On June 29th 2016, I joined the rest of the world in marking World Social Media Day. If you didn’t know, that’s exactly how big social media has become. Soon enough some of us will start protesting asking the government to give us a public holiday on that day.
So anyway, on the next day while running some errands in town, I met a childhood friend of mine. He was just as excited to see me and my kitambi as he was about now being an uncle.
“Congrats mse! I heard you got a son and you blog all about it?” He quipped. “Yeah, yeah..I just want to give people like you a heads-up of what it takes.”
“Eeer, don’t you think that’s dangerous? Putting his innocent life all over the internet like that?” He asked.
Now let’s just stop there for a moment because I want to educate non-parents about something. The excitement that a baby brings into your life, is out of this world. You remember that exam you expected an E and got a pass? You remember that feeling? That doesn’t even come close. Or when your crush told you they like you? You remember that?…That one tries, but it still doesn’t match it.
So don’t judge us when all we want to do is plaster our babies’ pictures all over Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and Google+ and LinkedIn and every other Social Media forum. Their cuteness cannot be contained. Also not that it matters in any way, but before I got my son, my photos would get an average of 5 to 7 likes.
Now, almost miraculously, with him in my photos, I can get a cool 90 likes!
So anyway, social media is very key in today’s parenting. It gives us that perfect platform to connect with other parents and learn how their babies are driving them nuts, and that really comforts us. It tells us that we are not alone.
On the flip-side, I know a friend of a friend who has a 2-year old daughter. Since she got her, she has never posted anything about her on social media. Not a photo, not an update, not a post, not a video, not a blog, NOTHING. Even when she turned one! Not even when she started walking! Or when she started teething!! IMAGINE THAT! And yes, she has a smartphone and yes she’s quite digital savvy. In fact her followers on social media are in their thousands.
So does it mean she doesn’t love her daughter? NO. Here’s where I want to educate parents about something. Yes I know your baby is cute, and yes I know you want to share a slice of him/her with the rest of the world. But some memories are best cherished in private. No seriously. No one wants to see a photo of your baby naked with a caption written #WhoNeedsDiapers. Let’s learn what to share and what to keep in our hearts.
And so to answer that childhood friend of mine, I told him to chill out. It’s my son not his.
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