© Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com
Many of today’s new moms and dads are the first digital natives to be parents growing up in a world steeped in technology and social media. They have a very personal understanding of how social media works. While many are tech savvy participants connect socially online, nine out of ten Millennials (adults born between early 1980s to early 2000s) believe people share too much personal information online.
If this sounds like you, your real challenge is how to give friends, aunts, uncles, and grandparents updates about your newborn without plastering baby pictures all over the web. Try taking these baby steps.
• Send out traditional photos. The kind you print out and that hang on the fridge. Older family members will love receiving hard copies and these can be passed around their social circles.
• Come up with an alternative name for your child. Call her “Baby,” “Lala,” or “Pink.” Giving your new baby a code name allows you to share news and milestones without revealing more on Facebook. Set the standard and your friends and family will follow suit.
• Practice makes private. Practice adding a “Please do not share this photo or post it online” clause to emails or texts you send containing photos of your newborn. Eventually, friends and family will get the message and the more they hear it, the more thoughtful they’ll be about posting photos without asking.
• Never say never. Instead of taking a militant stance, explain to family and friends that you want some private time with you new family and will be taking baby steps into the world of social media. This will put the focus on your family’s wellbeing and not your social opinion about media and the online privacy issues.
• What if they post anyway? Assume they are proud grandparents, aunts, and friends wanting to share good news, not to disregard your request for privacy. Appreciate their enthusiastic sharing of good family news. Then, politely ask that photos be taken down for now. Say you’ll let them know when you’re ready for baby’s online debut.
• Consider secure online services that limit access. There are a number of photo sharing services (think Flickr) that allow you to post pictures of your child and family online and limit who has access to the site. This way, you can allow select people to see your baby pictures without sharing them with the world. Be sure to check privacy settings to ensure security.