I haven’t touched on it a lot here, but you may have figured out that I don’t post a lot of photos of Chick. This is true of my anonymous blog, but also on my personal social media accounts. There are a ton of reasons for this, which would make a great post but… well, the holiday season is busting my ass right now, and I hardly have time or energy to put on socks in the morning.
In summary, Mr. O and I have decided that we want to honor Chick’s privacy. He may love having his photo all over the interwebs. He may be intensely private. He is currently 5 months old, so all we know for certain is that he likes chewing on his hands. As who he is becomes more clear, maybe we’ll revise this policy.
We arrived at this decision after a lot of discussion about the role Mr. O and I want social technologies to play in our lives– how we use it ourselves, how we want to use it as a family. This is is where we landed, and it seems to work for us. I don’t think people who post pics of their kids are terrible humans. It works for them, so go forth and post. To each their own, and all that.
Anyway, while I was trolling my Facebook feed I came across this article about how parents are using social media tools in disciplining their children. The story the article starts with is pretty well known, but I think the writer does a great job of connecting this to a larger historical arch of the role of public shaming throughout history. Communities have always sought to punish people and behaviors that fall outside what has been agreed on as “acceptable.” These tools just amplify our impulses, albeit to an extreme.
Of course, there is a huge difference between posting video of your child’s first steps and video of their biggest failures. I don’t mean to conflate the two. Still, as I sort out what kind of parent I want to be, I thought this was a really interesting take on how our parenting happens within the context of a community, be it IRL or virtual.