A tweet earlier today bemoaning oversharing of child pictures by parents has quickly led to my timeline being full of encouragement for parents to share as many photos as they want.
And I’m in agreement… mostly.
I’m not a parent, but more than half of my life now has been with friends who are doting parents, and with the arrival and increased use of social media, I’ve seen many of those kids grow up online as myself or their parents have moved to different cities.
And I really like seeing those photos. One friend posts at least once a day, and it’s wonderful to see their little man grow and be celebrated daily. He even has his own hashtag. It’s adorable.
Some create Facebook pages so that only select family and friends can see photos, and can also “opt out” if they choose.
Others I probably wouldn’t know what they were up to if it wasn’t for the photos of their kids, as they share so little else.
I honestly think you should share as much or as little as you want on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc…
When it comes to sharing photos to an individual (I’m looking at you Snapchat and DMs), there are more considerations that come into play.
Like, as much as this person may love your child too, do they really want to see photos as often as you want to share, and is it actually harming the relationship in doing so?
We already know that too much social media can be detrimental to your health. And a big part of that is because of jealousy and comparing our lives with our peers.
As an example, a really good friend of mine, let’s call her Mary, wants to be a mum more than anything. This is not a secret, every knows that this is The Dream. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened yet and there’s been plenty of bumps, roadblocks and heartache along the way.
A friend of hers, let’s go with Jane, has recently become a mum. And shares literally dozens of photos of her baby every day. Not only to groups and social pages, but sends individually dozens of photos to Mary. Mary, whose heart breaks with every Snapchat she opens from Jane.
Because how do you tell someone that you don’t want to see a photo of their child that many times a day? How do you ignore these photos without having to ignore everything else they send? How do you let someone know that their happiness, their joy, is making you miserable?
And yes, communication is a great and wonderful thing, but it’s not always easy to do. Especially with people who are so excited about a new addition to their family (as they should be!)
Mary was in tears for months because she could not bring herself to ask Jane to ease up on the Snaps.
And it’s not just kids. Loving relationships, constant travel, alcohol, food, pets, general happiness… yay for you, but consider who you’re sending these photos to.
Has your friend recently become single? Maybe don’t send them a daily pic of you and your beau with heart emojis.
Are they on a strict diet? How about not sending photos of that ice cream, donut and milkshake mix you’re about to consume?
I’m not talking about the photos shared to your “Story” or uploaded as an album or any of the other public stuff you share. Do that as much as you want. Seriously, go crazy.
What I am talking specifically about is the direct messages and photos from you to one person. One person that may be hurting more than you realise. Send photos sure, but maybe not every day. And seriously, not dozens of times a day.
And if you are someone that shares a lot to individuals, reach out to them now and then to check that they’re ok with everything. They may not always be honest off the bat so talk about it in person where you can.
A little consideration can go along way.