I’m a huge fan of baby pictures popping up on my timeline. I appreciate it more when the kid is cute, I scroll a little faster over the ugly ones, but I still enjoy the experience as a whole. I haven’t created any offspring of my own yet, and admiring babies from afar on Instagram is a good gateway drug toward motherhood. I don’t have to deal with the aftermath of your toddler scribbling in crayon on the walls, a photo of which you posted on Facebook with some sort of positive, “h well, this is parenthood, right?” message. The rest of us know you were screaming at your kid and possibly smacking them with a broom. Hey, no judgment from me. Kids can be nothing but pure terrorists, and double-clicking photos of them behind the safety of a screen is just fine with me for the time being.
For the most part, the photos posted online of my friends’ babies are of them cutely dressed in tiny rompers and lying on a neatly made bedspread. I know perfectly well that the rest of the room not included in the photo is a complete wreck. It’s a nice little illusion, nonetheless. I laugh out loud at the videos of babies rolling over, and I don’t at all mind when a baby-in-the-bath photo pops up on my feed. Usually it’s tastefully done, but the other day I had a minor heart attack when, well, it wasn’t. Let’s break it down.
I don’t care if you want to post naked pictures, within reason, of your baby online. I get it, she was pretending to mow the lawn in your backyard and she happened to not have a diaper on. Baby butt cheeks are cute. That’s no crime (it isn’t, right?) But your baby will grow up, and once that starts to happen, those photos get less cute and a little more child porn-y. I understand that to you they’ll always be little, but when your kid is using complete sentences you gotta stop with the naked pictures. I was the unfortunate witness of a former friend of mine’s six-year-old son’s ball sack the other day, and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. Your kid can read, for Christ’s sake. Please do not post photos online where I can see his literal balls.
It was the most horrific moment of my life. I had to scroll back over it just to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was. That moment was even worse when it was confirmed that, yep, those are testicles. By all means, keep the photos and videos of your kids doing funny shit or being cute on Instagram, but please God don’t post their genitalia on there when it’s clear they’re too old for that. He or she might still be your little baby boo bear num nums or whatever idiotic nickname you’ve given this poor child, but to the rest of the world they’re a naked kid online, and that’s disturbing on several levels.
I truly wish this didn’t need to be said, but if there’s anything social media has taught the world, it’s that not one of us has any sort of good judgment skills about what goes online and what doesn’t. Does it seem pretty obvious to me that the world doesn’t need to see totally bare-assed photos on Facebook? Sure, but to some of you, a reminder needs to be thrown out there. Keep posting the photos we love of your kid. Just think twice before publishing the ones that are better suited as a potential humiliating slide in a bachelor/bachelorette slideshow in twenty years. .
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