OK, hear me out. Your baby is cute, your baby is a miracle, we get it. But you may be suffering from something I just made up called IPTMPOMBS ( I Post Too Many Pictures Of My Baby Syndrome). Have you forgotten you are a person separate from the person you gave life to? Again, yes your kid is cute, but we don’t need a daily update because it’s a BABY. It’s doing the same thing every day.
And don’t say it’s for the grandparents, if so, then start a group text or email chain with your family. Bottom line: you’re annoying the rest of us. No one wants to be a baby hater, but we’re gonna have to hide you from our timeline — and it’s not your baby’s fault. It’s yours.
Kris Ruby, President of Ruby Media Group, a New York Social Media Marketing Agency, is an expert in the ways of social media and tells Personal Space it’s called “over-sharenting.” Brilliant.
“Over-sharenting is the word for parents who over share about their babies on social media through an endless stream of posts, updates and photos,” Ruby says. “A recent study indicated that over 80 percent of children under the age of two are believed to have an online presence. All of this is of course due to parents who have created digital footprints of their every move on Facebook before they could even have a choice in the matter. This of course raises larger potential privacy concerns as well.”
OK, but is there a fine line between cute and too many baby pictures or are we just being grumpy?
“Yes, there is a fine line between cute and too many baby pictures,” Ruby adds. “I think people want to be happy for someone with a new baby, but they don’t want to be intricately involved in every minor move of the baby’s life. That is when it turns from exciting to scary (and potentially annoying). There are some moments that new parents should share with their family that don’t need to be captured in an Instagram story. I worry that parents may potentially be losing out on these moments in their quest to rack up more Instagram likes or to stage the perfect newborn photo. We see this with new moms who hire makeup artists and photographers in their hospital rooms to get a picture-perfect Facebook photo for the revealing of their new child. Social media may be robbing us of the moments that matter most that inherently can’t be staged and you will never get back.”
You have every right to be annoyed seeing the same baby in your feed.
“If you are doing social media right, you have most likely built up a personal brand. Perhaps you are known as a fashion blogger. Followers come to expect your fashion photos and critiques at New York Fashion Week. But then, after you have a baby, suddenly all of your posts are about the baby and there are never any new fashion posts,” Ruby says. “This confuses the followers you have built up. While they are happy for your baby, they still expect to follow you for why they originally ‘subscribed’ to you — for your fashion advice. This is a big mistake many new moms can make. It can also get annoying if the new mom never again posts anything else outside of baby photos.”
How is a new mom to know when enough is enough?
“There is a real double standard when it comes to social media today. It starts as soon as someone clicks they are engaged on Facebook. Suddenly you are then expected to congratulate every single milestone of the person's new life together,” Ruby says. “The engagement, the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, the wedding, the honeymoon, the birth of the new baby, and then every single milestone of the babies life from 0 to 35 … and the cycle repeats again. But what about your single friends? What Facebook milestones are ever really celebrated of theirs? None. According to Facebook, there is nothing celebratory in their life if they aren’t having kids and starting this standard life we are all ‘supposed’ to be having. This can create inherent loneliness for singles who opt not to have children. While new moms are posting 1000 photos of their kids, I often think they never take into consideration the feelings of their other single friends on Facebook who do not have children. No one ever talks about this — but it is important to bring up.”
Is it ok to feel it is annoying?
“Yes, it is ok to feel it is annoying. The great news for you is that you can now unfollow your friend while staying friends, or you can use Facebook’s new ‘pause’ feature to take a break from them for 30 days. The baby vomiting will no longer fill up your feed — and you can check back in by going to their page directly when you want to get updates … Or, you can just unfollow them altogether the second they click ‘engaged’ because you know it is going to be an onslaught of every milestone for the next few years. And after all, if you were never that close to begin with, why become so intricately involved in their life anyway? The weird thing about social media and sharenting is that we follow these peoples lives so closely — yet, in reality, we probably weren’t invited to the wedding or baby shower and even if we were, probably wouldn’t have shown up. So why do we feel such social media pressure to like our acquaintances posts?”
Can you ever say anything?
“No. There is really no polite way to say anything unless you want to offend the new mom or lose the friend entirely,” Ruby says. “However, if you have jumped on their social-sharing baby bandwagon and notice they never like anything of yours, you can politely say — how come you never like my posts? I always like every photo of your adorable baby … You will probably be told they are too busy with their new baby to have time to like your photos — but, then again, how do they have time to post their babies' photos and stage photo shoots, yet no time to like anything that you post? Double standard when it comes to babies on social media!”
Why do some new moms overpost?
“I think people over post because either they don’t care, have nothing to lose, or don’t know the difference,” Ruby says. “Also, many regular users of social media don’t care about social media etiquette — if they aren’t using it for business purposes or to build a personal brand, they don’t really believe things like over posting applies to them.”
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