Sharenting – why I don’t put pictures of my daughter on social media
Since the whole issue of sharenting – parents sharing pictures of their children on social media – has become a hotly debated topic, I’ve been asked my view on the matter. So here’s my two pence worth on sharenting…
Here’s how the sharenting debate started…
Gwyneth Paltrow and her daughter Apple had a barny on Instagram and its opened a huge can of worms.
In a true reflection of the modern age, the mum-daughter tussle – if you could call it that – was played out on social media. On a public platform. For the world to see.
Basically, Gwyneth shared a holiday picture of herself with Apple – whhose face was obscured by a ski hat and goggles – on Instagram.
Apple left a comment saying that she didn’t want her mum sharing pictures of her without consent. Apparently it’s something they discussed before.
And now we’re all debating it.
Sharenting – a HalimaBobs viewpoint
As far as I’m concerned, deciding what to share – or not – on my public platform is something I consider very carefully.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t even show pictures of my face. Despite starting HalimaBobs as a makeup blog, I’d managed to avoid publishing my full face.
I’d do makeup swatches on my arm, take a snap of just my eye. You get the picture. In fact, I didn’t even identify myself in the early days.
Why? Partly because I was slightly embarrassed of what people might think of me writing a beauty blog.
This is hilarious now considering everyone’s a blogger and selfies are mandatory. But back then, it was pretty novel. I thought old friends might tease me for my frivolous hobby.
Also, I didn’t know where I was going with the blog or whether I’d be doing it for long.
It was only when my blog started growing, and I got the attention of a newspaper who wanted to feature me as a columnist, that I decided to go public.
I discussed with my mum and decided that given that I’m writing about beauty, it’s pretty hard to be incognito, and I had to move on from the arm swatches. Plus I had a great blog which was helping other girls who were equally pants with makeup, so what’s to hide?
However, I value the privacy of others as I do my own. Each person I featured on my blog or social media, whether it’s my husband of friends, gave permission beforehand.
As HalimaBobs evolved into a lifestyle outlet encompassing food, travel and family life, I was again faced with a publishing choice, whether or not to feature my daughter.
I write a lot about parenting as it’s the biggest thing in my life. So it would be natural to include pictures of Hannah to boot.
However, I am also super guarded of her privacy. And I’m all too aware, once something is out there on the internet, it is there for life. Photos can be shared and duplicated, and people can be identified.
While I’ve decided that I’m ok with this for myself, I didn’t want to make that decision for my daughter.
After all, I think we’ve all got photos from when we were little that we don’t want anyone to see. Maybe the outfit was cringe. Maybe we had a bowl-head haircut.
As Hannah grows up she’ll have photos of herself she may or may not want to share, and I want that decision to be hers.
Social media – a sometimes cruel world
The other thing I’m all too aware of is the often cruel world of the internet. I’ve been a a victim of trolling, where some keyboard warriors find fault with whatever they can rather than live their own lives.
Again, while I can live with this, I wouldn’t want to inflict this on my daughter.
However, I have reached a compromise, as I do include some photos of Hannah on my blog and social media. But you can’t see her face.
So if you’re familiar with my blog and Instagram you may have seen delightful shots of her feet, the back of her head and more (I haven’t got her to do a makeup swatch. Yet.).
As a lifestyle (and now mum) blogger, this decision has cost me. I have had to turn down editorial and commercial opportunities as I didn’t want to share a picture of my daughter’s face.
I am also aware that my Instagram would grow much quicker if I posted more cute baby pics.
But I think a few missed commercial opportunities and a steadily growing Instagram is a price worth paying for Hannah’s privacy and anonymity.
Oh and by the way, this isn’t to bash other parents that do share their children’s pics online. Everyone does what’s right for their family. And mostly, parents post out of sheer pride.
And of course, I’m extra guarded as my platform is public. I totally get why parents share pics of their babies and children on their private Facebook pages. In fact, I want to see cute pics of my friends’babies.
But my decision is a very personal one. And once Hannah’s big enough I’m sure we’ll have other debates about social media. Assuming that all this social media stuff is still around then.
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About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.