We live in an edited world. A place where we put our best faces forward with witty hashtags and filters that cover up blemishes and melt away the extra pounds perpetually spilling out of our clothes.
I’ve learned to further edit my online world since becoming a mother. I’m responsible for the curation of my daughter’s digital persona. I want her to be comfortable and understanding of the things I’ve shared when she’s old enough to take over her online presence. Because of this, I often find myself limiting what I share. Sure, she sits on the potty every night and it’s adorable that she needs to be completely stripped down, and have a blanket draped across her legs, but does the world need to see that? I think not.
Plus, if I’m conscious of what I’m publishing, I can avoid the awkwardness that tends to ensue once we blend our personal and online lives.
Take for example, daycare. I’m part of a Facebook support group with a few of the moms at my daughter’s daycare. So when I saw one mom posting a question about what to do for her sick child then saw him at school the next day, I wanted to punch someone. Especially when a few days later my daughter was puking up every five minutes.
Thank you Facebook mom.
Or how about that party you want to throw but not invite everyone to? Do you tell people not to post pictures? I’ve resorted to inviting everyone who may see it if I can at least put it up with them. I figure if I don’t care for someone too much, they probably don’t like me either. But it’s often impossible to invite everyone.
Friends of friends and tagged photos, you suck.
We know too much about each other and we don’t know what to do with that information. A friend recently told me about a Facebook friend who mentioned how much he loved seeing photos of her daughter noshing on yogurt. The uncomfortableness wasn’t that he followed her mothering adventures online, it was that suddenly, she had nothing to talk to him about. How do you update someone who already knows you went to Disney World with the kids or that your mom moved into a new house if they’ve already not just heard about it, but “liked” it?
Oh, you already heard about the promotion I accepted, I’m going to tell you anyway.
On that note, what if someone’s online persona shows a truer version of them? Suddenly that new mom at playgroup you had high hopes for isn’t so attractive when you find out she actually spends her free time waxing poetic about how your kid is losing brain cells if you feed him peanut butter made with hydrogenated oil or non-organic strawberries.
I’ll keep my Eggos, thank you very much.
Then there’s the one that’s probably the toughest for busy parents who just want to have a way to let go of some commitments. You can’t very well use your baby as an excuse to miss a housewarming party or your niece’s 35th dance recital if you want to post or share about that great adventure you went on instead.
Oh Facebook, how we love to hate you.