I have been asked by several people why I have not yet shared photos of Bean on Facebook/this blog/other social media. I have several reasons, and would like to share them with you.
In this day and age, we are inundated with pictures and 140 character blurbs about our family, friends, and acquaintances' every thought, action, and meal.
As shallow as it may sound, I do NOT care to see the wedding photos, ultrasound pics, or baby videos of every person I've ever met. Aside from the dramatically vague status updates and pictures of food, I feel like these things are highly private, meant to be shared with the people who love you and care most about you in celebration of these things. Not to say I'm not happy for each and every person in these great life events, but when 20 people from my college freshman classes (which took place 7 years ago) all post sonograms back-to-back, they all begin to look the same. Especially if the most communication we've had since our study group has been liking each other's posts.
For me, the over-sharing of my life seems to devalue and depersonalize these events. Not everyone feels that way, and that is fine. Through text, email, and even snail mail, I am able to share pictures with those closest to my family. Mailing or personally handing prints to people of importance was how our parents and grandparents shared school and Christmas pictures, and that method works just fine for me. However, I am grateful for the ability to save on the stamps!
Additionally, the Internet never forgets. And, unfortunately, there are unsavory characters out there who enjoy stealing pictures for their own use. In various mother's groups I am a part of, moms have shared horror stories of anyone from complete strangers to vindictive exes to well-meaning family members stealing pictures off of social media sites and sharing them as their own. How easy is it for someone to see a Facebook account with hundreds of pictures, videos, and anecdotal status updates about a child, and know the child without KNOWING the child? And if their intentions are not honorable, how easy would it be to use that information to find and do bad things to the child? I'm probably being way overly protective here (hey, first time mom, I get a little slack here, right?), but I'd rather be cautious and safe than have something bad happen to my son because I shared a little too much.
My third and biggest reason is my son's autonomy. He is his own person and I want to respect him as such. In several years, when he is able to understand that his picture can be shared with a few or a lot, I will ask him which he wants. If he wants them posted to Facebook, I will then happily share. If not, they will remain private family treasures.
Don't worry, I'm saving all of his naked baby pictures to show his first girlfriend :P
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.