My son wants to be a YouTube star one day. He knows I run a large social media page, so he asked me recently if I ever post pictures of him or his brother on it, and I told him No.
Him: “Why not? I bet we could get you some Likes and Shares on there.”
Me: “Because it’s not your job to get me Likes and Shares.”
Him: “But I want it to be my job. I could tell my friends how many Likes I get on your page. Please?!”
Me: “Absolutely not. When you’re 18, you can post all the pictures you want of yourself online.”
That’s been my firm stance on this subject since my kids were born. The fact is, my kids are incredibly adorable! They could get me a ton of Likes and Shares, and I could sell a lot of products by exploiting them, to be sure. But, with mom blogging and social media still being relatively new platforms, I have no idea if using my kids as props for my blog or Facebook page would somehow scar them for life even more than any other dumb stuff I’m probably doing while raising them. So I’ve opted to play it safe by protecting their identities.
Over the years I’ve come across several cautionary tales of mom bloggers who have opted for the path of putting it all out there, and I’m certainly not judging them as parents – a lot of them are probably better moms than I am in many ways – but stories like this have made me glad I opted not to go down that rabbit hole: One mommy blogger is getting dragged across social media for celebrating her son’s birthday by complaining that out of all her children, he brings her the “lowest stats on Instagram.” Ouch.
The post, which has now been deleted, showcased her son and started off as a very sweet message for his birthday. But, it quickly turned into a very strange birthday message to her son. The mom blogger went on and on about how badly her son performs on her Instagram page via likes and comments.
“Guys I am gonna be perfectly honest…Instagram never liked my Munchkin and it killed me inside. His photos never got as many likes. Never got comments. From a statistical point of view, he wasn’t as popular with everyone out there. Maybe part of that was the pictures just never hit the algorithm right. Part might be because he was “the baby” for a very short amount of time before LJ came along…and then Max and then Ella. And people like babies. I say all that because I want to believe that it wasn’t him…that it was on me. My insufficiency caused this statistical deficit because obviously my Munch should get ALL the love and squinty eyes are totally adorable. ☺️ so can we do this right?
Essentially, she tried to goad her followers into “liking” more pictures of her son so she can “boost his self-esteem.” She also said that “one day” he’ll have to see the numbers and she’s worried it will have a negative effect on him.
Because I truly KNOW that my Munch deserves alllllll the likes…whether or not a stranger gives it to them. And on his sixth birthday – I am thankful that I know that…that no matter what other people think of me or my kids or my marriage or my house or my life or my everything…that they are 1000000000x better in real life than any tiny little picture could hold.
p.s. I wanted to clarify that I revealed this feeling because I know one day he will see the numbers and have to learn that his value is not in online approval. This is a hard lesson for anyone to learn and I’m thankful I have learned it. I hope you all can be understanding and not take things out of context or believe that this in any way affects how I see or treat my children. All comments and well wishes I read to the birthday boy!
Obviously, this situation is bonkers. How can a woman threaten to use the “low likes” as a way to make her 6-year-old feel bad about himself? And why in the world would she show the statistical comparisons to her children? I mean, personally, I try to keep my kids in the dark about my online shenanigans as much as possible. Clearly, people online were disturbed and bothered. Everyone had something to say.
Full-time mommy bloggers scare me. These women use their kids' faces to promote content and products that they will make money off of. It is the 2018 version of turning your kids into child stars and profiting off of them, and who knows what kind of long-term impact it'll have?!
— nora horvath (@iamnorahorvath) November 19, 2018
Damn. That mommy blogger might have cured me off insta forever …..by liking pple's kids selectively si am also part of the problem pic.twitter.com/l9WTAgnavF
— Lady Grace (@gracerrati) November 19, 2018
If you are an IG mommy blogger who's afraid that how many likes on your child's pictures is going to one day hurt his self esteem, your parenting is horrid and feel bad for your kid.
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) November 19, 2018
watched the insta video of the mommy blogger who posted about one of her kids not getting enough likes and it ended with her in tears saying it doesn’t matter because “God loves him” LMAO
— jabs (@jabriella) November 19, 2018
Blogging about your kids is one thing, but having them be your base of business—and then judging the world for “not liking photos of one son enough” is absolute insanity. I’m with Twitter on this one, this is turning into a real disease, this social media validation. And we’re all guilty of it in one form or another. But it’s time we stop molding our kids to rely on “likes” and numbers.
What do you think?