If “sharenting” is a selfish and dangerous activity, then my Facebook feed is full of terrible humans.
For example, this morning, I launched the app and saw:
A former colleague’s toddler falling asleep in their car seat, mindlessly cramming crackers in her mouth.
A hospital shot of a newborn wrapped in the ubiquitous pink-and-blue blanket of a labour ward.
A video of a work friend’s toddler in a nappy, playing drums on dad’s head.
My own son and daughter rumbling with their uncles on a weekend visit.
I’ve seen the first words and first foods of children I have never met.
I’ve seen toddlers looking sad in hospital, little girls splashing in the backyard pool. Accidental swears. “Hilarious” backyard stacks.
"Sharenting" is what we do now. And apparently, we have no idea how dangerous and dumb it is.
In case you have been trapped under something heavy, here's a recap: Zoe and her husband Hamish Blake both have busy, red-hot careers. She's a beauty guru/writer/business owner. He, according to Zoe, is a tap-dancer, but you might know him as one half of Hamish and Andy. They are parents to Sonny Foster Blake, who is two and almost unreasonably cute.
Sonny features large in Zoe and Hamish's social feeds, which have a combined following of 1,107,000 people on Instagram.
A dedicated army obsess over his adorably-mangled pronunciation of words like "favourite" and come together to Share and Like every new missive from his parents (Sonny does not have his own social feeds, unlike Roxy Jacenko's much-followed daughter Pixie Curtis, or several of my friends' under-fives).
Scroll through to see pictures of Sonny Blake from Instagram. (Post continues after gallery.)
Still. In her story, Angela says:
We don’t know if pictures of gorgeous blue-eyed boys like Sonny, happily showering with his dad, and innocently posted to the internet, are being shared by paedophiles.
We also don’t know if this first generation of social media kids are going to grow up and resent the invasion of their privacy. In years to come Sonny may be really cross that his parents showed off his tummy rolls and posted videos of his mispronounced words.
And so today we wake to a debate about whether silly, vain parents are prioritising Shares and Likes over their own children's safety. And it feels ugly.
It feels like we are telling parents - especially happy, loving, besotted parents - to stop showing off and get back in their boxes.
It feels like we are trolling them with the ultimate sledge - being a bad, reckless parent.
Because for every Zoe Foster Blake (who actually posts about Sonny about once a week) there are a million "ordinary" mums, chronicling their days on social media, detailing the minutiae of the sometimes tedious, sometimes frustrating, often happy lives.
And for them, sharing is a gift that connects. Putting up a photo of the time their seven-year-old finally tied their shoes is like a tiny validation of all the effort, time and attention they are pouring into the little people in their lives.