At any major life event these days, it seems there will always be someone with a camera phone ready to capture the moment for you and share it with the world…even when you’ve just had a new baby.
Friends with cameras will visit you in the maternity ward, snapping away… and may potentially be the one to share your big news, your big moment first with the rest of the world.
This can be super-annoying for the person who has just had their thunder stolen, even if the person doing it meant well, it can still be downright inconsiderate.
There are many reasons you shouldn’t do it. What if you announce your friend has gone into labour on social media… and then the worst thing possible happens? Do you want to be sharing that news too?
Taking it upon yourself to share someone else’s baby news is overstepping so, so many boundaries.This is where a little etiquette comes in handy!
1. Don’t post anything on social media before the parents do
Cool your heels there, Scoop! It might be very exciting that you’ve just welcomed a new niece or nephew into the family, or your bestie has had a baby or whatnot…but if the parents haven’t announced their baby’s safe arrival on social media, what makes you think it’s your place to take that away from them? Don’t be an ass. It’s not YOUR news, it’s theirs.
2. Don’t post photos of the baby without permission
Hey did you know that some parents decide not to ever share photos of their children online? Like, ever? Your friend or relative who has just had a new bub could be one of those people and may not have mentioned it to you yet, so don’t assume you have the green light to FB and Insta and Tweet photos of their new bundle to the world.
Why they don’t want to share their babies photos is their business, but it could be for any number of reasons that don’t affect you but mean a big deal to them. They might just not want photos of their kids online to protect their privacy. They might have issues with crazy ex partners or estranged family members. They might be intensely private people. Respect their wishes, it’s not all about your Insta feed.
3. Like and comment but don’t share the parents’ photos!
So if the parents have posted a photo of their new baby on Facebook and have announced their new arrival, by all means congratulate them and like their post. But do you really need to be sharing that photo with everyone on your friends list. You know, people the family don’t know… or even people that you DO know in common, who the family don’t like and don’t choose to be friends with? What if your privacy settings are public, while the family only has trusted friends and family on their list? You would be breaking that trust. Big time.
4. Ask yourself if you are prepared to lose a friendship over this issue
You might think you’re doing a nice thing, posting photos of someone’s cute bub or announcing the baby’s arrival to the world, but you need to get your head out of the sand. If you do this without permission you might actually lose a friendship over it, because you do NOT want to upset Mama Lion who will have rules and expectations about her brand new Cub. Have a look around some parenting forums and you’ll find many, many threads from angry parents, venting that someone has posted a photo of their kid online without permission. In fact, a survey from the Pew Research Centre found 57% of Facebook users with children under 18 strongly disliked people posting photos of their children without asking permission first.
5. Facebook will give you a smack
Well a digital smack. If pissing your friends off isn’t as important to you as your precious, precious social media postings, consider this: Facebook allows parents to request images of a child under 13 be removed if they think it violates their privacy rights.
If Facebook chooses to remove the photos we can only imagine that it results in the same sort of black mark on your account as any other violation of their terms and conditions, and if you do it enough you can kiss your account goodbye.