There’s certainly a lot of bullshit on Facebook, but at its foundations lays an inescapable honesty. It reflects your stage in life.
Sure, you might have a few FB friends that are radically different ages to you, but the majority are your peers. And your Facebook wall that was once dominated by group shot party photos and ‘jealous much?’ beach holiday snaps, is now incessant updates on home renovations and of course – baby photos. That’s where you are in life, Facebook says so.
Don’t mourn your lost youth and don’t go getting jealous over your last single mate’s FB photo of him surrounded by low-cut tops and lip gloss. Just know that when he’s on Facebook he’s haunted by friend’s images of weddings and babies, and his response of inspirational quotes and clever memes are a thin smoke screen.
You’re a proud new dad with a shiny fresh baby and you want to show the world. Now how do you do it without being an annoying jerk wad?
Announce the birth
Announcing the birth in the newspaper classifieds is pleasantly nostalgic, and your Grandma will cut the clipping out for you, but that will be the extent of any engagement. Facebook is the modern way of announcing a birth – so go for it. For many guys this will be the post which gets the most likes and comments ever on their personal page. Even more than when you posted a pic of that 20 pound snapper you snagged. Announce the babies name, date of birth and weight and remember to tag your partner, she did some work too.
A small digital footprint for a small foot
Do you know where all the world’s Facebook photos are stored, who has access to them and how exactly they’re used. I sure as hell don’t and I’m not all that comfortable knowing that photos of my kid are in Facebook land and out of my control despite my privacy settings.
To not put photos up at all is fairly paranoid and with more than 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook daily, your baby snaps are a drop in an ocean. However, to go a step further and start your babies’ own social media accounts is a bad move. Facebook and other social media sites are generally restricted to users 13-years and above because they use the data you give away to build a demographic profile and sell it for marketing purposes. Do you really want your baby tracked before they can even walk?
Accept that you’re irrationally sensitive
You can control the updates and posts you put on social media but you can’t control the comments. As we all know there are plenty of keyboard warrior dicks out there who comment first and think later. You put up your latest baby pic and most of your comments are ‘adorable’ or ‘looks just like you’, then some childless fool adds in, “guess he’ll grow into those ears”. Suddenly you’re seeing red, thinking does my baby really have huge ears? Is Will Smith his real dad? Faark!!
Just breathe, and chill, and never respond immediately. If the comment was made in jest, let your response be in jest. There’s no need to shift the interaction into the negative. Understand that the pressures and stresses of being a new parent have made you hyper sensitive over everything to
do with your baby’s appearance, and your parenting too. This will pass, and your kid will definitely grow into those Dumbo ears, all newborns look freaky, but as parents we’re hard-coded to think they’re gorgeous. It’s a survival thing.
Keep your privacy settings tight
You’re a dad now, get your social media house in order with a little DIY on your privacy settings. This isn’t a hard move, click on the downward arrow in the upper-right corner of your Facebook page, click on ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy’ on the left and sort it out. Facebook likes to shift the goal posts on its security settings occasionally (usually followed by public outcry) so remember to stay up with the play.
Facebook offers a good basic guide to its Privacy Settings here.
For more serious privacy nerds check out this advanced guide.
Yeah, it’s a thing. You’re smitten, you’re a little crazy and you’re snapping off 200 photos a day of your latest addition. That’s cool, but you don’t need to be uploading Facebook galleries 50 photos deep every couple of days. Less is more when it comes to baby photos and social media. You’re friends care about you, and most of them are interested, but don’t be that annoying guy who monopolises everyone’s wall. Over sharenting comes with a high jerk risk. Exercise caution.
Boosting personal brand
Personal brand is a modern concept, and while
we universally claim we don’t buy into it, anyone who has untagged a photo of themselves because they looked a bit bung eyed, definitely does. Becoming a father is a definite alteration to your personal brand and can, and should, be reflected through your social media comms. But let it be an honest reflection of what’s actually happening. Photos of you and your baby perfectly presented in the latest gear, sunnies on at the park with massive smiles and ‘#DadTime’ is just giving unrealistic expectations to your potentially parental bros. Be brave, tell it like it is, complete with old track pants and spew-soaked t-shirts.
Whatever you do with your baby snaps and vids on Facebook, take a common sense approach and remember your baby is a tiny person and like all people they may not appreciate having certain images added to the public domain. Most importantly, discuss posting baby pics and social media with your partner to ensure your expectations are aligned. You may have noticed that this is a delicate time in your relationship so avoiding unnecessary drama is always a solid plan. Post away gents.