If you have me as a Facebook friend or glance at my site from time to time, lately I've made two things obvious.
1. I had a baby.
2. I'm not publicly sharing identifiable pictures of her on the internet.
I'm sure the latter came as a shock to those who know me. In my teenage days where social media was the Wild West and MySpace and Facebook were uncharted, I was queen of the over share. I posted pictures, poetry, and rambling statuses with reckless abandon. Nowadays I'd like to think I'm much more thoughtful when it comes to what I share. Call that being in your late twenties, knowing the power of a respectable social media presence, or just common sense. I still remain a pretty open book. I share what inspires me, my insecurities, and what I find beautiful.
So why on earth am I hiding my baby? Why wouldn't I share photos of my daughter who, without question, is the most beautiful piece of art I've ever created? I simply believe it's not my place to.
Though BB is my world and takes up the vast majority of my time these days, she is a person. All babies are people. When I take a picture of a consenting adult or breathtaking landscape I can confidently share it with friends, family, and potential clients. That image is safe, unlike a picture of my baby's face. I can't ask BB for permission. She can't tell me what she feels comfortable sharing. She can't say if she wants people to see her in the hospital. She can't give me the green light to share her first intimate moments of life. I've chosen to respect that by keeping her private life private.
Don't get me wrong- I am obsessed with baby pictures. I am grateful to have friends and family who share images of their kids. My rule of thumb as a parent / human? You do you! I don't judge. Even I can't deny wanting to share some baby pictures. Once in a while a hand, foot, or outfit makes my feed.
Social media is daunting- I can't even begin to consider what it'll look like 15 years from now. What I do know is I'll be there to help my daughter curate her presence. I promise to allow her to start fresh and post statuses, lyrics, and artwork without having to worry about facing an identity that started without her consent. I had that opportunity and I owe her the same. When she's old enough she will deserve the chance to design her image through the latest platforms.
All babies become adults. We have to think of social media as the equivalent to going outside and allow our children to explore it little by little, and eventually without supervision. With our guidance, we will hopefully raise a new generation of social media users who understand its power and use it for good.