More than 92% of babies have some sort of online presence according to a study by Internet Security Firm, IVG.
That stat is striking, but it checks out when you give it some thought. For those of us with several online friends in their mid-twenties to thirties, this stat especially rings true. Everybody’s having babies it seems, and they (understandably) want to share the amazing news. We consulted with Social Media Expert Aidan J. Cassidy to better understand the landscape.
Speaking from the perspective of a father, the amount of joy you feel when your child is born is indescribable. But before going Post-zilla on Facebook, it’s also important to step outside of yourself and see the perspective of others. Perhaps your single coworkers, who are still out socializing every night, won’t relate to your joy as much. The good news is, there is a way to be tactful and not sacrifice one ounce of excitement in celebrating your child’s arrival or new adventures.
Here are three keystone principles to help guide your posting impulses so your friends don’t get annoyed but everyone still gets to celebrate the miracle of your child unabashedly. Win-win!
1. Stick with the big milestones when posting.
This helps for a variety of reasons. For one, you save time. It can turn into a job in itself to manage the comments and respond to every friends who chimes in on every post. Some parents are putting in Social Media Manager type hours, only they’re getting paid zippo.
Secondly, things stay special when you capture only the special. If you’re filling people’s newsfeeds with every gargle and belch of your adorable baby, some of the novelty will inevitably wear off. It’s how we’re wired. Especially when little Suzy or Tommy is competing with every little Tom, Rick and Harrietta picture posted by other parents. By posting the cutest photos on the most special of occasions, you’ll leave your friends and family wanting more. Just the way it ought to be.
Alternative: Limit posts to offbeat happenstance if you prefer to take a more original approach.
2. Sometimes it’s best to spare the details.
It’s been said, less is often more. Turns out that rule applies when it comes to sharing you newborn’s adventures as well.
I’ve seen parents post up to 5 pictures a day of their baby for months. I’ve seen hundreds of posts relating to the description of baby poop. This, I’m afraid, is going way too far. Is this the kind of news you want to share about your baby with friends and family? Perhaps most importantly, think of the actual child. You’re serving as executive decision-maker, and the truth is, while mom may know best for now, you daughter may not be so appreciative when she’s older.
Alternative: Some of the best posts are in fact very detailed. But they’re more story-oriented. Millie’s first baseball game would be a perfect time to spill the beans.
3. No place for Vanity
Try to keep the pregnancy posts to a minimum. As much as we all want to see you nude, artistically strewn over a kitchen chair glowering at the camera – I’ve seen it before –it’s best to keep it a little more refined. In social media, especially when expecting your first child, its important to not become self indulgent, less you run risk of annoying, or worse, mortifying all of your friends.
It’s important to share reciprocal interest in other peoples children as well on social media. If you expect everyone to support your little bundle of joy, make sure you return the love.
Extra tip: Please don’t share delivery photos. They can be quite graphic and whats more, that’s a very private moment.
You Can Still Document Every Moment
If you feel compelled to capture every moment of your baby’s development, that is totally understandable. Why not start a scrapbook that can be enjoyed by immediate family? Digital versions are all the rage now. Sometimes its important to step away from the Internet and social media when it comes to your loved one’s most precious moments. If everything is shared, nothing is sacred.
Now may the wind be at your back, and the Facebook posts of your child be well-placed, time-saving and beautiful as ever.
Aidan J. Cassidy is a City Councilman in North Carolina and Social Media Expert. He’s also a proud father and happily married to his college sweetheart.