I’ve had this blog for a little while now, and I know that there’s a pretty solid readership out there (hey, girls). One of you recently reached out to pick my brain about something I’d never really considered—posting pictures of our kids on the internet. I spend a lot of time talking about my kids on here—who they are, how to deal with them, and how to be a good parent despite wanting to rip out my hair most of the time. Through all that, I’ve never put up a picture, posted a name, or even let you all know how old they are. This wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision, but it was a decision nonetheless. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and here’s where I stand: I don’t like it when mom blogs and Instagram profiles post pictures of their kids.
We live in a time where parents need to consider the growing influence and power of technology. None of us grew up with smartphones, and Facebook seemed like it would be a passing fad way back in 2007. Photos were only “liked” and “shared” among family members and close friends—and that was only when somebody drunkenly brought out the photobook to see how hot she was in her late 20’s (sorry, Aunt Martha). These moments were private, and they were incredibly special. If somebody’s going to see a picture of you as a naked newborn, it should be your family. I don’t want my naked kids plastered all over this blog, my Instagram, or my Facebook.
To that end, social media has brought up a lot of personal concerns around consent. When friends post unattractive (or unvetted) photos of me, I get very angry. Not because I want to curate a specific online personality, but because I feel that I should have some power over where my image goes. Now, think about kids these days—some of them are going to Google their names in a few years to see embarrassing baby photos posted by their parents. I strongly believe that kids cannot—in any way, shape or form—provide consent to their picture being shared.
I’m super proud of my kids. They can be a huge pain in the ass, but being a mom is the greatest job I’ve ever had. I would love to share them with you all—they’re smart and funny, and I think they’d get along well with my readership. But I want them to be able to make that decision. Not me.