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How to navigate social media as a new parent

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Published on 09/02/2022

Social media is such a big part of our lives now, and lots of parents share family snaps and updates. On the other hand, some choose to keep their children’s image off social media altogether.

While any proud parent might want to show off their adorable bundle of joy, it’s important to be aware of the risks of posting on social media sites, especially if your profile is set to public.

“It’s difficult, if not impossible, to control information once it’s posted online,” says Tiffany Norris aka The Mummy Concierge, a parenting expert and speaker at The Baby Show (thebabyshow.co.uk).

“You can’t prevent anyone from taking a screenshot of your post and disseminating it beyond your reach.”

Even removing Instagram or Facebook posts won’t necessarily get rid of them completely: “Your deleted posts, while apparently gone from your social media profile, may still live on in internet archive websites and on the social media servers themselves. With that in mind, you should consider how your photos and stories may impact your child when they’re much older, even an adult.”

mother taking a picture of her baby girl on sofa with smartphone
(Alamy/PA)

As Norris mentions, the other thing to consider is how your child will feel about the photos and videos you’re posting when they grow up, and their own privacy.

“At around five years old, children start to develop a sense of themselves as individuals and how the rest of the world perceives them,” says Norris.

“They may start to feel embarrassed about what their parents post about them on social media, especially when it comes to early childhood anecdotes, funny photos, and updates on developmental and behavioural challenges.”

It can be a contentious topic and couples may disagree as to how much of their child’s life they want to share online.

If that’s the case, Norris advises: “Try and find a compromise. A lot of clients I work with choose to just post the back of their child for example, a photo of them with their back to the camera so they are not identified.”

mother taking selfie with daughter
(Alamy/PA)

To give added peace of mind, you might want to use features that limit who can see your posts, such as the Close Friends option on Instagram Story or the audience selector on Facebook.

And when it comes to snap-happy friends or relatives who can’t understand why you don’t want your baby’s face plastered all over their social accounts, be clear on what’s acceptable for you.

Norris says: “Explain calmly but confidently that this is your child and therefore your decision not to want them on social media. Explain your reasoning and then say it is not up for negotiation.”

 

How do you navigate social media as a parent?  Let us know in the comment section below!

 

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