THIS age of social media is a funny one.
We are living, breathing human guinea pigs – the first crop to live and then parent with this online presence.
Today, Peta is talking about social media parenting dilemmas[/caption]
The mummy-blogger boom has its lovers and its haters . . . and I guess I am part of it.
I post quite a lot of my life on social media, both good and bad . . . though never the REALLY good or REALLY bad.
Instagrammers who do so get labelled “too smug” or “too moany”. And while those concepts baffle me a bit, I would rather not be regarded as either.
The questions I get asked most about putting my life online – including my children – are whether I think it’s safe, whether it’s fair and whether I can be present “in the moment” if I’m too busy posting about it. With regards to the latter, I do my very best to not upload things as they are actually happening.
MOST READ IN FABULOUS
I want to enjoy our days, activities and snuggles – and referee our “moments” – with eyes, ears and hands available. So I will often post later, in a quiet moment.
When it comes to safety, I am very careful not to give out too much information about locations – including where we are holidaying, where we hang out and where we live.
I am also vigilant with my friends. I would ask them to remove stories where my kids are shown in their school uniforms or that reveal details of their hobbies or whereabouts.
Though I probably sound like a loon asking them to take something down, it plays on my mind and I want to make sure my kids are safe.
As for fairness, I also take my children’s opinions into account, especially as they get older.
Finnbar, who is now 13, doesn’t feature as heavily across my accounts these days. It’s not because he isn’t with us, although he is with his friends more nowadays (unless he needs feeding).
And it’s not because I want to exclude him. As a teenager, he is too cool to be in my photos.
I would always ask Finnbar before I share a photo featuring him.
We are living, breathing human guinea pigs – the first crop to live and then parent with this online presence[/caption]
I try to imagine how I would have felt if photos of me were posted on the internet at his age, and not just in an album on my nan’s shelf.
That’s not to say we don’t have a blooper collection to be rolled out at significant events, or as bribery . . . but they are just for us.
Unless – if you are reading this, Finnbar – you don’t bring your washing downstairs . . . NOW!
Each generation of parents faces unique dilemmas. Parenting etiquette for social media is one of our biggest.
It’s a minefield of unknowns that I try to navigate tactfully.
Sometimes, I’m sure, I will step on what I thought was a stone and it will materialise as an alligator ready to snap at me. But we can only do what we believe to be right at the time.
Hindsight is amazing but we have to live for the now – and not second-guess the future.