Our Take On Sharenting
In our Links I Like series months ago, we included a link to The Atlantic’s piece on “Sharenting” - a term dubbed by a law professor assessing the risk of the rising rates of posting images of our children on social media. The post calls into question the digital footprint that we create for our children in every day birth announcements on Facebook or updates to our private networks on Instagram. And then there’s mom blogs or brands like this one rooted in a conversation about our family experience.
Anyone who follows us on Mother Untitled’s Instagram knows there are frequent posts including images of my two children. They are a core part of my day to day and obviously the people who made me a mother giving me reason to have crafted this conversation and community. And still, the last week or so I’ve been quiet on social media - stories specifically.
But it’s not for worry of itty bitty digital footprints. The way I’ve managed through that mental exercise is to first ask my husband’s permission to share glimpses of our children in this public space. I believe both parents really do need to have a say and if he had had issue we would have had to debate it and it’s unclear where we would have landed. Second, I am very careful of what I share. I do not share any of the following:
Details on school, home or vacation addresses
Moments that my children at age 7, 13, 15 or 20 would not want to see or share themselves
Images of friends or family who do not have public profiles themselves
Any image that my child has to pose for - that isn’t genuinely a happy or peaceful or engaged moment
Any image that disrupts their flow
But that last one is actually why I’ve pulled back in these final weeks of the summer. Because I’m in flow - with my kids, my family and my friends. When I put content out on Mother Untitled, be it on the website, newsletter, Instagram or elsewhere, it’s like all I do in my life, it has to tell a story. Which takes thought. Which takes time. And even if I think it’s just going to be 5 seconds of a photo or video, it’s 2 minutes of caption writing, 3 minutes of editing, and now it’s 5 minutes away.
Our digital relationships, like all else, take constant recalibration. For me right now it’s about selecting only the moments or insights worth sharing and compiling the story only when I have time to myself.
Because this space has given me so much energy as a mother and I’m so grateful to it, and I want to keep sharing this life of ours for that reason. I choose that day over day but how and when and what is a work in a progress.
What’s your relationship with social media and your children?