A defining aspect of the millennial generation is its relationship with social media. For many, the internet played a pretty significant part of their coming-of-age (who here can truly say that didn't read way too much into their crush's AIM away message?) and, therefore, identities. But, now that millennials are having children, many are interacting with their assorted networks in a new way and questioning their personal rules for posting pictures of kids on social media. The subject is not an easy one. Social media is still relatively new, the consequences and benefits of posting photos online can be conflicting, and it seems that everyone else has a passionately held opinion on what's the "right thing to do," which creates a lot of loud, confusing noise that can be difficult to weed through, dissect, and digest to a point that you can weight your options.
Of course, the real answer is, there is no single "right thing" to do, Just like feeding your baby or effectively disciplining your child, this is an issue that everyone needs to study up on and then, after researching and discussions options, making a decision that works best for their family. Honestly, each parent should decide what they share online but, of course, there's one wrinkle with that seemingly pain-free plan: other people.
Other people are what I, humbly, consider to be the biggest parenting dilemma facing any parent. You can do everything you've set out to do for your child and do it well, but your child is surrounded by a billion other people (and so are you, for that matter) and those people can take the rug out from under you and upset all your beautiful, well-thought-out plans with their own ideas and choices. Now, I can't control the fact that my children will come into contact with, in one way or another, toxic masculinity, racism, ableism, and all the other scary things in the world that make me want to wrap myself in a blanket and never leave my couch. But I can control some of the little things, like working really hard to ensure they never see an episode of Caillou.
Controlling how my kid's images are used on Facebook is another one of those little things, but it's an attempt that definitely requires assistance from the very people I worry will dismantle my carefully calculated plans. Which is why, in the name of transparency, I'm sharing my personal "Ten Commandments" for sharing pictures of my kids on social media. I understand these rules might not be for everyone, but they're what keep my kids a little bit safer, and the way I feel most comfortable combining social media and parenthood.