The birth of social media has many us sharing various moments of ourselves and our family’s to others. There are many bloggers and Youtubers who have developed successful careers by sharing mundane family experiences. I enjoy blogging about various topics especially anything associated with family. I love dabbling in photography in taking pictures of candid family moments. I’ve learned though to respect when my children request occasionally for me not to take pictures with them verbal or nonverbal with a specific look of ” No pictures Mom!”
I will admit that I’ve been one of those moms who posted a lot on her social media accounts. I was late to the social media platform for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, but I jumped in excitedly. I shared adorable baby pics, family gatherings, our individual achievements, and different transitions in our lives such as homeschooling for awhile. Yup, I was the family’s PR rep in some senses, but following a few years in the social media game I begin to take some steps back in limited my time on social media. I wished I didn’t post in spotlighting so many areas of my family’s life on social media.
I saw the good, the bad, and the unnecessary in being an oversharer in having a public family portfolio album for the world to see. I saw others including myself who posted smiling happy photos, cute snuggly couples’ pics, and images of the perfect families online. I know of mothers who were silently dealing with their family’s dynamics, but wanted to save face in being in unhealthy relationships, heartbreaking marriages, and they were drained from secretly surviving family dysfunction because of the “perfect” family images that were plastered on their social media accounts. I could definitely relate to those mothers with somethings in looking back at some pictures on my social media beyond the post likes despite how warm, happy, or magazine ready the moment later wishing that I didn’t post them.
I saw my son taking the initiative on a Saturday to be studious in practicing on his challenging areas in math. I’ve posted pictures of my children doing homework and homeschooling in the past, so I didn’t think much of it. I think in hindsight now why did I post those moments. Did I post pictures of my kids in action doing work to validate myself as a mother with smart children? Ha, I didn’t. I think I just tapped into the energy of many of those I chose to follow on social media in learning what I thought was appropriate to post. I smiled as a mother seeing my son so focused on his work in pride grabbing my phone to snap a shot. My son said in his deep voice,” No pictures Mom!” I looked in shocked of his assertiveness to take a stand of the me being the “Mom Paparazzi” in respecting his privacy in the moment. My oldest daughter loves kid friendly social media apps with music, crazy filters, and connecting with friends with selfies, but she to has giving me the look if occasional on ” No, Pictures Mom.”
I have begun the process in deleting many pictures off my social media accounts. My children love looking at pictures as I did as a child, so I am creating real hardback family albums for all of us to enjoy. I love the new additives like Story on Facebook and Instagram that don’t post on your personal page , but in a heading for simply 24 hours. The best family moments I’ve learned don’t have to validate their meaning in being posted on social media, but the best family moments are captured in the heart.