I’ve been active on social media for the past decade or so, with the past 5 years being mainly focused on Instagram, or what I call “a hub of photographic inspiration.” And as time goes by, I’ve found a world of photography from mothers who are also creatives (i.e. illustrators, graphic designers, etc), or bloggers who just became mothers, or photographers who are also mothers – any combination of those three interests me. I don’t necessarily fit into any of those above-mentioned categories, but nonetheless I am a mother, and since becoming a mother, I found myself being drawn to those who show their lives through Instagram, with beautiful images laid out in such a way that if you view it in their profile, as a series of square formats, you can see that not only does it serve a purpose aesthetically but also personally.
Now, as my oohs-and-ahhs have subsided over the years, I’ve realized that Instagram is just like a Facebook for photography. As I’ve gotten sick of FB and quit checking it altogether, I am slowly checking Instagram a little bit less as well. Don’t get me wrong – there are still people who I follow on Instagram who are not mothers, but rather photographers, who provides me with inspiration – beautiful images to look at and dream about. But as I’ve looked at a lot of baby & family photos, I tried to step into the shoes of these babies and children who are being photographed and shared constantly on social media. I wondered – if I was that baby, what would I think? How would I feel about my parents blasting images of me all the time, doing different things, putting on god-knows-what awful accouterments on my body that I would not particularly choose for myself, such as these booties?*
If babies could talk, this is what they’d say about us moms & dads (mainly moms) who are living a life through social media.
The baby who hates being photographed:
Moommm get that thing out of my face! I’m currently being busy being a baby…can I just crawl once without you putting a camera in my face? Oh, by the way, I also just pooped. It’s kinda big. Sorry. Can you put that camera down and change me please?
The baby who loves being photographed:
Mom, I know you love these stupid bonnets, and I love getting my picture taken, but seriously!?! I can’t believe you spent like almost $40 for a stupid freakin’ bonnet that I’m only use (let you put it on me) once…okay, maybe twice in church so I can show people that we live as peasants or Amish folks. This is not the 19th century, for goodness sakes! Buy me a REAL hat. Like a sun hat or something.
The baby who doesn’t care (but is also bothered by something):
Okay, so I have to sleep in a crib. Big deal. I don’t see the point since I can’t walk anyway. But do you really have to take a picture of me laying there wrapped up in a Muslin blanket like a prisoner looking through the slats of the crib like I’m some sort of jailed individual? Come on! I was like, whatever to the baby wrap, but hey – you’re kind of stepping into strange territory here by taking a picture of me that looks like I’m bounded in prison.
The needy baby:
Hey, I don’t appreciate you showing off your boob on social media as I’m busy sucking away here. Isn’t this our private time together?? So what, you’re only showing like half of your face, and I know that showing breastfeeding pictures online is like a total trend right now, but for real – I need my milk. I’m hungry! So drop that phone down and FEED ME.
If you were a baby active on social media, what would you say?
*By the way, $40-60 on baby moccasins is ridiculous. You’re better off just spending that on baby formula…or heaven forbid, diapers!!