From birth announcements -to- ultrasound photos -to- his/her first steps -to- his/her first day at school…the list goes on and on and on, but social media is often the first place parents turn to share milestones and daily highs and lows. Often referred to as ‘sharenting’ – a term that may seem precarious of ‘over’ sharing or just as describing how parents post photos of their children online. An idiosyncratic practice seen amongst modern parenting and also known as one of the most controversial!!! A recent study conducted by Nominet found that parents posted an average of 1,500 photos of their children online by their 5th birthday! The question here is…should parents be more mindful about sharing photos of their children online?
For example, I won’t be sharing photos of my daughter (Iman) on here or anywhere else on social media, but this is a personal choice. WHY??? Well, I believe that Iman is a person who has the right to decide on what her online presence is. Growing up in a time where the Internet has been widely used and the social media platforms have evolved, I as a young adult decided on how much of myself I chose to put online. Therefore, I believe that Iman should also have that choice. As the first generation of parents in this social media barmy world, I think we might need to really think about the effects of giving our kids an online footprint at such a young age. Nonetheless, I’m a firm believer that our parenting decisions and choices will always differ and naturally we’re not all going to agree on everything!
Ok, so with all that said, I recently observed a remorseful trend emerging. It’s as if people are becoming apologetic about sharing photos of their children on Facebook. As Facebook is a well-known platform for sharing (or showing off) about accomplishments, extraordinary moments, and so forth…why apologise when those moments are centred around your children? Is it because society as a whole belittles parenthood? When I had Iman 6 months ago, I vowed to not become a baby bore. I cringed at the thought of being labelled as one of those parents who posted endless photos of everything to do with their baby on social media. Although I’ll tweet about my daughter and our daily outings, I’m refraining from splashing her face all over social media because I also don’t believe that other people are that interested in seeing photos of my child pop up all over their feeds. Again, this is solely a personal decision and not in any way a dig at parents that choose to do otherwise.
In the past when I was a Facebook junkie, I’d never stop myself from posting about a job promotion, career success or education attainments but I think for the most part, I believed that my Facebook friends would be pleased for me…maybe I was wrong? Who knows? However, when it comes to parenthood, it appears to be appropriate to roll your eyes and say “Guess who’s just posted another photo and update about their child AGAIN?”
So the reality is, many reserve a distinct kind of aloofness towards oversharing parents. Yet, as a mother I know just how much of a huge achievement it is to;
- Conceive a baby
- Progress through the journey of pregnancy
- Give birth
- Get through the early days/weeks/months of motherhood
- Maintain your sanity through the process…etc.…
….and they’ll be so many more achievements to be experienced as our children continue to grow.
I do feel that “sharenting” is definitely one of those life choices that impact our outlook on many things. Those without children don’t always understand what it feels like to be a proud parent and it’s almost like being polarised. It sometimes makes me question how much we really value parenthood in this country, but that’s a blog for another day. The life achievements such as, the new home, new car, getting married – are sometimes deemed to be more valid. However, what people don’t understand is that when you become a parent, it becomes your life and THE greatest achievement in your life, so why do you feel that you should apologise if you decide to share 100000000s of photos of your child? Although it’s not something I chose to do, I’m still going to say that if you make the decision to share special moments of your child online, be proud and don’t EVER apologise for it BUT maybe think twice about what type of photos you choose to share and the quantity of them.
Please do feel free to comment below. I’d been interested to hear from parents who have shared photos of their children in the past and those who have also chosen not to.