I recently commented that I have now seen more pictures of Simon Cowell’s baby that I ever took of my own three when they were born. Babies (and subsequently, children) are amazing little creatures. From the moment of conception, parents are astounded and amazed by everything they do because it changes your life forever. 

But for the love of God, social media was not made for hour-by-hour reconstructions of little Amelia’s movements (in one form or another) or young Bobby’s crawling technique, Cameron’s ability to speak or Delilah’s acceptance into the local Montessori nursery.   

Close up of a baby

Facebook – the biggest culprit of this type of communication – is a fabulous platform to keep in touch with family and friends, but do we really need constant updates about what is going on at home? The contents of the latest nappy or how much sleep you had last night are attention-seeking status updates that those of us of a certain age *cough* had to deal with on our own rather than in the glaring lights of the online world. 

Yes, I’d love to see some pictures of your child but put them in an online album and let me look at them in my own time, rather than Instagramming one every twenty-seven minutes. Yes, I’d love to hear what you got up to as a family over the weekend, but save it for the Christmas Round Robin letter – then I can hate you even more. Please don’t make that 3D scan picture your profile picture; it’s a bit creepy and blurry and should be something private.

The magical experience of parenting is different for everyone and we all need a bit of a boost or have to ask advice from time to time, but please love your child’s development on your own time and not on my timeline. How else are we ever going to have enough humorous pictures for their 18th or 21st birthday? On a more serious note, in a TED talk, Juan Enriquez tells us that our online activity is as permanent as a tattoo. What if we flip Andy Warhol’s theory and you are providing only 15 minutes worth of anonymity for your child(ren)? 

Oh, and a final thought. Please don’t replace the pictures of your beloved offspring with pictures of every morsel of food you are eating or your pet ‘looking cute’ because that is a whole other rant just bubbling under the surface.

Does talk of nappies put you off your food or do you like regular updates about your friend’s and family’s children?

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