As anyone would say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing your baby stories online per se! Obviously, Facebook is for sharing your personal experiences with people you know as “friends”. But there have been incidences of oversharenting which implies parents have been sharing too much information about their kids online. We’d like you to ask yourself – how many people in your friend list are people you really know – what they do, what are their families like, where do they stay etc? We bet you can count on your fingers people whom you really know. So is it worth creating a digital record of your child and sharing it with everyone? Consider the fact that not all friends are true. Not everyone will share your joy, instead exploit your happiness. Does it make sense to share happiness when it is not acknowledged.
Online Sharing Etiquette
When you are sharing, please follow certain basic etiquette. No, they are not written anywhere, and there isn’t a clause about them. But everyone needs to follow them without saying, and respect each others’s privacy.
- Never share pictures of other children through your account unless you have permission
- Never post nude/changing photographs of any baby – how would you feel if your parents did the same to you?
- Never post where your child studies, what is her routine, where she takes her guitar classes and the like. You could invite trouble with that
- When you share a story, do you think your child would be okay with this when she is old enough? If your answer is yes, only then should you share online
Key issues in sharing (or rather over-sharing) parenting online
- Nothing remains private!: Do remember that you would not have been pregnant without having sex! The point is that it is an inherently private thing. Of course, everyone has sex, but it does not mean you have to blurb out everything. Definitely, sex is not a taboo! Pregnancy is divine. However, divinity is also largely in your personal prayers. Many parents also go to the extent of publishing the ultra-sonogram fetus images online! Please avoid this! Enjoy the happiness of your personal time. You can always make artful status updates, witty and all! The idea is to share your experience, and not the medical details of the same. Express what you are feeling, and not make it a score board or stop watch for recording the details of your baby. Many mothers also feel that it is completely irrelevant to share baby stories with the world even before the closest family members have visited you after bringing the angel home
- Are you marketing yourself?: If you are tending to ‘market’ your pregnancy stories and new baby updates to show how glam you are and etc., then, sorry to say, but that is just bad motherhood. It also indicates that you are assuming everyone is very attentive about the tiniest details of your pregnancy or parenting routine. Seriously, does everyone have to know what is happening at the gynecologist!
- Use discretion: About sharing pictures, always employ discretion. First, make sure that the privacy settings are secure. Ensure that anyone who does not deserve to share your happiness does not get to share. Also, keep the photos beautiful. Moms posting photos with baby puke all over them are just grossing everyone out! Being a new mother is beautiful. Why should you make it ugly like this? Neither do you have to post photos just everyday! Your baby is yours only and not a doll for public display!
Social communication is an art; sharing stories is an art, and there must be a sense of balance always
Serious concerns of too much sharing online
- Check the privacy settings:The privacy settings are very important. Unfortunately, the world is full of very bad people everywhere. It does not need any explanation. Just ensure that you are sharing your babies’ photos with utmost discretion. Make triple sure that everyone seeing them are reliable. Facebook allows very granular privacy settings. You can pick out exactly the people you want to block. Why are you hesitating? Why are you careless? Don’t be please!
- Stay away from archived data:The same goes for online baby registries where one requires filling up all details down to the grandparents’ names! Be careful. Apart from risks from bad people, rumors are also abuzz that companies create customer profiles with all personal details. Your personal life should not be the data archive of any company at all!
- Future implications:Imagine when your child is a teenager. Surely, you would not like him or her posting everything about himself/herself, family, friends online. But trust us, because your child has had such an exposed life, you would not be in a position to explain what is acceptable and what is not
- Psychological implications:Too much sharing online renders a image and a routine that will be followed by your child. Growing up without anonymity can have serious psychological implications on your child. He will always grow for the camera and the image that you have portrayed thereof, because he has been in the spotlight since a very very young age
Your basic intention is to show how happy you are! This is wonderful and you should do it. However, also remember that happiness is fragile. It should stand on a balancing sense. If you are trying to force attention from people, that can tilt the opinions to an irksomeness. You won’t be able to help when people begin to judge you as a show-off mom or someone who is just being annoying. There are always the best ways to do stuff. Click beautiful photos. Write down the experiences. Share beautifully (and securely)!
Moms also create separate facebook pages to document their experiences. The same rules apply. Do not make a public spectacle of you or your baby! Caring for a baby is also a growing experience for the momma. You learn so many things; realize a whole world of new meanings, and go through your phases of bliss. Share these. In addition, consider keeping the tone positive always. Social media is a place to vent no doubt, but it is not a place to vent on your baby or on your troubles of parenting (unless you can put them nicely). All said, keep clicking baby photos, and enjoy your mommy-hood.