I recently found myself being invited to a group on Whatsapp with other mums I follow on Instagram. The group was purely for people to ask for likes and comments on their posts. It was the busiest group I have ever been a member of. I couldn’t keep up with the number of messages asking for my attention and I started to wonder why I was spending so much time mindlessly ‘liking’ stuff in the hope that people would do the same back to the things that I share. In the end I had to leave the group.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a massive over-sharer. All of my daughter Skye’s milestones so far have been publicly shared with friends, family and all the random people that follow me so I’m not judging anyone else that chooses to do the same but it did make me wonder why I do it.
I can’t really answer that question.
I know it’s partly because I think she’s amazing and I want to share that with the world. If I’m truly honest with myself, it’s also partly because I enjoy the validation that I get from people liking what I post. And it’s partly because I like having a record somewhere of all those moments that we’ve had that have been worth sharing and remembering.
But the older she gets, the more the whole thing becomes a moral dilemma. My partner and I talked about social media and how we would handle it before she was even born and we decided we were both comfortable with sharing stuff. Obviously I’m careful about what I post in that it doesn’t identify our home, her nursery and I would never share pictures of her naked.
But how much is too much?
Skye is only 14 months and she already has a huge digital footprint. I know that’s typical of many children these days but a part of me does feel uncomfortable that we’ve made a decision for her that she might not agree with as she gets older. Of course, if she does ask me to stop writing and posting about her then I will. But everything that has come before will still exist.
I still don’t know if we made the right decision. I have lots of friends who have decided to do the opposite and keep their children off of social media and I totally respect that too. We’re the first generation of parents to be navigating the digital world alongside raising our children which makes it even harder. I guess, as with anything in this game, you just do what you think is right and know that we’re all just trying our best.
You can read more from Sarah on her blog, Raising Skye.
Image credit: Gif by @MaximillianNYC