When I was pregnant I said to my husband one night at dinner, “Once we have this baby I am not going to post pictures of her all the time. I don’t want to be one of those moms”.
HAHAHA! Okay, good one.
I was totally one of those moms. After my daughter was born, I posted a picture almost every other day, if not every day for almost her whole first year. I was seriously obsessive, and I’m sure extremely annoying to some people.
One night my daughter had her last bottle before bed and fell asleep in my arms. I was so excited about this because it didn’t happen very often anymore. I snapped an adorable picture of her snuggled into my arms with the most peaceful look on her face. I was about to say to my husband, “Aww I can’t wait to put this on Facebook”, when out of nowhere something hit me. Something in my brain triggered this weird feeling I hadn’t had before with her. It was the simple thought of, “why do you feel that Facebook or any other form of social media needs to see this?”
I gave the whole idea more thought and decided I’m going to stop sharing as much as I currently do about my daughter. Here were four questions I started asking myself.
Is she safe?
Honestly this wasn’t a huge one for me, but it’s definitely one reason to think about. I’ve always been smart about what I share and where I share it. I typically don’t tag any places or locations I’ve been to with her locally, I put some thought into the backgrounds of all our pictures, and most of the time I don’t even share her name in captions.
Do those small precautions mean that we are totally safe? No, not necessarily. So why risk the possibly of something happening?
It also has to do with internet safety. There are a lot of strange people out there, and you never know what they may do with some of the pictures they see on the internet.
What will she think about these pictures I’ve posted?
We’ve made all of her decisions for her up to this point, including what pictures are shared of her. I’d like to think that she wouldn’t be upset that I posted her adorable, chubby baby pictures all over my Facebook page and Instagram account, but what if she would be upset?
I’ve never posted naked bath pictures or ones of her in just her diaper. But what if I’ve posted something I thought was sweet, and she looks back on it and think it’s embarrassing? I remember a few times when my mom would say something embarrassing about me to someone and I was mortified, but at least she didn’t post it somewhere for hundreds of people to see.
Will these pictures and videos be meaningful later in life?
One of my favorite things to do now and then when I go to my parents house is pull out the old photo albums and home videos and spend hours just looking through or watching them. Being able to do that is so fun and special.
If I post all of these pictures and videos now, will they be meaningful later to her, or to us? This is a question I don’t think anyone can really answer because it’s a very new idea. We are some of the first parents to live with these easily accessible cameras that can capture videos or pictures in a seconds notice. Maybe this is not necessarily a sharing related issue as much as it is a living with technology in this day in age issue. But maybe not sharing so much with everyone will make it more meaningful to my family and I.
Am I really even enjoying this moment?
Going back to my daughter sleeping in my arms, I mentioned how that rarely happened anymore. This unique moment of her snuggled into me was happening, and I’m sitting there, stretching my arm as high as I can to get the best angle, the best pose, the best picture of it. Is the picture going to be more important than the moment that is actually happening? Not in this case.
Are there special occasions that you should whip out the camera? ABSOLUTELY. All the firsts, the birthdays, the funny moments, any special occasion. But in this moment it was only special to me and my baby. My Facebook didn’t need to see it. Would some people have appreciated it? Of course, but in this case I found it just wasn’t necessary to share.
Does this mean I am going to delete all pictures of my daughter and never post one of her again? No, but it will limit my posts, and what I decide to share with people. Already my Instagram account has drastically decreased in the number of pictures I post of her compared to what it used to look like (picture on the left is from a few months ago, pictures of the front is from today).
Here are some tips I use for sharing my child a little less:
- I used to get so many close ups of her face. I try to not get so many pictures close up, maybe only a few here and there.
- I try to only post pictures of special events or memories I want to remember. No more, “Look how cute she is here!”, or “Look at her sweet outfit here!”.
- If she’s doing something cute, or something I want to remember I sometimes take a snapshot from behind or with a blocked view, like the picture of her napping or with our dog above on the right. This way I remember the event, but when I post it on Instagram it’s a sweet picture from behind and does not include her face.
- I try to only post pictures of her every other picture. This way she’s not plastered all over my social media account.
- I’ve been posting more pictures of my daughter on Instagram stories as opposed to my actual Instagram account. These are a quick fun way to share photos or videos without them permanently being on an account.
Am I saying that you should follow these guidelines and do what I do? Absolutely not. This was a personal decision for my family, and each individual should choose what works for them.
I think sometimes we feel we need to share everything good and beautiful that’s going on in our lives that sometimes it consumes us. We strive to get the perfect shot or the best pose to prove something to our friends or followers. But in my opinion, sometimes you just have to live in the moment with the people you love without anyone else’s approval.