It’s not often that I feel I have something in common with an Oscar winning actress, but when Anne Hathaway admitted earlier this month that she instantly regretted the one image she’s ever posted of her one-year-old son online, I could relate.
You see, just like you, I think my child is beautiful. He has gorgeous full lips, a tumble of blonde curls and the cheekiest little smile. Just like you, my phone is full of hundreds of pictures and videos of him and is always perilously close to its storage limit.
But perhaps unlike you, I rarely ever share any of those images online and even when I do, I often wish I hadn’t. I could probably count on one hand how many pictures I’ve shared of him within his short life, which is less than some of my friends post of their kids in a single day.
But where Anne (can I call you Anne?) and I differ is that she says she feels as though in posting the image of her son she’s “broken some kind of seal” in inviting people into her private life. She has over eight million Instagram followers, I have a very modest Facebook friends list of 302. Let’s be honest, no one is hanging out for an invitation into my private life.
Yet my reasons for not over-sharing when it comes to my son are twofold; privacy and security – two things all our children are entitled to, celebrity offspring or not. Firstly, like Crocs and religion, I don’t want to inflict social media on my son until he’s old enough to make that decision for himself. Will he appreciate me sharing that ‘hilarious’ toilet training anecdote in years to come? Probably not.
Secondly, I want to know exactly who has access to images of my son. Does that make me a paranoid control freak? Perhaps. Our decision not to share images of our son online was one we made well before he was even born and hasn’t always been a popular one. “Oh, OK,” people would reply when we told them of our wishes, lowering their phones mid photo-shoot in confusion. He’s now well into toddlerhood and people still question our motives.