Funny how if you choose not to share a part of your lives with social media, people automatically equate it with something being “wrong.” Every now and again people around Desmond and I will express their opinions with us about how “weird” it is that we choose to keep Aiden off of social media. What baffles me about choosing to keep him off, is that we’re occasionally hit with how “stuck up” or “weird” we are. When people realized that we were choosing not to share him, we were swarmed with remarks such as being “like Kardashians,” or “thought Aiden was Blue Ivy.” I understand that we live in a world where we cannot brush our teeth without letting social media know how many times we stroked the toothbrush, the type of toothpaste we used, and how long we brushed for. But sheesh! I can’t choose to enjoy my son in REAL life without incorporating social media into his life, without being treated like I walk around with a blanket over his face?
Somehow keeping Aiden from social media is always equated to him being a “secret.” We do not give those closest to us any notion that they cannot see him. There hasn’t been a week since he has been born that he does not have visitors at the house, we take him to all events we have attended, his grandparents and close family receive pictures of all his cutest moments, he’s even been out of state three times. And yes, IN PUBLIC. What we are doing IS normal.
As I have grown older, I feel the need to share less and less with social media. Watching those around me and their use of social media shows me more and more how much of a false sense of security it creates. We as a society have grown very fond of maintaining self esteem and approval based off of likes and emoji heart eyes. I initially did not want my son or his value to be based off of how many likes or comments his pictures received. We all know that it just happens, even if sometimes unintentionally. I didn’t even want to chance me having to think about the judgments of social media, how many people screenshot him, or how many group chats he would end up in without my knowledge. I get it, some people thrive off of knowing that they or their children are apart of conversations, but not me. One mom put it in perspective in a way that I am sure we don’t all think of when choosing to share our kids most adorable moments, “Posting that takes advantage of our children’s vulnerability to gain attention for us, the parents.”
Once he was born it made me not want to share him even more. From his innocence to enjoying moments in real time, it just drove me further into not wanting to share him. When I post pictures of myself, I sometimes find my self looking at every detail of the picture before posting it, to ensure that it’s the “right” one. Sometimes taking a selfie 20 times before deciding that I have the “right” one. I remember thinking to myself, do I really want to create that environment with my child who has NO idea what this life thing even means yet? I thought, why would I subject our relationship to that when I can just enjoy EVERY single moment in real life and it’d always be “right.” Enjoying him in reality, there is never a “wrong” face he could make, a “wrong outfit,” or a “wrong” moment.
Now mommies, you all have the right to choose what and how you want share your child(rens) moments (with input from dad) lol. What we are seeing with this new generation of children is something we have never seen in the history of humans. They are the MOST exposed generation known to man. We don’t know in what ways it will effect them and won’t know until they are older. Subjecting children to the judgments and creating a social media identity for them before they even have a chance to know who they are, is a risk I am not willing to take as a parent. This is not to say that I will blur his face out of all wedding pictures next year or I’ll never share a family photo. I will say that, for now, I like it how it is.
I am not here to influence mommies one way or the other! Just wanted to share my own experience. We did not decide to shield him from social media in hopes that sites would pay us to post him. So for that matter, we’re nothing “like the Kardashians.” Neither are we trying to build up anticipation for the public, “like Blue Ivy.” We are just simply doing what we feel the most comfortable with as Aiden’s parents!
Catch a break next week with MommysBreak!