My son was on Facebook before he was even born. I announced my pregnancy on the social networking site to my wider circle of friends. Some people also got word of his arrival before I’d had chance to tell them personally thanks to a round of eager congratulatory messages posted on my wall within 24 hours of his birth. And that could be considered slow when compared to the growing number of breaking news babies whose mums tweet between contractions or update their status as they push.
We are indeed giving birth to the social media generation and even raising them online. Parents devote time to blog about their kids in diary form, they post cute photos and funny videos for everyone to see. Given that the Swedes are ranked first out of 138 countries in the latest World Economic Forum report on the usage of communications technology, it’s likely they do so more than most. Find out more fascinating facts here about the Swedes and their social media habits.
Now I found some old baby photos of myself the other day. I had forgotten about them until they fell out of an old book where I’d stored them to stop them curling at the edges. I’ll get round to that photo album someday. The matt-finished polaroids have stood the test of time despite their 34 years. They have that authentic antique tinge which adds to the air of nostalgia when I look at them.
Personally, I’m happy that my childhood pics and the memories that come with them have been privately preserved for me, rather than posted around the block. I wouldn’t normally want to share them with the world but, for the sake of this post, it seems I am.
Regardless of your online restrictions, today’s photos, videos and blogs are out there in the networked community cloud. And there they will likely stay until your baby turns teenager and beyond.
I wonder how William Nilsson will feel in a few years time when he replays his famous YouTube clip, knowing over 130 million have seen it before? The innocent, amateur video of this little Swedish boy went viral, became an internet phenomenon and is one of YouTube’s most watched clips to date.
We parents really don’t yet know the repercussions, if any, of uploading both a visual and verbal commentary of our kids’ lives online. We do know, however, that we won’t be stashing photos in a Kindle for safe-keeping.