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Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeGuy ThoughtsOn Being A Social Media Dad (And Other Things)

On Being A Social Media Dad (And Other Things)

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I’m 31. I have been the friend and family member that doesn’t have kids for a long time. For years I’ve logged into my Facebook account and seen my friends’ profiles taken over by their children. No longer do I get to see updates about a cool new play they saw, a great sporting event they attended, a book read or night out my friends have had. My newsfeed is now overrun with photos and news of my friends’ kids. Not news about my friends.

Here I stand at the end of my non-parenting days. I am about to enter that sacred accountability of fatherhood. I want to be a great dad. I want to do my best (and even better) at being the dad my kid needs. BUT, I stand before you to set forth some rules I want to follow on social media as I enter this next phase of my life.

While I plan to post photos of my kid online and celebrate the great events in his life there are some personal rules I plan on following:

I will NOT replace my personal profile photo with one of only my kid.

This drives me nuts. You are NOT your kid! You are an adult and you look it. There is NO WAY you could pass as under 10. Some people seem to lose their sense of self when they have kids. I will not allow that to happen. My kid is my kid and I am me. We will work together. We will play together. We might even appear in a profile photo together. I will spend a lot of time taking care of my kid’s needs, but we are two separate individuals who will lead two separate, yet intertwined lives.

I will NOT post a ton of photos of my kid online that ALL LOOK ALIKE.

If I am looking at your profile I want to find out about you. A few photos of your kid at a birthday party or baseball outing are cool. It should be the best of an event. And when I say best of, I don’t mean the best 40 out of the 1,000 pictures you took that day. That is for grandparents and photo albums. Not friends looking to see how you’ve been.

I will NOT talk ad nauseam about my kid on my personal profiles. 

My personal profiles are for news about me. Not my kid. Yes, I’ll share a family trip to Europe or my kid’s first words, but in a concise update. My parenting and children’s updates will be on my daddy blog. That is why I created it. That is what it’s for. If my friends what to hear parenting stuff, they can follow Daddy’s Grounded. If they want to find out about me… It’ll be on my personal profiles.

My kid will take over my life for a while, but NOT for forever. 

On New Year’s Eve Abigail and I saw a Five Iron Frenzy concert with several friends in Denver, CO. After the show Stephen (from A Small Print Shop & A Mouthful of Thunder) was talking with us about parenthood. He says its “magical.” He has two kids of his own. Stephen told us stories about friends of his who used to play music and then stopped. They gave the excuse “I had a kid.” Stephen was like, “So?” He then told us about how it is possible to have kids but also stay involved with your passions. Just what we want to do. He owns a business and is in a band. His wife is a pastor, a writer and is in a couple of bands. They make parenting, travel and life work together, not against each other. Why can’t we?

Perhaps I am naive in thinking all of the above. I am not a parent yet. I’ve not been in the delivery room when Wesley was born. I’ve not changed diapers, dealt with late nights of crying and spit-up on my new outfits. I’ve not been the one on a plane with a screaming toddler or had my teenager say “I hate you.” Yet, I feel like I can keep these rules. I wish other parents would follow these as well.

I want my newsfeed back, parents! Don’t you?

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. My wife and I are expecting our 2nd in 5 weeks. I’ve been considering starting a blog myself regarding my two boys and I love your format and will definitely add it to my feeds. My wife likes your wife’s blog as well. Great names. That’s what I’m hung up on. Best of luck.

    • Thank Kyle! Glad to hear you and your wife like our blogs. Picking a name is tricky. It is a lot like a trying to set a tone for a brand. You have to think about what the name means now, but what it also might mean years down the road if you have more kids or change careers. Good luck with your name choosing process. I look forward to seeing what you pick!

  2. I agree with the annoyance of people changing their profile pictures to pictures of their kids (or their cat, or their truck, or their husband, or any random thing that is not THEM). And the thousand exact same picture of their kids. Just post the best one, when you post a whole album of one thing nobody looks through it anyway! I am probably guilty of only posting stuff about my kids (I try to only keep it to every few days, though) but the main reason for that is because nobody seems to be interested when I post other stuff about my personal interests, so I’d rather not bore them. And my other profiles (besides facebook) are pretty much just for my blog anyway, so that is all obviously kid/education related.

    • Liz, I think you do social updates with kids right. The posts you make are always interesting/short/funny. You post photos from events, but only the best of and not a million versions of the same photo. Plus you’ve got a kids blog for longer kid specific updates and your profile picture includes your face. Keep up the good work!

  3. Please add the following rule: “I will not send Christmas/holiday card with pictures of my kids only.” I hate that! I love seeing my friends’ kids but I want to see my friends too! Some of these friends live far away and the only time I get a visual to keep in my mind is when the Christmas cards arrive. 12 pictures of your kids only tells me about THEM! You’re a FAMILY! OK, there’s my rant;)

    Vicky

  4. I don’t think you’re off base here thinking that you can do these things. I have a blog, where I post pictures of my kid ad nauseam, but it’s a baby blog and it was started as one.

    My personal FB profile stays relatively quiet with occasional baby photos ( as in once a month or so) and virtually no baby updates. I have single friends and I remember too clearly being sick of baby updates on FB when I was childless. If anyone wants to know about how Lexi is doing they know my blog address.

    And i REFUSE to put a pic of my kid into my profile pic. That is not YOU, so it should not be there. Together is fine, but not just the kid. I do, however, set my timeline banner as a picture of my baby

    • Awesome, sounds like we are on the same page. The timeline image seems to be to be a perfect place to put a baby photo. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. See, I think in general people don’t put kids’ pics because their kids are cute or because they think they’re cuter than themselves and cuter than other kids. In defense of us baby-pics-people, I think that when we put a picture of our kids, we still put pictures of ourselves in these pictures. Every picture of our children looking at the world with awe represents the naive and the innocent side of ourselves. A picture of our kids crying show ourselves without inhibitions. A picture of our kids laughing represents a side of ourselves we neglected a long time ago, which is why these are all fitting profile pictures–they do a better job representing us than our own manufactured self-identities.

    • I like your idea of children being a more authentic version of their parents. It is an interesting one. Younger children do indeed show a side of their parents that they may no longer have or that they perhaps hid away years earlier. The hope, joy, dreams and energy that little ones have is truly amazing. I do however feel like that “version” of ourselves can be over shared on a parent’s timeline to the neglect of actual updates about said parent. That “over sharing” is what my post was intend to speak to. I hope I didn’t offend.

      • Oh, no offense. I personally have my own picture on the profile, and pretty much the only stuff I put on my personal FB is kids’ pictures, because that’s the easiest way for my mom in Israel to see pictures. I get you about the oversharing, but I think these people will overshare without kids too. They overshare stuff about their dogs and about their minor health discomforts (“Woke up with a bad cough again! FML!”), and then they have kids and they just move their obsession onto kids pictures.

  6. The great thing about social media, is that everyone gets a chance to talk about what drives their own day. For some its their kids, for others it may be the night at karaoke, others flood your stream with stupid juvenile internet meems and annoying “repost this now or you suck” chains (you may be able to tell what really bothers me). Love them or hate them though, its what that person is choosing to represent themselves. I enjoy getting the witty updates and sardonic replys most, but try to appreciate what those in my life and those from my past (because lets be honest, most of my facebook contacts haven’t actually been in contact with me in years) choose to share. I find if I look at it that way, I can stomach, perhaps even enjoy what my newsfeed has become!

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