Offline Parenting

Little E is nearly three months old and I’ve shared all of two photos of her on the Internet. Yep, two. And it’s not for a lack of photos. Trust me, my phone is quickly filling up with images of our beautiful little girl. Rather, before she was born, Austin and I made the choice that we would not really be sharing her picture on social media. In the age of iPhones and Instagram, this is a pretty big break from what many of our other friends with kids have chosen, so I wanted to answer some questions about our No Post Policy.

  1. Why aren't you sharing?
    Honestly, I could go on and on about all the reasons behind our decision, but it really boils down to three main points: safety, privacy, and setting a precedent.

    While I’d love to think that I know each person that follows my and Austin’s accounts (which are all private to start with), I don’t. There are old acquaintances from long ago and all those people you friend when you get into the college and then never end up actually meeting. Plus, photos shared by our friends on Facebook reach thousands of people we don’t know at all. I hope that these people are all safe, but I just don't know, so we want to be conscious about sharing the image of a minor.

    In a number of years, E will be able to access the Internet herself. As much as possible, I want her to be able to choose what her Internet presence looks like. So we’re protecting her privacy until she’s ready to make her own decisions about what to share online.

    Setting a Precedent--
    We plan to become a foster family sometime in the next few years. Since there are legal restrictions on sharing photos of foster children, we decided it seemed easiest to not really share our bio kids’ photos either. This way, when foster children are in our home, our friends and family will already be familiar with our posting policy and we won't have to make any big changes.

    So that’s our reasoning. We know that not everyone thinks the same way about these things and we’re perfectly okay with that. This is the choice we’re making for our family, but it’s up to all parents to share in a way they feel comfortable with.

  2. What about other people posting photos of her?
    When we decided on our post policy, we let friends and family know about it and asked that they respect our decision. Recently, we've asked a couple family members to remove photos that they posted of her. This felt really uncomfortable to me at first and I almost just let their photos go, but after talking with Austin, we realized that it's our job to enforce our policy and we get to decide what we feel comfortable with. Thankfully, everyone has been really respectful of our choice.

  3. How do you update friends and family who don’t see her often?
    We use text, email, and a private app called TinyBeans to share photos and videos without posting them publicly. It’s been great and we get messages once a week that everyone loves seeing our TinyBeans updates!

How does your family deal with social media?
Share your thoughts & questions in the comments!