To post or not to post? That is the question young couples face when becoming parents. The allure of social media attention and watching those comments and "likes" pile-up is compelling. Tentative fingers holding court over "post" is a battle of the mind and perhaps the moral compass.
Cute babies are attractive to everyone. We enjoy viewing those little faces and watching the changes that happen during the first few years. The "family album" which was once a private treasure viewed by only the closest of friends and relatives is now on display for the world. Remember those discreet bath time photos you hated and that awkward hairstyle? You could simply hide or tear those up anytime. Not so simple when they have been posted on social media. Even if they are removed, someone, somewhere could have captured them.
Then, of course, there are the Family Vloggers. They capture the daily life of the family including precious birthdays, bedtime stories, first fishing trips, etc. The Butler family posted their first YouTube video in 2008 and have since accumulated 4.9 million subscribers to date. The marketing potential is huge.
The family members are not actors, nor are they highly coached. We are viewing "real" family experiences. The Vlogger kids seem to be all in and play to the cameras. However, do the children appreciate the daily invasion and the "set up" activities that keep the viewing audience interested? Do they want the camera in their face at the dentist and when they are ill or have their first big pimple?
There are thousands of kids and families watching and judging to see if their own family compares. Are questions about physical attractiveness and the potential to draw an audience constantly being played in the minds of young viewers?
The workload can be taxing on children. Child labor laws and advertising regulations were not written for commissioned Vloggers. One famous Vlogger, Allie, relates “I was staying up all night editing videos,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to wake up in the morning, and my mom would be like, ‘oh, you’re so lazy.” Some kids of family Vloggers will come out just fine and with money in the bank, but there is potential for abuse and the psychological damage brought on by the lack of privacy and stolen years of childhood. One Christian parent revealed her hesitation in viewing Family Vloggers saying, "if I wouldn't do this to my children, should I be watching"?
We are fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image. (Psalm 139:13-14) Do the images you post reflect God? Do they respect your family?
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