To share or not to share? That is the question.

Violating Children's Dignity in the Age of Social Media.

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately.  A lot.  (So much so that I've had a post entitled 'having babies in a social universe' sitting in my drafts folder for weeks.)  After reading this article that a friend posted on Facebook the other day (and then this article linked from the first), I've been thinking about the topic even more.

Before I left my job, I was offered a new job description: new mom blogger.  This entailed heading up a content property that would follow the life of a new mom - me.  As I started to document my journey during pregnancy, I thought about this topic a lot.

What should I share?  What can I share?  Is it even my rite to share at all?  This is my daughter's life, after all.  Is it fair to her to let the Internet be a part of it?

I ended up leaving the position for reasons that didn't have to do with this question, but since we're diving deeper and deeper into the world of sharing and advancement of technology in our social universe, I'm continually asking myself these questions.  Yes, it is my daughter's life, but since she's the biggest part of my day-to-day is it weird to leave her out of my social presence completely?

I don't know the answers to these questions, because I don't know what state the world of sharing will be by the time my daughter is 5, 10, 15, 20.  Since she was born into a world of sharing, will she look back on Instagram photos as I look at my family's photo albums?  Since all of her counterparts will most likely have baby pictures floating on the Internet, will she even think twice about having pictures of her covered in mushed peas on Instagram? (There are no pictures of her covered in mushed peas on Instagram).

This is a weird question to think about.  I'm a product of the 90s.  I remember the birth of cell phones and the death of dial-up.  The most "insta" we knew was a Polaroid picture and "over-sharing" meant moms exchanging an embarrassing story or 2 at book club.  If a baby picture of myself or my friends is on Instagram or Facebook it's thanks to #throwbackthursday.

I want to respect my daughter's privacy, so I'm asking these questions.  But with our family and friends being spread throughout the continental US, I also want to share milestones, funny stories, and parts of our life as a family.  Let's be real - I'm writing this on a personal blog where I have pictures of my baby girl.

They've always said babies should come with an instruction manual.  I think if that manual existed, it should be revised and a lot more detailed, because parents today have much more to think about as we continue to walk into this "privacy is dead" world.

In this moment, this is the best answer I've got:  It's all about balance.  Want to post that cute picture of your kid in his/her kindergarten graduation cap?  Why not?  Or your toddler showing off his latest lego creation? Sure.  Maybe we just don't document our kids' journeys through potty training or his/her first bath.  That's the motto I'm living by.  I won't shield my kid entirely from the social media world, because at this point in time I think it's unrealistic to do so, but will you ever see my kid naked in an inflatable bathtub?  Absolutely not.


  1. I think you've got it right!! Balance and moderation in all things - it can apply to this topic and everything else we do - here online, and IRL.


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