From the very beginning of business, I was told from so many other successful business owners that in order to have a successful business, you had to share your life online with your clients. Sounds easy enough, right?! Instagram and Facebook are specifically meant for sharing your life with people that you don’t regularly get to see! Easy and so wonderful the way technology works!
But! Then we welcomed our daughter, Henley, to the world and things changed a bit. The more she grew, the more I felt like I wanted to keep her to myself and not share her with the online world. I began to question everything. I work hard to keep my business running well and it has nothing to do with photos of my child, so why was I being told from everyone above me that I needed to share the most personal, intimate moments of my private life with my family in order to still have a thriving business. It just didnt add up for me.
I love taking photos, but I’m not the mom that takes photos of her child all day every day. I enjoy living in the moment and putting my phone and camera down when we are spending time together. The flip side to that is when I would “need” a good photo of her or us because I wanted to post about the moment. I found myself putting an enormous amount of pressure into the moment to get the perfect Instagram worthy shot instead of savoring the intimacy of that very moment in real time.
All of this said, the more time I spend with my daughter and the older she gets, the less I want to share her online. I still post personal things, I still share about my life, who I am, and what makes me “me”. But I can do all of that without having to post about my family’s most precious moments. I can and do enjoy spending that time with my family away from my phone and the online world.
My husband and I have had this conversation multiple times over the last three years. It’s always something in the back of my mind. Then recently I became more educated on the topic of child trafficking. (Sounds extreme, I know, stay with me here.) But in that research I realized just how awful the world can be. I realized that there really are bad people walking around in broad daylight that look normal but don’t have the best of intentions. I realized how easy it is for strangers to find and use photos of children that would otherwise seem harmless. Then I thought more on the fact that out of the current 2400+ followers that I have on Instagram, I maybe know 20% of them in real life.
My social media accounts are for business purposes, so they are public accounts. I love making new friends online through my platforms and I love having strangers that connect with my work and then turn into clients and friends themselves. But theres still an overwhelming number of actual strangers getting a view of my family and after doing the math above, I finally leaned into one simple fact. It is my job to keep my daughter safe. It’s not my job to keep her safe in real life, but then post her photos online for likes and comments. Keep her happy, keep her safe. That’s my job as her mother.
So, I deleted all of her photos from my platforms and I’ve never felt more at peace about it. They say that if you cant stop thinking about something, then you shouldn’t ignore it. Well, I’ve decided not to ignore that gut feeling in my stomach and I’m ok with not sharing her beautiful face online any longer.
I was talking to my dearest friend about this and about how I wanted to share about my decision. She responded with something along the lines of “I don’t think you even have to justify your decision to people.” But the thing is that I wanted to share this with you all. We live in such a digital life where everyone shares everything. We are all sharing photos of our families and our kids and our accomplishments and our joys and our memories. It is the sweetest thing to keep up with online. But I also know that we are all different and I know that I’m not the only one that feels like sharing all of my life online is something that’s not for me. I wanted to share my decision as encouragement for anyone else that has been contemplating the same decision.
I know my platform is different from most. It’s a public account used mostly for marketing. I LOVE my platform and I adore the people that have been following my journey for so long. But I can also sit here typing now and say that I’ve proven the theory wrong for months, if not years. I don’t have to share all of my most precious moments online to have a thriving life and a successful business. I’m proud of myself for moving forward with the best decision for our family because it goes against everything that society encourages for us about our online world. And for those of you that have been here since we brought our sweet girl home from the hospital, thank you for loving my family like your own and for the support you’ve shown me for so many years! Yall are the best!
Also wanting to add that there is NO judgement in this post to anyone that posts photos of their children online! Literally none at all! As parents we know what feels best for our families and I’m simply sharing what was the best decision for our family while cheering you on for whatever feels right for you!