First off I want to be very clear that if you do post photos of your little one I think that is great! I love seeing what my friends little ones are up to, and yes I have been sucked into the Instagram baby-hashtag-vortex (you know when one cute baby leads to another and another). I by no means want people to stop posting photos of their cuties! I have had many people talking to me lately about why I don’t post pictures with little Miss. H’s face…. this rambling is simply why I have made the choice I have.
I have heard the argument for safety. To a certain extent I can see that point of view but that isn’t my primary reason. Perhaps when she is older I could see the concern about someone knowing exactly what she looks like, what her name is, where she lives, and all those personal things, but at the moment… I don’t think that would make much of a difference.
The future… “okay where is she going with this” you might be wondering. To me the future is the reason why I am trying to hold back on the social media. I don’t know what the future will look like and I would like to allow H to control her media presence. It might sounds a bit silly, but if you think about it did you have photos of yourself slathered all over the internet since you were a baby? Probably not! Do you have a few photos from University that are particularly unflattering or from that Exchange Trip where maybe that haircut should not have happen …. maybe you would rather not have those moments immortalized on the internet? I consider myself fortunate that the worst thing out there are very unflattering photos of myself, but nothing to be ashamed of… but still I know that those photos are out there forever! I hope that one day H might say “hey mom it’s cool if you post that photo of me throwing up all over you” but if she says “thank you for not posting that photo” then that’s ok as well… at least it’s her choice!
However your child is represented on social media use it as a “teachable moment”. When little H wants to go onto Instagram or Twitter or whatever crazy new thing will be out there, I hope that I can use what I have and haven’t put on social media as a lesson. I think this can apply to the parent who shares every single adorable photo possible; to the parents who you weren’t even aware had a child, according to social media! As a teacher, and a person who is aware of kids and technology in general, there are some scary stories out there concerning kids and technology. I hope that with our experiences (H, her dad and myself), this will open up a dialogue about why we made certain choices.
What about other people? Have I allowed others to post a picture of her… yes… I was fine with that. I appreciated that they asked first, as I think that should be a bit of a common courtesy if you are posting a photo of someone else’s child. I am not going out of my way to create a media blackout on her behalf, simply minimizing what is out there. There have been moments where I have wanted to post a photo so bad, but I have made a conscious choice not to. Did I post a ridiculous naked bunny photo at Easter… guilty… my rationalization… it could have been any baby and if she does find it horrifying I feel like I can take it down!
What about family away? I know many people who post photos so out of town family can keep up to speed with what is going on… AWESOME! I think that is a great use of the technology we have. We actually do something similar… we just have a private file-sharing program! What has worked really well for us is Google Photos! We have made a private shared album that has been working like a charm. It is great for the more “technology shy” people in the bunch who simply click a link, I have emailed them, to check out new and old photos. The more technology friendly people can be added as members and even add photos to the album themselves (it is super fun if N and I are on a date night and we can see what aunty or grandma is up to with H!).
Parenting can be rough enough without other people telling you what you should or should not be doing… so whether you choose to flood social media with your little one, share absolutely nothing or do something in the middle… you do you!