For a lot of people, social media has truly become a way of life. While there are plenty of great things about sharing your family’s special moments online with your friends and followers, there are also plenty of drawbacks.
Let’s just put it this way: do you really know all of the hundreds of people that probably follow you on your social media accounts? Do you really need your child to be exposed to so many different people? And more importantly, what will your child think of you posting so many photos of them when they get older?
That’s why we’ve got 10 rules you need to keep in mind before posting on social media.
10 Sharing Ultra Private Photos
If your child happens to be taking a bath or is undressed in any way (or even wearing a bathing suit), it’s best to keep these photos offline. You might think they are cute, but they might certainly lead to something more dangerous, especially when they end up in the wrong hands.
Reader’s Digest puts it this way, “Babies splashing around during bath time are definitely adorable, but posting photos of your children in any state of undress—even a teeny bikini—isn’t smart. As sad as it is to imagine, these photos could fall into the wrong hands and be accessible to online predators.”
9 Don’t Post Their Location
As fun as it is to geotag your location, don’t do it when it comes to your kids. Remember that as a parent, it's your job to protect your child first and foremost. Don’t give strangers your exact location or details of your vacation online.
That’s because you never know who or what might be lurking around the corner. As a parent, you need to be careful.
Reader’s Digest says, “Street signs, house numbers, and apartment addresses might seem like harmless background scenery, but once you post that picture, it could get around, making your child vulnerable to identity theft or digital kidnapping.”
8 Pictures With Friends
As cute as it is to share photos of your children with their friends at sleepovers, birthday parties or playdates, consider and respect the wishes of that friend’s parents. Not every mom and dad wants their child’s photos on social media, especially if it’s not on their account or if they don’t have any control over the privacy settings.
While you have every right to post what you want of you and your children, keep in mind that there are other parents out there that might not want the same for their kid. Keep your child’s friends in real life, not online.
7 Photos Of Meltdowns
In this digital age, every parent wants to share the ups and downs of parenting. After all, sharing our experiences is what helps us connect with one another, right? Well you can do that, but just not at your child’s expense.
If you 're dealing with your child’s temper tantrums or a public meltdown, put your phone and camera away and help calm your child down instead. Plus, does the world really need to know that your kid refused to get up in the cereal aisle at your local Whole Foods? No. Not every moment needs to be documented for better or for worse.
6 Super Embarrassing Photos
We all have those days. Snot running out of our noses. Toilet paper stuck on our shoe. Or moments in which we are completely covered in dirt and mud at the park with no change of clothes. These might be cute moments for you, but for your kid they might be super embarrassing, especially when they see them later in life.
Reader’s Digest says, “Posting a photo of your sick child might garner comments and compassion on social media, but consider how it could affect your child. What you consider a moment to cherish—and post—might be embarrassing to them.”
5 Pics Meant For Families Only
A lot of parents agree that they take photos that are meant for personal matters and photos that are usually staged for the public. If you take a photo that is meant for the family, like that time your child graduated from diapers to big kid undies or when he or she wiped and dried all on their own, keep it yourself.
While a lot of grandparents love seeing these photos, they shouldn’t be posted for everyone’s eyes on the internet. Make sure you don’t cross the fine line between public and private, especially if it’s a super personal moment for your child.
4 Photos For Social Media ‘Likes’
While there’s no doubt that social media has spawned a lot of different kind of parents out there, if there’s one thing you don’t want to do it’s be that parent who is a social media stage mom. Don’t be that parent who does everything for “likes” and makes their kids pose for photos knowing that you might post them online later on.
According to the New York Post, it’s a disturbing new trend, in which many parents broadcast details about their kids’ lives or even their misfortunes for likes. This is something that we definitely dislike, as parents shouldn’t use their kids for attention.
3 Personal Identifiers
Sure, it might be a lot of fun to post photos and videos of your child’s birthdays or the things they do at their school but this is something you should refrain from doing. As a matter of fact, don’t post anything about their school life (or where they go to school) at all. Keep all personal identifiers offline.
Reader’s Digest says, “You might think that a well-taken passport photo really captures your kiddo’s smile and baby curls, or be so filled with exuberance that your new driver passed the road test that you snap a congratulatory photo of his or her license. Before you post to social, take a step back and think of the information you’re giving away.”
2 Their Grades
Regardless of if you are super proud or super bummed about your child’s grades, that’s something that shouldn’t be broadcast online for the world to see. For one, it might put pressure on your child to keep up with the demands of school (and to keep up mom’s likes, of course) and two, it might also embarrass them in more ways than you can imagine.
Reader’s Digest says, “Social media isn’t for child shaming. Whether it’s an issue of wetting the bed or trouble learning to read, taking a photo and captioning it in a way that highlights your child’s difficulties can be problematic.”
1 Milestone Moments
Sure, sharing that video of your child taking his or her first steps, their first day of pre-school or even their first big exam might be fun and exciting, but consider a few things before you do so.
Firstly, does your social media audience really want to see several updates of your child each and every waking day? And secondly, is there anything that you are keeping private for yourself and your family?
Sharing photos and videos online might be fun, but you should have a healthy separation of your real life and your online life. Don’t forget there’s a huge difference between the two.