Photos of Kids on Facebook and Social Media – BAD

Photos of Kids on Facebook and Social Media – BAD

Photos of Kids on Facebook andSocial Media – BAD

One mums falldown.

There is an unwritten rule that one does not post photos of other people’s children on Facebook. I know this. And yet in October 2012, swept away with the excitement of the birth of my son (and probably a little sleep-deprived), I made a terrible mistake. My friend, let’s call her Katy, invited me over to meet her own new arrival, a little boy exactly one month younger than my son, Max. I took a photo of the two of them lying side by side; one in a red Baby-gro, the other in white. Max was already a good two inches longer than the new baby, which I found startling as he was still so tiny, and he had already started to lose some of that crinkly new-baby look.

On my way home, I looked at the photo and felt a swell of pride. It seemed to say so much: here were two fresh baby boys who would likely grow up with a catalogue of shared childhood memories, their friendship predetermined by their parents’ relationship. Without really thinking, I opened the Facebook app on my phone and uploaded the photo, alongside a reference to my friend and the caption: “what a difference a month makes.”

People love photos of new babies, so it’s not surprising that within a couple of hours I had amassed tens of likes, as well as multiple comments. But then the email arrived.

It was from my friend. The gist was light-hearted, but she was upset. Her inbox had been flooded with messages from friends congratulating her on the birth of their son. Most of them didn’t even know she had entered labour; she certainly hadn’t got around to sending out that all-important first photo. She asked if I would kindly delete the post, which I immediately did.

Love it or loathe it, Facebook is modern life, and the arrival of smartphones has made the process of updating your status so simple. One implication is that most of us give far less thought to what we post online than in the days when we had to go home and switch on our computers before telling the world what we had been up to. Occasionally we make mistakes, posting an embarrassing photo or an angry comment, but we are consenting adults and these are our mistakes to make. By signing up to social networking sites we also consciously agree to them using our personal data to some degree.


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