My six rules for posting parenting related stuff on Facebook

So a while back I courted controversy by poking fun at parents who overshared on Facebook. Now, the world has turned and revolved. Time has passed. And I’m a parent. Which is great. Really it’s up there as one of the equal best things that has ever happened to me.

Like all parents I believe my offspring to be the cutest and most interesting baby the world has ever known. Like most modern day parents I believe Facebook is a great medium for sharing content with interested people who live a long way away. Like my sister who lives interstate, and my sister-in-law, brother-outlaw, and nephew who live overseas. It’s so easy to justify posting stuff on this basis. But that. Friends. Is a slippery slope into oversharing – about which my thoughts have not changed. But consider this a preemptive post which I will supply in the future to anybody who calls me out on the potentially perceived gap between my words in 2009, and my actions in 2012.

So here are my six rules.

1. Make it opt-in. Don’t force people to consume what you’re putting out there. The internet pretty much does this for you though, so I don’t worry too much about that.
2. Make it interesting. People won’t hate you for oversharing if they’re entertained, or what you are posting is actually cute. Check with someone else. Edit. Put up less than you think you ought (I’m a little guilty of breaking this last bit). Leave people wanting more.
3. Keep it contained. Don’t post a new album of photos every time you upload a photo. Post photos to the old albums. Don’t clutter people’s newsfeeds with an upload a day, upload a batch at once.
4. Don’t be single-minded. There’s more to life than your child and than your role as a parent. Talk about that stuff too. For me this means posting about coffee. Posting links to cool stuff. Posting
links to my blog(s).
5. Don’t potentially embarrass the child. Remember your child isn’t old enough to censor you yet. So self censor. I have good poo stories, and good spew stories. But only posted about the latter when it was me who got covered, and mostly because Robyn’s response to said covering was to laugh and get the camera, rather than to clean me up.
6. Never. Ever. Give gratuitous parenting advice to anybody on the basis of how excellent your own child is, or how brilliant you think you are at parenting. Especially if you’re not a parent.

So, that’s really a long justification for sharing these additional photos of our incredibly cute daughter. Dressed in a koala suit that I bought online. When I ordered it a couple of months ago I was told that it was tacky and horrible. Now I think it’s safe to say that the purchase was inspired.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

7 thoughts on “My six rules for posting parenting related stuff on Facebook”

  1. The world has revolved. Time has past. I rarely mention my kids on Facebook, except for in a private group of my family members. Things were starting to get back to one of those kids and I discovered I didn’t like the way that made me feel. And now he can read, and sometimes reads over my shoulder.

    I still think all my reasons for wanting to put stuff out there about my kids are mostly valid. But I also think that part of my motivation was to be validated as a parent.

    However, your rules seem to be excellent, and you do have a gorgeous daughter.

    1. I think being validated as a parent is probably a good thing. Which is why rule 6 exists, because so many people are keen to de-validate parenting methods.

      1. But it’s not a good thing if I judge my worth as a parent not by the amazingness of my children, but rather by the number of ‘likes’ a status receives. It also should come from being involved in a community of supportive people. I’ve stopped seeing Facebook as a genuine community.

        1. Yeah. That’s true. I guess I’ve only ever seen Facebook as a potential facilitator of community and a communication tool.

          1. And it’s good when it is used that way. But I have often seen it being used as a replacement for genuine community, or an excuse to remain isolated, especially by mothers of the stay-at-home variety.

  2. Next time show some good taste and put the photos at the top of the post.
    I think it can only be a problem when you’re all in matching Koala jumpsuits.

    (One of my daughters is currently spending a few days in hospital unwell, just a few weeks short of her due date. Yet to be born grandchild number one is well, and my daughter is improving.)

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