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Parental Advisory: Is baby’s first Facebook page even ethical?

kids on facebook
Image: LENNY JONES/Getty Images

Answer:

First off, congrats! You already sound like a Mom’s Gold Star candidate to me. By considering your friends, clients and whoever else might be privy to seeing content from your Facebook page, you’re light-years ahead of other parents who make the assumption that everyone is dying to see more pictures and updates about their baby (which can be the case but usually isn’t given the number of babies in most people’s news feeds). As far as having a dedicated page for your baby, if you anticipate a lot of photos and tagging, a “baby page” could work.

The key in that case would be to not bombard people with endless streams of minutiae, like up-to-the-minute updates about feedings, diaper changes and naps, just because you can. To do this would be to abuse the concept altogether, which is what many parents have done and one of the reasons baby pages get such a bad rap. But in a way, that’s also what those dedicated baby pages are for — after all, if you’re not over-posting or oversharing about your kid, what’s the point of creating a Facebook page for your baby in the first place? Some parents relish the opportunity to have a digital scrapbook devoted to their baby, but since that’s not the case here, I think your approach might be misdirected.

More: A teenager is suing her parents for their Facebook posts

The average Facebook friend is genuinely happy to see pictures of babies and kids, so I don’t think it’s necessary to create a separate page. Sure, clients might see the updates or images too, but if you’re concerned about what they think, maybe the solution is actually to create a separate business page. A true baby-spammer is someone who is always posting about their kids, not just your average parent who enjoys uploading a few pictures a week or a month, and if someone tags you in a bunch of baby photos, that’s really not your problem. If it feels excessive to you and you’re afraid it might annoy your friends, you can untag the images or change your personal settings to only show pictures tagged with you in them to certain friends. I don’t think you would need to download and then re-upload them to your own restrictive photo album. That sounds like a lot of work. But there are so many ways to customize your profile, it sort of makes creating a whole other Facebook page for an infant seem redundant, if not a bit obsessive, at this point in time.

I vastly prefer to see my friends’ kids in my regular feed and not have any 3-month-old “friends” who can’t read or chew meat, because the person whose content I want to see is my actual friend’s. Intermingling updates about yourself with updates about your baby seems like the way to go here, and then you can cull your friends list (if you must) or adjust your settings per friend. Something to keep in mind, though, is that eventually everyone’s Facebook page becomes chock-full of baby photos. How you choose to handle updates about your baby is up to you. I wouldn’t go too far out of your way to try to tailor every image or baby update, or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Just be considerate about what you post, like always, and go from there. And if you do decide to create a separate Facebook page for your baby, please, for the love of the internet, don’t write updates in his or her voice. It is truly the worst. If your kid can’t type it or even say it aloud himself, he doesn’t need to “say it” on “his” Facebook page either.

Mischievous
Image: STFU Parents

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