Most of us have asked ourselves the question of whether we should share any kind of information like photos of our precious babies on social networks.
There are two main concerns coming from opposite ends – while parents are worried about privacy issues, other users are getting annoyed with “baby spamming”. There are many users out there who are in a different phase of their lives and would rather view and comment on a stranger’s snapshot of a steak sandwich than to appreciate a cheeky smiling baby. In fact, the growing number of these users has led to the Facebook app unbaby.me, which allows aggrieved users to remove what they perceive as an unwelcome deluge of baby photos from their newsfeed. On the other hand, though, its not those who are not interested that is a concern for parents, but rather those who are – but for the very wrong reasons.
Irrespective of the concerns, studies have indicated an intensified use of social Media and an overwhelming amount of parents using them to share the baby experience and to safeguard photos. A study by Microsoft Research explored how mothers of young children (aged 0 – 3 years) use the popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter and mentioned a number of interesting facts:
• the predominant use of online social media by mothers has been “Mommy Blogging” – a study by Scarborough Research found that 14% of U.S. moms consider themselves Mommy Bloggers
• Motherhood forums, including traditional forums hosted on parenting sites such as babycenter.com, Tums 2 Tots Online Magazine and anonymous forums such as YouBeMom are also highly popular
• Twitter is not viewed as a medium to share information about their child
• Almost two thirds of the mothers indicated that they used Facebook to share information about their child in status updates, captions of photos, videos, and/or links shared on their Timeline/Wall
• The first Facebook post is normally the birth announcement, followed by milestone sharing with a prevalence of photo-sharing and with sharing tapering off as the child ages
• Mothers update their status 0.12 times a day – a real take off compared to the 0.05 updates/day under “normal” circumstances (proven significant by a Wilcoxon test!).
The question arises, what is the alternative to sharing baby content online, especially in modern times where families are often living far apart? Viewing albums over coffee and cake is a luxury not afforded to many. Not to mention the ease and convenience of sharing events as they happen.
Creating a private group on one of the major networks is an option, the downside being a limitation in social connection and support. This includes independent information-seeking, milestone tracking, exchanging recipes and more. Another option is the use of baby-dedicated networks. These networks have a unique set of users, follow the highest security standards and offer complementary and supporting activities and functionalities.
So, share the baby experience with those who matter!