestly, one thing that I was actually going to ask you because I love what you said about being a dad, and I don't find at least ... because I work a lot with influencers, people on social media, and I don't ever see a ton of dads out there creating content. When we found your account, we found your account a couple months ago, but I was curious is it kind of weird for you being a dad doing this? Because I know there's a lot of moms that do it, but I was just curious if you had ... is there a lot of dads that maybe I just don't know about that are doing this same thing?
DB: When I first started my blog, I quickly got wind of a Facebook community group, a closed group of other dad bloggers, and it was a few 100 at the time, and now it's 1500. That's pretty big. There's definitely a handful of dad accounts out there. It used to be I was one of the rare ones. There's still nowhere near as many as there are moms. It also used to be, even among mom accounts, that I was one of the rare kind of snarky, kind of mean about my kids, sarcastic kind of thing. That has changed a lot, too. I think there's a lot more dads out there, and there's a lot more people kind of willing to make jokes about their kids and be a little bit edgier if you want to say that. But yeah, look, most of the people that I interact with, and most of the meme accounts are more mom oriented.
But I worked with The Dad which is a Facebook site and a website that has gotten really big really quickly, and I think that's a testament to how many dads there are online who want a community that isn't always super touchy feely. That doesn't mind making some jokes, and isn't ashamed of being a parent. I think some dads maybe ... we're making inroads. More and more dads are taking a bigger role at home, but we're still kind of the secondary parent to moms. That's never really bothered me. As long as my wife and my kids think I'm doing a good job, I don't really care if there's bumbling dads on sitcoms and stuff. I know a lot of dads do take offense to that a little bit because we do work hard, and we are parents for real, and we're not just babysitters as some of them say. The community is definitely growing, but it's still nowhere near as big as the mom community. Look, I got to say most of the funniest parenting meme-ers are moms. There's a real lot of really funny moms out there.
DB: Yeah. Look, and I'm pretty discerning. I don't like the sappy stuff, the touchy feely stuff. There's a lot of moms out there that don't do that and that I really think are funny. They do exist.
IS: That's awesome. That's awesome, and do you guys kind of ... is there any interaction between mommy bloggers and the dad bloggers? Do you guys see, "Oh, that was a really good one. I love that." I don't know. Is there any interaction via DMs or email? Do you guys bounce ideas off of each other? Anything like that?
DB: Yes. Look, I have a couple ... obviously my wife has gotten into the game a little bit, and I'm friendly with some moms that sometimes I'll run a joke past. I'm definitely part of a couple of kind of DM groups on Instagram and stuff where people kind of collaborate and talk about jokes, and we share each other's stuff. There will be one or two other dads in those groups once in awhile. It's usually all moms. Some I know better than others, but yeah, we're definitely all willing to help each other and interact whether we're dads or moms or whatever.
IS: That's so cool. I love that. I love that there's that little a community of these ... It's awesome. I just think it's cool. So, so cool. Last question here. Is there anything if you could kind of tell all the dads out there, and it can be funny, it can be real. Whatever you want to do. If you could tell all the dads something that would be listening to this podcast, or even just parents in general listening to this podcast, what would that be?
DB: I guess it would be don't take yourself or parenting all that seriously. I think one of my big things is if you can't joke about it, you're not going to survive it. There are still a lot of ... It's the internet, right? So, there's a lot of sanctimonious, self-righteous people who will get mad if you make a joke about how pet moms aren't real moms or something like that. I got into some trouble with that. But I'm never trying to be mean-spirited about other parents or anything because I don't know anything. I don't know what I'm doing any more than anybody else does, and I'm not trying to tell anybody I do. I'm not trying to judge anybody. I'm just trying to make jokes and make it a little bit more bearable, and I think that's probably the main thing that you need to have as a parent besides kids is a good sense of humor.
IS: I love that. Is a good sense of humor and that will kind of carry you through the day I guess. I guess one follow up question real quick. How do you deal with negativity? When people are mean to you, how do you deal with that on Instagram or in your personal life?
DB: Well, on Instagram I love it. I enjoy the occasional troll. It gives you an opportunity. It's like having a heckler. It gives you the opportunity to shut somebody down or make a good joke back to them. What's great about ... I have a big enough following now that where the people kind of get where I'm coming from where if somebody comes out on my page and gets the wrong idea or says something nasty, my followers will kind of go after them, and I don't have to do anything. They'll take care of it for me which is great. But I try not to get into it too much because once you get into something like that it can really devolve really quickly into just a spiral of anger, and just people going back and forth, and raging at each other. I usually let my followers handle it, but if I can get a good joke in once and awhile, I definitely enjoy doing that.
In real life when somebody's negative to me, I don't know, I probably just run away. I'm not as tough in real life as I am on social media. I don't think anybody is.
IS: I love that. That's awesome. Well, thank you so, so much for being with us today, Mike. You've been such an awesome person to be on this podcast so we've just been ... I know everyone in the room's been laughing throughout the conversation. Thank you so much, and I guess we're just going to sign off now you guys from Unfiltered Podcast. Again, go follow @dadandburied. He's awesome. If you want some good humor on parenthood or just anything to brighten your day, he is hilarious. Go check him out. Everyone go follow him. Your other account is called what again? I totally-
DB: Got Toddlered.
IS: Got Toddlered. All right. Go follow that on, too, because I'm sure it's hilarious. He's awesome. Thanks again, Mike, for joining us today. We so appreciate you jumping on the call and being on the podcast with us today. Thanks again.
DB: Thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun.
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