Social media can be a great place to connect, to experience, and to revel in one another’s joy and happiness. But it can also be a scary place. The Internet is full of demons – people with ill intentions and negative mindsets. It can also be a place of false comparisons and false security in others’ “likes”. While I enjoy social media for all the positivity it can bring into our world, I am still hesitant to embrace it completely.
And for these reasons, I have put a lot of thought into my son and his relationship with social media. You may think that is crazy – he’s not even one! How could he even have a relationship with social media at this age? But he does. Because at this age, his life is represented through mine. Therefore, what I share online can reflect on my son as well.
With that in mind, I made some conscious decisions about what I would share about him before he was even born. I maintain personal social media accounts that are set with the strictest privacy settings. I use these accounts to share thoughts and pictures of my boy with family and friends. Even in that, I limit and control what I put out there. Before posting anything, I contemplate whether or not it may be something he will want online when he’s older. I don’t share nude photos and I don’t share humiliating stories – not that there is many at this age, but I will continue this as he grows. I don’t want him to grow up and ever be embarrassed about something that I shared online about him.
As for this space – the same rules apply. I do not want him to be ashamed of this site. I created thegrumpygills as a way to share MY stories. Not his. So while I do talk about him on here, it is always in reference to myself and how I experience these moments of our lives. Also, I try to limit sharing any photos of him on the thegrumpygills accounts and if I do, I do not show his face. I believe his stories are his to tell and he can do so when he’s older if he so chooses. It is not my place to share his world with the rest of the world.
I want to be clear to all the momma’s out there – if you have chosen to share your children with the world, that is perfectly okay. I applaud you for being vulnerable and welcoming the world into your happy home. These decisions are simply the ones I believe best fit our little family at this time. Maybe I will change my mind as we grow. Once he’s old enough to be involved online himself or to understand and tell me his feelings on the matter, maybe my feelings will change.
But for now, its too easy to let the world at my fingertips encroach on the world I hold in my heart. So these are the values I hold dear and the ways I strive to protect my family.