We’re all taught to share from an early age, but sharing has taken on a whole new meaning since the introduction of social media…
The world of socials is part of our everyday lives now. Not just ours, with the recent advent of our new website, but everybody and their grandmother has, in some way or another, a social media presence. Whether it’s accepting that cringe worthy follow request from your mum or a picture of your whole family at a momentous celebration, it’s out there for all in sundry to see… and that can be a scary thought.
It was this same thought that we discussed when we decided that Monty was as big a part of our new business as George and I were. Using him as a ‘model’ (I use this word in the less catwalk more proud parent way) was, and always would be a risk, and most certainly not one we took lightly.
If I were to get hung up on all the articles, forum posts and news reports of the pitfalls of documenting your child’s’ life on social media there’s a distinct possibility we would be living a very cosseted life in fear of a snap of our dude ending up on the internet somewhere. Life’s too short and that’s made all the more evident when you have children, so we chose not to be afraid of Monty and social media but rather embrace it, and use it like the home videos and film photographs our parents used to take.
A quick glance through my personal Instagram account (jak1133) yields plenty of pictures of Monty capturing moments of fun, frolics and family days out. And why shouldn’t it… why can’t I share pictures of my son as he grows, with people I know without being made to feel as though I’m in some way exploiting him? I appreciate that there is a balance to be had. Whilst a meltdown in public can be stressful at the time and, in hindsight, amusing it’s not one for ‘the gram’. But I will share pictures of him as each birthday rolls by and each holiday takes us on a new adventure. I’ll share them so that I have chronological glimpses of his life that we can look back at in years to come and share together.
As Moo grows no doubt his own social media awareness will to, and whilst it would pain me to do so, I would take all of this down if he wanted me to, but not without using it as an opportunity to educate him about the importance of a balance in social posting. Much like the infamous ‘birds and the bees’ chat, it will be difficult to teach him how to balance what he shares and with whom, but by showing him that with the right moderation and a touch of common sense he can be socially switched on and safe at the same time.
My parents always taught me to lead by example. If I can set an example that lays out the foundations of mindful social interaction by showing him how we did it with him, I’m confident that Me Monty & I can be a valuable parenting tool that we, as a family can all benefit from.