You decide to take a break between one thing and another and open Facebook or Instagram driven by the curiosity to "see" what happens in the world outside the usual four walls or your normal routine. You start browsing the homepage and notice that 70% of the board is clogged by your "friends" who, posting a picture of their large belly, write descriptions like "Mom and Dad are waiting for you!", "He's grown by a pound", "I’m waiting for you my little prince", and so on, updating their followers on the continuous progress of their gestation. But that's not all. As you scroll further, you come across a live social event in which your friend, close to the imminent birth, feels the need to inform her "loved ones" of the happy event.
Perplexed, you disconnect and start to reflect on how making show of our own lives has become, for many people, a necessity!
Why we share photos of pregnancy on social media
Until recently, pregnancy was an intimate moment that was mainly shared with one's partner, family and people who we could really call "our loved ones".
Today, however, frequently, we feel the need to share this important moment with the whole world. The question that arises spontaneously is: why? What are the reasons that push a future mother or father to post the image of the ultrasound image of their child?
A possible reason could be emulation, that is, the desire to imitate a certain person. "I saw my friend posting the picture of her belly and she received a lot of attention, why can't I do the same?"; "my daughter's ultrasound photo is more beautiful than the one posted by you!", "famous people and influencers do it, what’s wrong if I post the picture of my new-born baby?” I am not a psychologist, but I wonder about what the current social context proposes and presents as a harmless event. Well, we should start to reflect on the possible consequences of a simple post which may expose our children to dangerous situations and may damage their image as well as their current or future physical or psychological status.
Before you post a photo, wait a while and reflect
Before we post the photo of the unborn child or the new-born, we should think, for example, who are the "friends" with whom we will share the picture. Are they real friends we trust or just acquaintances or people met by pure chance in our lives and about whom, in reality, we know nothing? Are we sure we want it posted with the "public" filter? How many potential people would we give the possibility to view and, therefore, to download, edit and save images on their hard disk? Let's remember that today the social world is populated also by profiles that are created by ill intentioned people, just think for example of paedophilia, child pornography, false identities, etc.
Anyone considering the decision to become a parent is used to take some time with himself in order to acquire an awareness of the responsibility that involves giving birth and raising a child. It is the same parental responsibility that the law refers to when talking about marriage and the rights and duties of parents and children. It includes the obligation of parents "to maintain, raise, educate and morally assist their children, respecting their abilities, natural inclinations and aspirations" and the obligation to take any action in defence of their interests. In fact, in Europe and many other countries there are new norms pointing to protect the "digital" rights of the unborn child as a result of a new sensibility regarding family privacy.
So, what would be correct to share on our social networks? Any image that does not give power to others to invade our privacy ! An example? Photos of body painting on growing bellies or happy people during frantic shopping in search of discounted diapers.
Let’s rediscover the emotion of the intimacy of pregnancy
The world of social media is a showcase where the important thing is to appear, not to be; so let's be careful: would you ever want to see your child displayed in a showcase? Would we like to be criticised one day by our son, already grown up, for he, while scrolling the story of our profile, he discovers an embarrassing picture of him without his consent?
So let's close our smartphone and dedicate our real time to live those emotions and enjoy those important moments with those who really deserve, always keeping in mind that, after all, our children are not our property!