One needs only to look to that kid from Home Alone to learn the price of young fame. While social media stardom may not necessarily land Instababies in a similar state, we really have no idea how they will react to the publicity they never asked for.
Today, it’s become common for parents to post pictures of their young infants online. What has become even more common is the use of such intimate sharing to leverage one’s social media presence viagra 100mg ohne rezept.
(To be clear, I’m not referring to those who just share on private Facebook or Instagram accounts. I’m talking about those whose social media accounts double as commercial platforms via which they make money.)
In an interview given to Smart Parents a few days ago, “celebrity mum” Tjinn Lee casually defended overexposing her kids on the internet. She asserted that by endowing them with an online presence, it would give them a leg up in a future where social media has become omnipresent.
Her comparison, I thought, was akin to touting the benefits of swimming classes, and I wondered if other parents have thought the same at some point.
The funny thing is, posting pictures of your kids online is not the same as sending them to abacus or piano lessons. Such lessons lack an immediately foreseeable downside, making them relatively safe activities. Social media celebrity, on the other hand, can easily turn out very badly when acquired at a young age.
at this present moment, it is the Instamummy who benefits from their child’s delightful, photogenic charm
Just consider this for a moment. How will your child react when he’s finally old enough to understand that he has lived his entire life on a live feed available to a faceless, public audience?
Yes, social media might be everywhere. But usually, one has control over what to post and what not to. It’s why platforms like Facebook and Instagram have age restrictions—to ensure users are old enough to understand the very non-exclusive, social environment they’re participating in.
As a parent, by posting on behalf of your child with the excuse that this will one day benefit them, you’re taking that autonomy away from them.
Furthermore, it’s hard to say at this time whether our attitudes towards social media might change in the near future; whether building a following on behalf of one’s infant will really benefit them.
For one, many have already started pushing back against influencers, social media and all its trappings of hyper-curation and superficiality. We’re headed towards a world where it’ll no longer be enough to be Instafamous. One will need to match fame with creativity and actual ability to create compelling content. So whether or not your infant is truly going to benefit from having a social media presence—that’s something that remains to be seen.
As such, the unexamined side of this is also that at this present moment, it is the Instamummy who benefits from their child’s delightful, photogenic charm. From Renn & Aira of Holycrap to the countless mummy bloggers like Xiaxue and Tammy Tay, Instakids have become integral parts of (personal) brand identities, which go on to bolster one’s social media clout.
If you are an influencer who does sponsored work, regardless of whether your child has appeared in a promotional campaign, can you really claim that constantly featuring your super adorable child has no part in increasing your social media appeal?
But let’s say your Instababy grows up and a potential employer digs up their social media accounts, which is likely. Would having 15,000 pictures of your kid online immediately make them a better candidate for the job?
It’s also difficult not to imagine a discerning employer going, “Huh, but your social media capital is the result of your parents’ hard work and influence. But what about you? What can you actually do for us?”
With kids now being raised in homes where they are constantly asked to pose for pictures, are they fully aware of what happens after they acquiesce to the picture taking?
When it comes to Instamummies, there are a whole lot of criticisms to be made. From utopian depictions of family life that shape unrealistic expectations for young couples to it just feeling fundamentally disconcerting to be posting so much of one’s private life online, some are fair and some are overblown.
But the biggest question, at least for me, is that of consent. In a incident related to me by a colleague, he had seen an Instagram story of his nephew playing with a new toy. When he later met that nephew, he asked the kid if he liked his new toy.
The kid’s response: “How do you know that I have a new toy?”
With kids now being raised in homes where they are constantly asked to pose for pictures, are they fully aware of what happens after they acquiesce to the picture taking? Do they know that tens of thousands of people will now have access to the picture they thought they were taking just for their family?
And then there are the videos. Intimate day-to-day moments in which children are taped for Instagram or Snapchat, videos that seem most authentic when the child is not aware of the camera. Do you think your child understands what’s happening here? Is he old enough to have an opinion on whether he’s okay with any of this?
If the answer is no, then there are obvious ethical considerations. With sending your kid to abacus or piano lessons, they can cry and protest and throw a tantrum. With social media, a concept with consequences young children may not be fully able to grasp, there is often no consent or autonomy.
Most Instaparents, I think, share with the best of intentions. But as many of these children are beginning to grow up, it’s also important to ask if overexposing them is really in their best interests.