In which I discuss my family and social media.

I love to talk about my son. He is, arguably, my favourite topic of conversation. I love to chat about all of his words (and he has a lot of words guys. That kid stops chatting only long enough to eat, sleep and listen to a story), how he’s starting to walk, and that I know that The Husband and I are so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing little person in our lives.

I love to take pictures of my son. I love to capture his perfect little moments, trapping them on (digital) film for as long as they’ll keep. I love to send those photos (usually via email and text, though I have been known to send them by post) to friends and family and TLM-brag.

What I do not love – and this isn’t a judgement on anyone else – is sharing him via social media. I will yammer in tweets, discuss children’s book and toys on Instagram, and tell you stories on blogs, but my son’s cherubic face doesn’t belong on the internet.

This isn’t always a popular decision. We have a few camps in our lives, but only two are important here: the people who follow me on Twitter and (used to follow me on) Facebook who would love to see photographic evidence supporting my claim of having had a child, and the people (almost exclusively my family, as Husband’s has virtually no online presence beyond email) who would love to TLM-brag on their own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

I get it. I get it and I feel like an asshole asking people to remove TLM photos from their feeds, and to not post photos at all. I love my son (more than you do, I assure you) and I want to share my immeasurable pride in him with the whole world.

But I don’t. I didn’t when I was pregnant (nary a belly update made it onto my Facebook account, when I had a social Facebook account), and I don’t now. Husband and I have chosen this route, in an incredibly open and public world, because TLM is too young to have a choice. We will continue to keep him private (and safe) and offline until he can choose how he would like to build his online life, if he chooses to build one at all.

I’m a pretty open book. I’ll talk with you about almost anything you want to talk about, sometimes to the point of over-sharing. I’m also a very private person. My life is precious and the people in it sacred to me.

I think this post is exclusively a yammer-to-myself piece, but I also feel it’s important. You can post pictures and stories of your life and all of the people in it to your heart’s content and I will love you for it. I think it’s awesome and I love to see your updates. Mine are just reserved for email (where, if you have ever received an email from me, you know I get all kinds of share-y and picture-overload-y).

Do you share your family on social media? Have you made the decision not to? TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS! What are your feelings, either way?

Hall & Oats – Private Eyes



11 thoughts on “In which I discuss my family and social media.

  1. suzymmarie says:

    This is SUCH a great post. I wrote about this a while ago because it frightens me that children don’t get a say in what goes on the internet where they are concerned. I mean, some of the stuff I did growing up, I’d be so embarrassed to have that put all over the net by my parents. This technology tidal wave isn’t going to slow up anytime soon so it’s likely that your little one will still be using social media in some form or other when he grows up & that’s why I completely agree with your decision to keep him private. I love seeing photos of people’s family, but it has to be done tastefully and also with the consciousness that it’s so unbelievably public. I think you’ve got it down my darling! xx

    • Thank you!

      Haha! I’m saving those embarrassing photos for The Right in person moments. Naturally. (Plastered all over a cake at graduation, perhaps.)

      Thank you, hon. I really appreciate your taking the time to read, think about and comment. I hear you. It’s a freaking crazy world we live in, hey? I never thought I’d have to so adamantly defend my family’s privacy (sometimes).

  2. lahirondelle says:

    There is also the small camp of people who totally respect and support your decision 😀 . Happy New Year Foxy one.

    • You’re right, and I should have added that. There actually aren’t too many people who don’t support or respect this decision. They don’t always like or agree with it, but they absolutely support and respect it. 🙂 Sorry, I meant that there are “we want TLM pictures!” camps. 🙂

  3. I totally understand your decision to do this. I think that, in a world where oversharing is everything, it’s important to keep some things private. Not to mention that I’ve seen the sharing-baby-pictures-all-over because a sort of mom-competition before, and I find that to be just one of the saddest things. I think that, by staying more private, you’re refusing to engage in a lot of that.

    Even though I see both sides of the coin when it comes to parents sharing baby pictures, I like the way that you and husband are handling TLM’s privacy. I like that he will have his own chance to “exist” on the internet, and he can do so whenever he wants.

    ❤ Anyway, lovely post and wonderfully written, as always.

    • Mom-competition. That’s another thing. It’s like compensation, sometimes. Children (your own, or nieces, nephews, grandchildren, cousins, whatever) can be used to make you feel better about yourself through whatever commentary you do (or do not) get from posting photos and stories. I’m not comfortable with that. TLM doesn’t define me or my worth. Maybe this is my hyper sensitivity to that, but I do think his privacy, while he is too young to have a say in this part of his life, is important.

      THANK YOU. ❤ I appreciate your comments, as always. I like that we're handling things this way too. 😀

      • YES I agree. Social media is really dangerous that way.. it’s easy to find a strange sort of pride via likes and comments, which is STUPID. And also, completely agree with you about TLM, and privacy is just an important thing. 🙂

        ❤ ❤ ❤

  4. Cristina says:

    Add me to your mailing list when you send out pics!

    I think sharing pics (within reason) on social media is no big deal. I think that trying to prevent ALL pictures/videos will become more difficult (especially on social media) as your child gets older and participates in school functions, team sports, or just happens to be in the background of someone else’s picture. But I also think that it’s your child and your choice and that others should have to abide by it.

    • Haha! Kay. I haven’t done a proper email in a while. I need to get back into the practice of it.

      I think you’re right, but you know my history and how I’m hyper-sensitive to EVERYTHING now. (Good grief, right…? 🙂 ) And you’re right, preventing pictures will become more difficult as he/they grow and become background, but I wonder if maybe the culture needs to think about changing. I wonder why there are people who post all the things, all the time. I wonder if it’s about sharing their life and pride and joy, or if it’s about social validation. I wondered that about why I was posting the things I was posting on Facebook (and sometimes Twitter, though I tend to understand what I’m doing when I tweet, these days – even when it’s not sunshine and roses), which is part of the reason I had to stop (all of it, cold turkey). IT’S INTERESTING, no? 🙂

  5. I completely respect your decision, and I think it’s important that people do what they think is best, regardless of what others say. That said, I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this, and I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this when I have kids. I know that I won’t be sharing much about the pregnancy until it’s over on social media; I’ve known a few people who shared too much or too soon, and then lost the baby. It was really horrible to see what they went through in having to alert the world during such a personal and painful time. On the other hand, I can see myself wanting to share because I will be excited.

    I suppose I’ll have to figure it all out as it comes? (Later. Not trying to passive-agressively reveal any secrets in this comment, haha.)

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