Scrolling down the Facebook news feed you can easily become bombarded by pictures of food, drinks, nights out and, most commonly, other people’s children! Social media is a perfect platform for those who want to share and interact with other people, that have something to say and simply want to contribute to the purpose of social media, but it can all become too much.
Pregnancy and child rearing is one of the miracles of life and we can all appreciate its significance both personally and when others experience it. However, we are often inundated with status updates such as ‘I just want to shower my baby with love’, pictures of every sleeping position, shares about what its like to be a mother and open discussions about every kick, hiccup, craving and bout of sickness. This followed by a bombardment of baby pictures once the child has arrived can be overwhelming.
A recent survey suggests that a newborn baby will make its first social media appearance just 57 minutes after it is born as parents frantically upload image after image of their new addition sharing it with friends, family and… strangers.
It is claimed that most parents post tens of thousands of baby pictures to compete with other parents and outshine their pictures. 62% of parents regularly upload pictures of their children onto Facebook and never even consider the potential risks involved or that a lot of people do not want to see their child’s every movement.
One of the benefits to social media is to allow friends and family to communicate and is particularly beneficial to those that live some distance apart. For this reason, it is more than understandable as to why there are so many images of babies floating around the platform. But with every upside comes a downside and it is one that many people appear oblivious to.
At the very heart of social media is interaction, this is its original purpose and will continue to be for some time. However, there are times where people are interacting with perfect strangers, that information and personal events are being seen and shared by unknown friends or followers even baby pictures.
Everyone has at least a handful of Facebook friends or Twitter followers that they either don’t know or don’t know well, either way, they are gaining access to images of your children, your precious newborn that needs to be well protected. It is a common occurrence that privacy settings on social media change without prior warning or may not be set appropriately which is allowing people unknown access to profiles.
The Internet is a vast community that is impossible to control and as soon as anything is placed online it no longer becomes your property and instead, other users have free reign to share and discuss the information you have posted.
The Sad Truth
Ask any grandmother or great grandmother and they will have hundreds if not thousands of photographs of their children and grandchildren either around the house or in albums. With the introduction of social media images are being solely stored online rather than filling a family home.
It is sad that newborn photographs have lost meaning and connotation that they once possessed. Instead they are used as a way to compete and gain as many ‘likes’ as possible with no consideration to the privacy breaches that could take place.
Maybe new parents should wait the full 60 minutes after giving birth to really consider whether or not they want to plaster their child all over the Internet.
Amanda Walters – This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84