Should I Share My Baby On Social Media? The Pros And Cons

Sharing your life’s biggest moments on social media for all your friends and family to see is arguably the best part of even having social media. Getting engaged, getting married, having a baby: Most of us are snapping these milestones and hitting post before we’ve even relaxed to enjoy the moment.

By Gwen Farrell4 min read

We live our lives – chronically, some might say – online. Most of us have lived our entire adolescence, teenage years, and young adulthood on all the apps. It’s even tempting to have the mindset of if it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?

But we’re not just sharing our college graduations, our first day at our new job, or fancy coffee order online. We’re sharing everything. The good, the bad, and, if we have kids, the diaper changes and the tantrums. We have no qualms about putting nightly bath-time reels or poignant #momlife thoughts on the internet for our closest friends (and strangers) to passively view. Have we ever stopped to think, should I share my baby on social media? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

The Good

There’s nothing like watching the people you love also love your kids. As we grow older, though, we might grow apart – physically, that is. You might not live in the same college town with your besties like you used to, but you still want them to be up-to-date on all your life’s moments, from the big beach proposal to the day you welcome your first child into the world. And, you want to keep up with their lives as well. Social media is probably the most commonly used method of doing this.

Your husband’s family has also probably become your family, and though you may only see them every other Christmas or once in a blue moon at a family reunion, they want to see your little one grow up too. Not to mention, you have grandparents and great aunts hounding you for pictures and videos. Motherhood can be isolating, and connecting with other moms and parents online and bonding through the highs and lows can help you feel less alone.

We live in a digital age, and it’s our kids who will bear the brunt of its effects.

Keeping in touch with folks you don’t see as often as you wish is made easier by social media. Additionally, as your child grows, you have a virtual photo album of them from newborn to big kid, all stored in one place for you and relatives and friends to access. Our families are a point of pride for us, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show them off to our loved ones. We might also be so tied to social media, having been on it for so long, that it seems like a no-brainer to showcase what’s happening in our lives, from birthdays to gender reveals to everything in between. 

The Bad

In the mid-2000s, with the dawn of today’s most popular apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, there wasn’t very much concern surrounding putting your children online. But now we’re seeing a definite shift from pro-family content to more privatized accounts, and for good reason.

We live in a digital age, a fact we’re only just beginning to acknowledge, but it’s our kids who’ll bear the brunt of its effects. And we’ve been deliberately misled about how private our most-used apps really are. Snapchat is just one example. The app, which deletes messages seconds or hours after they’re sent or posted to stories, admitted that it was mining its users’ contact info without telling them, which was revealed in a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission in 2014. Their privacy policy, which most users probably never take the time to examine, also admits that unopened messages are kept on the app’s servers for a month or so. More concerningly, after a Snap is screen-grabbed by another user or third-party outsider, the chances of you getting it back are nil.

Even if a post is labeled as temporary or deleted after a certain amount of time, there is always the possibility that it could survive – outside your control – forever. This means that any embarrassing or even harmful and dangerous content you post, especially where your children are concerned, could be saved or appropriated by someone you don’t even know. 

While many online-safety advocates harp on the possibility of your family photo ending up in the hands of a child predator, it’s an important point to make – especially if you’ve posted other identifying information about them, like your city or neighborhood, their school, birthdate, and other details that should be limited to parents only. Furthermore, with everything we now know about apps like Facebook monitoring user activity and using it to their own advantage, it shouldn’t necessarily be assumed that your profile settings, which may be restrictive, are monitoring your privacy the way they should.

Your child might care about the considerable digital footprint of them you’re building from their birth.

Even if your photos never wind up in the wrong hands, they still might have a negative consequence once your child grows up and sees them. We might not be concerned about building a considerable digital footprint of our child before they’re even a year old, but once they mature, they might care. Imagine being a teenager and scrolling through your mom’s Instagram and seeing a tantrum you had in Walmart posted and viewed hundreds of times, or other private moments like bath time. It’d be embarrassing, to say the least. Kids, especially little ones, can’t consent to being online like adults can. And though your parents and coworkers might appreciate the constant pics, your child as an older adult might not.

Always Choose Wisely

Whatever decision you make with regards to putting your kids online, make sure you go about it in a smart way. If you choose not to post them on social media, make sure you, your husband, and all of your family members are in agreement. This can be a contentious discussion (as I experienced firsthand when I chose not to post my child online), but it’s absolutely crucial to maintaining the integrity of your choice.

If you do choose to post pictures here and there, keep yourself and your child safe. Though it can feel like you’re not being authentic with the people who see your posts, you don’t have to put every awkward or uncomfortable experience online (in fact, most people don't). Moreover, try to keep your location, your half-clothed or completely naked child, and all personal information offline. As their parents, your kids are looking to you for protection and respect, and keeping their identifying information off the internet is a basic but important way you can uphold those duties. 

Kids have no control over what you choose to put online, but you do. It’s one thing to be an influencer with millions of people having an inside look at your life, but it’s another to just want your profile to be accessed by family and friends. Monitor who looks at your accounts, and act accordingly. Enjoy the comments filled with love and admiration, but know that your baby is your top priority, before you put their beautiful face on an online platform forever.

Closing Thoughts

Precious newborns grow up to be adorable babies, who grow into toddlers, kids, teenagers, and eventually, moms and dads like you. It’s completely normal to want to share their cuteness with everyone you know. However much or however little you choose to share, make sure you’re on the same page with all the loved ones involved in your child’s life, and make sure it’s a good reflection of you as a parent and protector.

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