In the last twelve months, a LOT of family and friends have had babies. And naturally, they post photos of their new arrival on social media to share with their own family and friends. I am pleased to say that newborn photos no longer make me cry, they no longer stab completely through my heart either. Infact, on a good day, I almost, enjoy looking at them. However, I don't want to "like" them, and I certainly don't want to comment. Because if I comment, I will be shown the pictures again every single time someone else comments, which will be a lot of times; if I "like" an image, it tells facebook to show me more images like it.
So, I have a quick look, smile for them, then ask facebook not to show me it again. The most recent time I have done this has made me wonder- do the parents, my friends, notice my lack of a comment, and do they mind? I am pretty sure anyone who knows me well enough to share photos of their baby with me would understand, but modern culture dictates that all congratulatory messages are posted on social media for all to see and share. Is it enough these days to send a card and perhaps a gift?
I certainly hope so. I hope that most people would not be offended by my not wanting a gorgeous photo of their precious bundle to catch me unawares on a bad day. I hope that they understand that it is not that I am not over the moon for them, wish them every happiness and think their child is beautiful. I just don't want to see what I am missing and I certainly don't want an entire newsfeed full or what I don't, but should have.
It is quite simply, or infact- complicatedly- self preservation.