Pictures of Your Children You Shouldn’t Post Online
Every now and then, it seems like there is all of this advice everywhere about how I should be doing the digital equivalent of locking my children in the basement and pretending like they don’t exist. I get that social media is relatively new and we are making the rules up as we go. But it is really hard not to laugh when people are like, KEEP YOUR KIDS COMPLETELY OFF THE INTERNET! Because CONSEQUENCES!
Like this stupid post. It is much better if you saw it on Facebook with all of the comments mocking it. And then you’ll sometimes hear the, Your Kids Won’t Get into College Because You Posted a Baby Picture of Them fear mongering (college admissions officers will know your kid was once a baby; Harvard and Yale don’t have time for that). I mean, take a deep breath, guys.
Maybe time will prove me wrong. Maybe I will be like the internet equivalent of the people who used to just throw kids in the back of a station wagon with a can of Tab while chain smoking unfiltered cigs. People will look back at me and think, how scary was that?! How lucky that nothing went terribly wrong? But I like to think I’m more like the person who read the urban legends about stuff like Pop Rocks making kids explode and thought, mmkay, guys. Whatever you say. And then went about my life without losing any Pop Rocks-related sleep.
In the spirit of keeping your kids EXTRA, SUPER-DUPER SAFE, I’ve provided some evidence-based guidance to help you figure out what could happen if you post certain pictures of your kids online.
THINGS TO NEVER, EVER, EVER POST. EVER.
Pictures of children looking cute
Never post pictures of your kids looking cute. If you’re children are unattractive, this does not apply to you. If your children are cute, and you can find a way to “redact" their cuteness (through black boxes, for example), I urge you to do so. A Yale researcher found that people react to cuteness with aggression. Basically, people will see your cute kid and will want to squoosh him/her. They will most likely, hunt your children down and SQUOOSH THEM. Or perhaps worse. The only way to protect your kid is to only share not-cute pictures. Lock up any cute pictures, and don’t even look at them yourself. You probably shouldn’t even look at your own kids, IRL.
Pictures of your children being happy
Posting pictures of your kids being happy makes people sad. According to a Stanford grad student’s research, people see your happy kids on Facebook and think they are always happy (spoiler alert, they’re not) and it makes the people sad because their own kids, or lives, or whatever aren’t always happy. When they get all sad, I mean, who knows what a sad person will do!? Probably something AWFUL!!! And this is YOUR FAULT. Probably. Because everything is your fault if you’re a mom. You should know this by now.
Lots of Pictures, Regardless of the Content
Apparently, people hate over posters. I get it. I mean, babies don’t do that much. So posting a hundred pictures of them doing nothing is, maybe on the “a lot" side. (To be fair, over sharing isn’t limited to parents/kids; but I mean, hey, you look totally different in your car selfie today than you did yesterday, kind of.) But if you find yourself providing super frequent photographic updates about grocery store trips and potty training escapades, just a heads up, people might stop liking you. And if people stop liking you, then who is going to let you join their impromptu militia during the zombie apocalypse. So think twice about over sharing the pictures, because zombies.