I have no problem posting photos of my kids online for the world to see

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Over the years I’ve become more and more private. My Facebook account, which I’ve had for well over a decade now, has grown sparse.

As soon as Instagram came around, I started posting photos of my oldest two children and photos of basically everything I did. As a stay-at-home mom at the time, it was all I could do to have social interactions and I made the most of it.

When I found out I was pregnant with my third, I kept it quiet for a while. I’d moved out of the city to lead a quiet life (which lasted all of a year) and mainly kept to myself. I’d undergone some significant life changes that I wanted to keep private, a novel idea in our share-all culture.

I hesitated to announce my pregnancy online and am certainly not one for gender-reveal posts or anything else Pinterest makes you feel is necessary for family life in the 21st century. No judgment; it’s just not my thing.

But there are photos of my baby online and they’re damn cute.

A few weeks ago, CharlotteFive writer and former editor, Corey Inscoe, wrote up a great article about why he’s not posting photos of his new daughter on social media and I have to admit I felt a little twinge of guilt when reading it.

“Holy sh*t,” I thought. “Am I doing my children a disservice by having posted photos of them in silly costumes and videos of them screaming, as I low-key torture them with bugs?”

💀Spooky fam 💀

A post shared by Liz (@liz_logan_) on

Corey is right—what happens on the internet stays on the internet and for all we know these photos can follow them into their adult years.

Cautiously, I am beginning to accept that this is the new normal – that this is the world we live in now.

We are not a social media obsessed family by any means. My partner, Randy, has no social media (unless you consider the old Tumblr account he used to use) and my children are not allowed to have social media, even if their friends do. (I know, I know. Mean mom alert.)

Like Corey, I’m really proud of my kids. But unlike Corey, I’m okay with their photos being posted for all the world to see.

I run into people from high school and college and past life experiences all the time who tell me how cute my family is (I know) and that my kids are growing into great people (you’re so right!) and I appreciate the sense of community and connectedness the internet can offer.

I started a #littlehumansofinstagram hashtag a few years back as sort of an online photo album for my family. It served its purpose for a while, but pretty soon it got hijacked and now there are 482 photos, most of which are not my family. Que sera sera.

I love having my photos so easily accessible, to look back and think, “Man, we have really had some good times together.” When old photos from TimeHop come up, I’m often moved to tears by how far we’ve come and how beautiful my growing family is.

Sure, this could happen if I had a hard-copy photo album, but what kind of primitive animal do you think I am? I don’t have time to get photos printed or organize them. I barely have time to do laundry.

In my latest Instagram post, my son clearly is not happy to be in a photo. He rarely is. For now, that doesn’t stop me from showing him off, especially when we have coordinating outfits.

I don’t post everything. I don’t even post most things. It’s not a self-indulgent get-as-many-likes-as-you-can thing and my self-worth is not wrapped up in what people may think of an image.  It’s just a way of sharing little bits and pieces of my life and I’m okay with that.

If my kids ever grow up and want their photos erased in the future, I’ll assume that by then there will be some internet version of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and I’ll contract Elijah Wood to erase all traces of them. Technology is advancing at an alarming rate. Sounds feasible enough to me.

So, if you’re posting photos of your kids, keep it up. If you’re sitting it out, go for it. Whatever you are doing, be mindful and make sure to get that just-right filter so everyone sees how perfect your life is. Besides, that’s what social media is all about, right?

Photos: Liz Logan

8 COMMENTS

  1. Blah blah blah. Nobody cares about your kids, or anyone elses’ kids, on social media.

    Brag, complain, brag, complain. And from your friends…. fake praise, fake sympathy, fake praise, fake sympathy.

    Its all just for people who have some kind of emotional hole and need to fill it with fake attention from the internet. If you figure out what you have thats lacking in your life and mend it, you won’t need to post on social media anymore. My guess is its the feeling of inadequacy based on the life you see everyone else also portraying on social media.

    • agreed….for most part. but just because you and I don’t get it doesn’t mean others actually NEED it to make their lives move forward. sign of times. a ton of stuff is just FAD for parents and kids until the nitty gritty of real life gets going. the kids will be in middle school and high school soon. completely normal for them to then resent parents and parenting, and not want to be around or even speak with them….much less be in a million pictures a minute with them. it will end.

  2. Let me share a story. About ten years ago, the company I worked for hosted webservers for corporate customers. One was for a food product if I remember correctly and a stock photo was in there of a shirtless young boy playing on the beach. I’d consider it a normal family photo. Well, it got linked to by pervs as we saw a spike in traffic and we were able to see the referring page. What you and I consider a family vacation photo is not something I personally would put out there for anyone beyond your friends to see. That experience shocked me and altered my view on this immediately.

  3. I used to be on Facebook and posted a lot- my wife also. But I’ve just fallen out, maybe partly laziness and maybe partly because the whole Facebook thing has gotten tiresome. M wife still moderately posts and has expressed a thoughtful rule with regard to posting pics of your children, especially as they get older- that you should ask their permission and inform them that you’re posting them. I think it’s a good idea that respects boundaries and privacy. And it starts at home….

  4. “If my kids ever grow up and want their photos erased in the future, I’ll assume that by then there will be some internet version of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and I’ll contract Elijah Wood to erase all traces of them. Technology is advancing at an alarming rate. Sounds feasible enough to me.”

    That plain isn’t possible. If a picture is posted to instagram, anyone with internet access can download it and store it on their computer, phone, thumbdrive, external hard drive or CD. You have no way to access those copies. There are also websites that automatically back-up other websites, like this one: https://web.archive.org/web/19990208234625/http://charlotte.com:80/observer/

  5. The whole article is talking about her feelings. Conspicuously absent from the article is any consideration of her kid’s feelings now or in the future. It’s especially creepy she’s not posting the pics with privacy settings where only her vetted friends can see the pics, but instead is posting the photos publicly where every pedophile online can click on her littlehumansofinstagram and see the menu.

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