The Social Media Baby

Social Media Baby

Another time-honored part of parenting is showing the latest pictures of their son or daughter to friends, family and anyone else who look at them.  Bringing stacks of pictures to summer cookouts, Thanksgiving dinner and cornering coworkers in the company break room is part of the tradition.

It’s been this way throughout history—you can trace it back to the caveman.  The paintings on the Lascaux Cave walls were primitive baby pictures.  Visiting guests endured an hour or so of the latest images of Junior before settling down to a meal of sautéed wolf paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc.  White wine served with red meat—now that was primitive.

My parents were guilty too. Christmas Eve 1969. I'm the little guy on the right.
My parents were guilty too. Christmas Eve 1969. I’m the little guy on the right.

Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock, brandished selfies and baby pictures taken aboard the Mayflower, sharing them with members of the local tribes during the first Thanksgiving Dinner and a tradition was started.

Technology improved over the years, film was replaced by digital cameras and Al Gore invented the internet.  Then came the iPhone, turning everyone a photographer.  Before you can say selfie stick a new phenomenon was born—social media.

It started with MySpace, the social media equivalent of the cave painting.   Before long it was replaced by Facebook and Twitter.  Soon distant relatives and complete strangers were posting, tweeting and pinning the most intimate details of their lives with reckless abandon for all to see.

Talk about building a better mousetrap, Facebook and Instagram gives users a virtual means of cornering family, friends and virtual friends, with the latest family pictures that are draining the storage from their iPhones.  It’s found a home for all those blurry, underexposed iPhone images of today’s lunch, the latest pictures of their dogs or cats, and their children’s everything.

I always said I’d never be one of those parents whipping out and showing off baby pictures to anyone within site, whether they wanted to see them or not, before I became a parent.  According to (multiple) family members that ship sailed long ago.  So far there’s been no intervention, yet    

Cristian is a Social Media Baby—he was born in the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/You Tube era.  His birth announcement was posted on Facebook and Twitter.  Since we have family and friends (real and virtual) all across the Americas and Europe, it was the best way to get the word out.  He’s had iPhones or digital cameras in his face literally since birth.   

Used for Cristian's Baby Announcement
The Image used for Cristian’s Baby Announcement

I’m a Stay at Home Dad who blogs—sites like Facebook and Twitter is essential for promoting I’m Not Grandpa.  Blog posts and social media posts are made with an eye towards not embarrassing the baby.  Cheesy pictures of him could have repercussions, he’ll probably be taking care of me in my golden years and payback is a bitch.

Many fellow bloggers are careful regarding their children.   Pseudonyms replace their children’s names and some are careful regarding how much they share because you never know.

The flip side of the argument is this. Facebook has allowed me to keep distant relatives in Spain and not so distant ones on Long Island posted on all things Cristian.  Esther and I are amazed at how many follow our posts.  In November she took the baby to Puerto Rico, giving family members a chance to meet our newest addition.  She was surprised how many told her they checked their feeds daily looking for new pictures and updates.          

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13 thoughts on “The Social Media Baby

  • February 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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    It’s crazy how these babies are going to see themselves all over the internet when they grow up. As Facebook didn’t existed when we were young, we never lived that.

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    • February 13, 2016 at 9:51 pm
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      Very true, but social media isn’t going away. My parents didn’t grow up with television and they said similar things about us.

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  • February 13, 2016 at 10:05 pm
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    Great read! As a stay at home mom blogger, I myself am always sharing pictures of my baby. When I go out into the town I often have random strangers come up to me and tell me how nice it is to see me and how much they love my updates and seeing pictures of my daughter. I am always a little amused because I have no idea who these people are. :p I wonder how my daughter will feel growing up in this technologically advanced day and age!

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    • February 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm
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      I’m curious to see how it plays out. My son was born in the age of internet, iPhones and tablets. Of course I grew up in the age of television was cable television. I’m curious to see how much things advance when my son becomes a father.

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  • February 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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    Interesting read. I enjoyed it. I can relate to both points in your post. The past and the present way of showing information of our personal lives. I grew up with my grandparents as a child in the 90s. You didn’t have social media to share personal info… You had those rotary dial phones, had face to face conversations, or shockingly wrote snail mail letter to your best friend. On occasions, I miss those times but today’s lifestyle is so much easier to get in touch with someone or make an announcement.

    Cute baby, but the way! 🙂

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    • February 13, 2016 at 10:26 pm
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      Wow your grew up old-school! I remember snail mail, rotary phone and back and white tvs. I also remember when MTV debuted. Things seemed simpler then. It seems every generation gives something up to gain something. What will Cristian’s generation give up? Thank you for the kind words about the baby, I’m lucky, he looks like his mom.

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  • February 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm
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    After reading your post, I must ask, do you feel confortable with sharing your kids image? I mean, now a days when internet is for everyone, do you think is safe? I’m asking because I’ve saw an article stating that most of the pedophiles sites are filled with social media pictures that have been posted by the kids parents. In fact, 96% of them were from social media. I’m not trying to be judgemental, just want to know, what are your thought about it? 🙂

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    • February 14, 2016 at 12:49 pm
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      That’s a valid issue in this day and age. Safety is always in concern. A few weeks ago my wife and I were in a mall and a few days later someone tried to take a women’s child from her. We try to be as careful as possible with him and try to make sure an adult is with him at all times. I also try not to give specific locations as to where we are located, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t conscious of it.

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  • February 14, 2016 at 11:43 pm
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    Yes today the babies indeed are internet baby. And it was nice to read about how you traced it back to the cavemen literally, who too loved to share about their kiddos. Lovely

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  • February 16, 2016 at 9:29 am
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    Kids have so many pics taken of them that they pose at a young age before they even can say the words. I think social media is part of it as well as the fact you don’t have to develop every pic. The expense has been greatly reduced.

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    • February 16, 2016 at 9:44 am
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      I amazed that my son knows to look at an iPhone or camera and knows how to scroll through a phone or tablet. He’s a product of the social-media age.

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  • March 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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    My Space! I remember that, I agree it is our own cave painting! My daughter heard about it just the other day and asked what that was. Yep, I’m that old too!

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    • March 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm
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      It’s good to see someone got the joke. Technology changes, I can only imagine what it will look like in 10 years.

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