We live in a technological age when devices with screens are commonplace and social media accounts help us keep up with the latest in people’s lives—family, friends, enemies, coworkers, celebrities, and that strange neighbor down the street.
I feel incredibly blessed to live during a time where information is literally at my fingertips. If I want to know how many miles are between the sun and the Earth’s moon, I can find out in 0.73 seconds. It’s amazing!
I love that I can have personal accounts in my own little corner of a virtual universe, where I get to decide what to share, when to share it, and with whom. Like many others, I keep my social media pages private, and I am selective about who I connect with.
After I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I had many conversations about the decisions we wanted to make and how those decisions might affect our children. Among the topics of conversation: social media.
Many parents choose to share countless photos of their kids beginning the day they are born. Nowadays, it seems odd if a parent doesn’t share about every milestone, show every scrunchy-nosed photo, and describe every first spaghetti experience.
After much prayer and discussion, we decided not to do those things. Instead, we chose to be extremely selective about involving our girls on social media from the very beginning. My husband doesn’t have any social media accounts, so everything is on my profiles.
I think I posted 2-3 pregnant belly growth photos, and only a handful photos from our maternity shoot. Since P and C were born (18 months ago), I’ve only shared four posts where you could see their precious little faces.
Why? I’m going to tell you! First, I want to be very clear about my intent.
This IS why I am sharing about our decision:
- To explain our choices and why we’ve stuck to them
- To provide clarity for the friends and family members who have been wondering about this or feeling upset that we don’t share more
- To add my voice to the mix for those who are trying to decide what they want to do about social media when it comes to their children or future children
This IS NOT why I am sharing about our decision:
- To make parents feel judged for choosing differently than we did
- To shame parents who post the types of photos that we refuse to
Please please please know that I mean that! If you are a parent who posts 20+ photos of your kids every day, good for you! That is your choice. I am sharing about our choice.
I rarely show P and C’s faces
My husband and I want to be very intentional about respecting our kids’ privacy. When I post a photo or video of them, we are creating their social media presence for them.
The Internet can be a cruel place, and there are parents who don’t want their children to have their own social media profiles until they reach a certain age or maturity level. We think that makes sense!
At the same time, when you post something about your child, you are building their social media presence. Whether you create a cute profile for your baby or you post on your own profile, you are slowly expanding their social media reach without them even knowing.
Because of this, we would rather not create an entire corner of the social media world that is plastered with P and C’s faces. Yes, I do post photos and videos of them sometimes, but by not showing their faces often, we feel that we are maintaining a level of privacy for them.
When they get older and their level of understanding grows, we will be able to ask them if they mind if I share a photo. Until then, it is up to my husband’s and my judgment.
I do not share photos or videos that might be embarrassing to P and C
The explanation for this builds on the previous one. If we are responsible for P and C’s social media presence until they are able to be, why would I want to post something that might embarrass them?
I would imagine that if a child were in charge of his or her own social media accounts, he or she probably wouldn’t choose to share photos of themselves in the bathtub or videos of them singing on the potty. I know I wouldn’t!
When my parents were raising my sisters and me, they didn’t have to think about these things. Let’s imagine for a second that they did, though. Let’s pretend they started sharing photos and videos of us from the days we were born.
I would imagine they’d post the video of me potty training, because how cute was I when I sang the ABC’s while I was trying to go #2?! Adorable.
If they posted that and I found out about it when I got older, I would not think it was funny. I would be embarrassed and it would be way too late. By that time, the video would have been posted for years, and who knows who may have seen it?
Even if my parents’ profiles were private, all their friends could’ve seen. Maybe it would’ve been shared and gone viral, because I was just that cute with my big glasses and Shirley Temple curls. Maybe it would’ve been turned into a meme. You never know.
As a mom with Facebook and Instagram profiles, I want to be responsible with the control I have over what I share.
I never post photos of P and C unclothed
Once again, the explanation for this builds on the previous two: I want to respect P and C’s privacy and I don’t want to embarrass them.
There’s more to this, though.
Anyone who has used photo-editing software knows how easy it is to manipulate a photo. If you haven’t used software like this, hop onto Google Images and search “photoshop before and after” and you will definitely see what I mean. It is amazing and terrifying what can be done to images nowadays.
I read an article shortly after P and C were born about how easy it is for pedophiles to find and edit photos of children that they then circulate around their circle of sick weirdos.
At that point, my husband and I had already decided to be extremely selective, but you can bet our decision was reinforced by what I read! You can read another insightful article about this topic here.
On a similar note: I do not use P and C’s full names on this blog
I know this has nothing to do with images, but if you’ve read my blog before you’ve probably noticed that I don’t use my kids’ full names. As much as I love the idea of sharing how we chose their awesome names, I’m not going to.
This simply goes back to protecting their privacy and being mindful of how they can be identified on the Internet in the future. People who know our family personally know what their names are, and as far as I’m concerned, no one else needs to.
Now you know why we are so selective about what I post on social media!
I think there are some individuals in our lives who assumed we were in a phase. Like maybe we would snap out of it and start showing off our girls more. Don’t get me wrong; they are the cutest tiny humans ever, but we still stand by our decision. We have no regrets!
Do you have questions about what you just read? Feel free to drop a comment below or send me a message. I’d be happy to answer you!
Hello! I am a work-at-home mom to twin girls and a canine. I’m learning what life looks like when you surrender to God. Passionate about parenthood, marriage, and all things coffee!