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I was scrolling through Instagram today, as one does during an extended bathroom break, and once again found myself seeing ten baby photos in a row from a girl with whom I went to college. And that would be fine if they weren’t all pics of the poor child’s face from the same exact angle in the same exact location with no variation at all except for the occasional outfit change. At what point do you look at your baby pictures and think, ‘Wow, these all look the same?’ I’m not one who complains about people posting baby pictures on social media. I get it, and hopefully someday within the next few years I’ll be able to post photos of my own contribution to the gene pool, but there are rules if you want people to actually care.
Alas, I found respite in both the Instagram accounts of my freshman roommate and his wife. We’ve been good friends for years, and because of that I do actually care about seeing his kid. Hell, his kid and my kid might be best friends some day. He and his wife are wonderful people. And, more importantly, they actually understand the concept of social media baby pic saturation. This is a couple that just gets it and I’d like to share some pointers for the parents out there who piss off everyone with their baby pictures.
First of all, the cuter the kid, the more pictures you can post of them. Not all babies are cute. They’re not puppies for goodness sake. And that’s fine! It’s a game of genetic craps and sometimes you hit the lucky 7s while other times you hit snake eyes. And I’ll look at the occasional picture of your ugly baby, especially if we’re good friends. But there is a limit. Maybe in a few years the child will outgrow the ugliness and you can post all the little league or ballet recital photos you want. Luckily for me and my friend, his kid is not one of the ugly ones.
Second, variety is key. Posting the same pic of the kid in their car seat or crib over and over and over again is so boring. For the love of God, do something interesting. Have photos of the child picking fruit with his or her mom or being held by his or her dad at the beach in a party tank. At the very least make having a kid look fun so the rest of us aren’t so hesitant about increasing the surplus population someday.
Finally, there is frequency. Overposting on Instagram is the worst, especially baby pics. An acceptable frequency is about once or twice per month. It’s just often enough to catch my attention when it appears on my timeline rather than putting me to sleep with constant baby pics, past which I quickly scroll. It also helps to post pics of things other than your child to make it look like you still lead an interesting life. Variety is the spice of life—you don’t want to be known as just the mom or dad whose life would have no meaning without children.
New parents, take a page from the book of my college friends and follow these three rules and I promise you that people will enjoy your baby pics much more. Most of your friends are interested in seeing your kids to an extent, we just don’t want it to be uninteresting, repetitive, and cheesy. We get it, you love your child. Instead of droning on and on about that, post pictures that will make the rest of us want our own. And most of us won’t try to manufacture “accidental” pregnancies. We’ll do it the right way. At least, I’d hope that’s the case..