This post has been one I’ve wanted to write from day one, but I’ve held back. In part because when my blog was brand new, none of you would’ve cared, right? Or noticed, really, that I don’t have photos of my kid online.
But, there’s a reason I don’t post pictures of my son online. There are a few, actually. If you’re pregnant with your first, maybe you’re facing this same dilemma, wondering what’s right for you and your family.
Let’s get this out of the way: I am in no way condemning those that post pictures. I love a cute baby photo as much as the next lady. I appreciate seeing other cute babies. It just ended up not being the right choice for our family.
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The Decision to Not Post Photos Online
I honestly think my blog and especially my Instagram would be growing much faster if I posted pictures of my son. I know I follow people on Instagram solely for their cute kids. I mean, it’s a very visual platform. It makes sense.
And trust me, it’s really hard. I’ve almost broken down many times. I see friends posting pictures of their babies on Facebook and I wish I could show mine off, too. My brother’s wife just had a baby and I see their pictures and desperately wish I could share my son with the world, too.
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There is a lot of pressure to share your life on social media. And if you aren’t sharing your kids, well, some people think it’s downright weird. Like, is he ugly or something?
It’s definitely not because he isn’t cute. He is adorable! Take my word for it, okay?
Also, when you don’t post online, you don’t get all the gushing comments. People love to comment on pictures of kids and tell you how cute they are. And as the parent, that’s something you love to hear!
So, this all leads to the main question.
Why Don’t I Post Pictures of my Kid on the Internet?
The Reason Rooted in Fear
I am not the type of person that lives in a little bubble in the hopes of avoiding all the bad stuff in the world. I’m not encouraging anyone to live their life based on fear. But I’ve got to be honest and tell you that this all started based on fear.
When I was pregnant, there was a news story my husband came across. The police had seized a man’s computers after discovering he was a sexual predator. What they found was horrific. Two computers constantly running, finding and downloading images of children. The youngest was only a few months old and the oldest was around 12.
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I didn’t really want my browser history full of searches related to this topic, so I didn’t find that original story. However, when I went to Google News, one quick search turned up countless cases that were similar. No need to link to them, I’m sure you know how awful this world can be.
I wanted to vomit when my husband told me about that news story. I also wanted to protect my son. I knew that all too soon, he’d be out of my protective womb and in the cold, hard world. A world with plenty of pedophiles and predators.
My husband and I started talking about our options. First, we decided to never post anything with our son at all. Later, we decided just no nudity (bathtub pics, bare bum, etc) and nothing with his face.
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So this first came about because of fear. I didn’t want anyone doing anything disturbing with his pictures. I would die if I ever found out someone had accessed his photos for unhealthy reasons.
You know that statistic about how most childhood sexual abuse happens from a close friend or family member? Even though I don’t know anyone who I think, even for a second, could hurt my son, you just never know! And it’s pretty much impossible to ensure your pictures only make it to the people you want them to reach.
But, if fear is your only motivator, I think you’re likely going to cave at some point. I mean, the pressure to show off our kids is enormous. I read another blogger’s reasoning for not posting pictures of her kids, and she said she’d been accused of making up her kids! Yes, really. If people can’t see proof, they question you.
The More Logical Reason
So, the thing that has helped us to stick with our decision isn’t fear. It’s easiest to explain it in the form of a metaphor, really.
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You know when you’re taking selfies with your bestie? Whoever took them on their device inevitably picks their favorite where they look perfectly on point to post to social media. You see it and cringe. You think, “How inconsiderate, I have like 6 chins in that one! I should’ve had some say!”
Well, I don’t want my son to feel that way. Ever. I realize babies pretty much can’t look bad. But when you’re a teenager, you are embarrassed by everything, right? So if I post a picture that my son, at age 15, thinks is embarrassing, well, it’s on the internet forever. His friends could dig it up, whatever.
The point is, it’s his face, his picture. I want to respect him.
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When I talked to my dad about this, he told me about someone on his Facebook. They had been potty training their daughter and she finally went poop in her little kid toilet. They were proud and decided to post a picture of their daughter holding her kiddie toilet, complete with her bowel movement.
Now, first of all, I understand being proud of your kid’s accomplishments. But when most people scroll through Facebook, they aren’t expecting to see human feces. So, I mean, that’s a bit weird to me.
I’m sure most adults would take issue with a photo of them next to a toilet with poop in it, right? So, to the parents reading this who post pictures of their kids, I have no issue with you but maybe think about that point before posting potentially humiliating photos. Not saying all parents who post photos post things like that, but just keep it in mind.
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Can you imagine, years down the road, how humiliating it would be if the Mean Girl in school dug that photo up and shared it with the class?
And, you just never know! Anything you post anywhere can be saved by someone. And even if they have your best interests at heart, anything could happen. Whether it be that their phone gets stolen and falls into the hands of a sexual predator, or they unintentionally share the photo with someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
Are There Other Options for Posting Photos?
I read this great article from a fellow blogger where she goes over an app (TinyBeans) she uses to share her photos.
The only issue with that (and it’s not really an issue) is that then people have to download an app. And check it. Like I said, not a huge deal. Anyone that wants to see photos will check. And anyone who doesn’t care, well, you probably don’t care if they see your kids either.
How I Share Photos
I recently started doing this and I have loads of pictures to go through still. But I created an album on Google Drive that I share with my family.
You can choose to simply upload them and people can periodically check, or you can send out an email when you upload them with minimal effort.
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You can also organize them however you’d like. So if you’re a super organized person, you can separate everything up by month by creating a new folder within your child’s folder. If you’re more laid back, just upload them at will!
Also, if you use Google Photos, they periodically send you little “then and now” pictures, or “look back” reminders. I love this! They recently sent me a side-by-side of my son at a few months old and pretty recent. It totally melts my heart. Or they’ll say, “look back on this day” and I end up scrolling for hours, reminiscing on when my son was tiny!
The point is, there are other ways to share your kids with those you care about. Yes, someone could still save one of my son’s photos and something bad could happen. But I feel way more comfortable sharing my photos the way I do. There’s no chance of someone accidentally stumbling upon these photos since I get to invite which people see my photos.
Another Alternative Within Facebook
If you’re a bit more relaxed, another popular method is creating a family Facebook group. Facebook honestly kind of makes me nervous in general, so I haven’t done this. But my in-laws have a group like this and I think it’s a good option for some people.
You simply create a secret group and invite your family members. Then everyone can stay connected within the group, and your photos are a bit more safe.
Always do what’s right for your family. We are all different people, and what works for one person may not work for another.
If you want to show your kids off to the world, go for it! I will continue to like and comment on those sweet pictures.
If you’ve felt conflicted about sharing your personal life online, know that you aren’t alone! And if you decide to keep things more private, that’s okay! Never let anyone make you feel like it’s not.
You are the mom and you have to make these decisions (with the help of your partner if they’re involved, of course). Just know that no matter what you choose, I’m rooting for ya, momma! You’ve got this.
Do you share photos of your kids online? Why or why not? If you don’t, how do you share pictures with your family? Let me know in the comments!