Monday, February 20, 2012

9.2.12 - "Soooo cute" - The Facebook photo response

I live in Tel Aviv. A majority of my family and friends, however, do not. They mostly live in Australia, and various parts of the US. They are “missing” out on my child’s development in the physical sense, but not entirely because I post photos of him regularly on Facebook. Now, according to its landing page, Facebook’s aim is, quite literally, to help me keep in touch and share with the people I know.  So I do. Often. And to be honest, I never tire of hearing other people tell me, in whatever way, that he’s “soooo cute.” Because he is.

I have to wonder though; will my Facebook sharing of his every move drive him directly into the arms of a therapist?

In the “old” days, proud parents pulled out a swatch of photos from their wallet or pocketbook to show any poor shmo who even dared ask about the wellbeing of their child everything said child had done since the last time the parent developed a roll of film . Nowadays you can get such gratification in the click of a mouse and it can be shared around the world in a matter of seconds. It’s great; no one has to miss out and I can be chuffed every time I open the site to see yet another comment of adoration about baby boy’s delectable face.  However, is this flurry of information sharing just the tip of the iceberg of ways I am going to screw this kid up? I’m not dumb enough to think I won’t; I just have to wonder though if this is where it begins, or will he wait until we have the sex talk to be really mad at us. Who knows; maybe kids of his vintage will see Facebook like we saw the embarrassing bath photo our parents always seemed to need to show company. Just a fuddy-duddy thing that parents do that’s momentarily embarrassing but equally sweet because they helped us remember a time that we can’t. Maybe. Or maybe it’ll start an episode of teen angst so bad that he’ll insist on wearing stupid clothing and doing his hair in way I absolutely can’t endure just to make sure I don’t take photos of him and show other people. Although that’ll most likely happen anyway, I can’t help but wonder if this is where it begins.

Moreso, I begin to wonder about what’s appropriate to share and what’s not, because literally every moment that occurs can be posted, tweeted about and broadcast to the masses, which is both good and bad. Good because it eases the tyranny of distance; bad because we’re not present; we’re too concerned with making sure everyone else knows what the present looked like and exactly what was on our minds at the time. Have we forgotten how to just “be”? Maybe. Will my child know how to just “be”? I can’t be sure. What I do know is that for all of my conflicted thoughts on the issue, I’ll still probably post another picture next week of some groundbreaking development, like sitting up or his first taste of yogurt. And I’ll refresh the page over and over again to see who liked it, and who commented, and to simply gaze upon his adorable face. Hell, by the time he can even understand what I’ve done I’m sure we’ll all have been replaced by some form of artificial intelligence. Or we’ll be living on a spaceship, or yellow submarine, as nuclear arms proliferation becomes trendier amongst dictators. My inspiring optimism aside, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. Don't worry we all screw our kids up just in different ways. But you know what? With G-d's help they come out okay in spite of us!