Babies and Social Media

I was more than elated to get a text message from my friend on Thursday with the news that she had delivered a very healthy baby girl. Of course, I immediately asked to see a picture of her and my friend sent one to me via text message. It is with zero doubt that I can say that this little gem is absolutely gorgeous. I knew that if I wanted to see the baby before I made a hospital visit, it would have to be over email or text message.

There would be no grand announcement about the baby’s arrival on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site. There would not be a brand new photo album chronicling the Mommy and baby’s stay at the hospital. My friends use Facebook for professional purposes and have not made the transition to using it for personal use. I have said that, in this day and age, it is very hard to separate professional from personal and that TOGETHER they form an online identity. However, after meeting this sweet baby girl, I understand the parents’ perspective.

As I said, I knew before going to the hospital that I would not find any details about the baby online. I got all of that in person as I sat in a hospital room with the baby in my arms for an unforgettable and delicious two and a half hours. I got every single little detail and then some. As somewhat of a reporter, I tend to ask detailed questions. My kind friends were either more than happy to answer or too tired to realize what kinds of questions they were answering. With all humor aside, I looked into the face of their adorable baby and somehow began to wonder aloud if she would make a social media debut.

I touched the subject with the parents very gingerly. I was curious if they were going to say anything on Facebook or if I was making assumptions. They both know that I am all about social media so I did not want them to feel like they were being judged. I wanted to do just the opposite. I wanted to hear their opinion and I wanted to listen to it carefully.

My friend (the Mommy) made some great points about her feelings:

  • She is a woman and has an identity. While being a Mom is now a part of her identity, she promised herself that she would not lose her own self after having children. I am in agreement with not allowing a single aspect of your life to define you as a whole and I think that she is right on target. Mom = 1. Social media = 0.
  • My friend does not want her friends to experience baby overload from her. This resonated with me as I know so many people who seem to be unable to talk about anything else or relate to anything else after having a child. I have seen so many people engage in social media about a variety of different topics and then a baby comes and for two years, I read about pediatric tummy troubles. Sure, that can be interesting every now and again, but all the time? No thank you! Mom = 1. Social media = 0.
  • My friend is protective and enjoys privacy. She talks to her husband about posting personal information to make sure that they are in agreement. Joint decision-making between two parents about a baby’s presence online is a VERY smart idea. Mom = 1. Social media = 0.
  • My friend is a blogger and babies are not necessarily her niche. Immediately after coming home from the hospital (when I probably would have been trying to take a nap!) Supermom made a very succinct, classy and tasteful announcement on her blog. She has told me since then, though, that she does not want her baby to take over her blog. While I am in love with her little girl and would not mind it if the baby took over, I understand Mom’s point of view and believe that she is practicing a great example of professionalism. Mom = 1. Social media = 0.

The logic behind this family’s decision is quite solid. It does go against a good deal of what I preach and teach but it is definitely inspiring me to think about how I am going to act when I am blessed with children. My friend raises very valid points that I certainly have to consider.

Note: For the record, I asked the parents for their permission to blog about this.

How do you feel? What is your perspective on “Facebook babies?”

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  • Roberta Budvietas

    The challenge is what do you share. You have shared the story here but as our personas on line as business people does not always match with the private stuff. I think though that because we are human, a small touch of the human often makes us more real to those we are in touch with online. Some of the really big name bloggers share themselves as well as their business and few people seem to object or unfriend them

  • Pingback: Motherhood and Social Media | Lauren Huston

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