How Much Should You Share About Your Baby On Social Media?
Nowadays everyone is active on some sort of social media whether its updating your status, tweeting your celebrity idol or uploading a picture of a gorilla playing the drums in a bid to express your mood. People around the world seem to be living their lives on social media (except in large parts of China!)
So why should this be any different when you become pregnant and have a baby? It’s a major event in your life and you want to share it with your family, friends, acquaintances and followers…or do you?
I see it as there are 3 different types of social media users:
The Habitual Users
This group live their life through social media, you find out what they’ve eaten that day, at which restaurant and who with. They also use social media to share important life events such as relationship status’ and pregnancy announcements.
The Nosy Parkers
A collective group of users who occasionally update their accounts with carefully structured sentences and pictures. However, they love a good rummage around their friends and followers updates for a juicy bit of gossip.
The Faraway Friend
These users are happy to drift along in the social media world only updating their accounts once in a blue moon but very eager to secretly read everything you share.
Which one do you think you are you?
Regardless of which category you think you fall into do you really want to know how many times your friend’s child woke up in the night or how often they went to the toilet that day? Do you feel that you can rest easy knowing that they have tasted apple for the first time and enjoyed it? There’s sharing and then there’s sharing.
I remember being at home with my new baby and EVERYTHING he did I would update my Facebook status or post a picture to illustrate his adventures. Once I swear he had the world’s dirtiest nappy – so much so the event was nicknamed Korma-gate! – I quickly grabbed my phone and took a picture of the mess and the state it had left him, his clothes and the changing mat in. After the military clean-up operation had taken place I put it on Facebook chuckling to myself as the comments and likes poured in. It’s like when you drive past a car accident you can’t help but stare, this is exactly the reaction Korma-gate receivied. Even when one of my Facebook friends commented something along the lines of “is there really a need!” I didn’t believe I had shared too much, everyone I knew would be as amused by this as I was, wouldn’t they? It was like the introduction of Facebook had given new parents the green light to share what would have been traditionally mundane or inappropriate, you were no longer alone with your newborn, you were caring for him or her with an interactive audience.
It does seem like there are a large contingent of people out there who believe by posting, commenting, sharing snippets, pictures and every gurgle of their baby at every stage of their pregnancy is unnecessary. They’d rather read that you were dreading Monday or see a fully airbrushed selfie. I have known people to delete “friends” for daring to clog up their newsfeed with their child’s daily routine. These are usually childless individuals and you cannot wait for them to have a child of their own so you can witness their profile show nothing but pictures and anecdotes containing their little darling.
As time went on I found myself posting less and caring less about other people’s updates when it concerned their children, perhaps because I was so busy raising my child and working rather than glued to my phone or computer, normal life was beginning to resume after the early new born madness stage.
There comes a time when you consider what other people are sharing about your child, having to sign forms at nursery to allow pictures to go on their Facebook or Twitter page or to be printed in the Newsletter. Consents forms for photographers in nursery and warnings that you must not photograph or film children in school plays. Of course you must take all these warning seriously however you must also allow yourself as a parent to make an informed decision, changing privacy settings on your accounts can help protect your child if you feel this is appropriate.
I am of the belief that sharing some precious (and some not so precious) moments with your social media audience can be a great support to a new parent and this shouldn’t be underestimated, however be prepared to notice a few less followers or friends and for the judgement that “over posting” can bring.