Crawl, Walk and Talk All on Social Media

Kasey Schumacher

kasey schumacher | social cues | sept. 2019

When I had a child, I was warned that the first year of their life goes by in the blink of an eye (and the next 17+ years too, for that matter). Having recently celebrated my son's first birthday (what?!), I can agree the statement is true. I have no idea where the last 12 months went and yet it's also hard for me to remember a time before he was here!

While many aspects of my life have changed since my little man was born (i.e. going to bed before 10 p.m. has become a new normal for me and my husband), I did not exactly anticipate that my social media life would change so much. Here are a few things I've noticed about my social media habits in the last year:

I rarely post about myself.I might as well change my name on Facebook from “Kasey Schumacher" to “Proud Mother of Wilson." I find posting anything about myself to be kind of boring compared to all of the exciting milestones my son is reaching. My entire Instagram profile is just pictures of him. It's a big deal when I post anything that doesn't have to do with him. My wedding photographer and I follow each other on Instagram and we have this ongoing joke about how none of my pictures are of me and my husband now â€" they're just focused on Wilson. Sorry, not sorry!

My ads are all about babies and parenting.I know I'm exaggerating, but it seems every ad I get on social media is geared toward parenthood or baby products. And the sad thing is, I don't mind it and I totally buy into it! I am embarrassed to admit the number of products I've purchased online based on a social media ad. From the latest technology in sippy cups to onesies I can't possibly pass up, it's become a bit of a problem! The social media advertisers certainly know how to hook young parents and make a buck or two.

My suggested events also have to do with children.I used to get events suggested to me on social media that had to do with bar crawls and “The Office" Trivia contests. Now I get special storytime features at the library, splash pad days at parks and family fun on the farm events. Again, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about this. I feel fortunate to live in a time when I have so many family outings and options at my fingertips. We've participated in little tot dance parties, feast with the beasts at the zoo and even a baby prom!

I'm never at a loss for content.I have to hold myself back from posting daily about Wilson! I have taken over 5,000 photos of him since he was born and I could have easily posted all of them but I know that would have been incredibly annoying to anyone but me, my husband and probably our own parents ;-) I pick and choose my favorite photos to share. And even when I'm posting in real-time, I'm already looking forward to the day that the specific photo or video pops up as a memory on Facebook.

But, I also hesitate to post.I know my son has no idea what social media is right now, but someday he will. I'm cognizant of the fact that one day he'll see pictures of himself all over social media. I try to be mindful of what I share and how it portrays him. If I plan to teach him media literacy and social media literacy specifically, I need to model good behavior and that includes not willy-nilly posting anything I feel about another person.

Mom shaming is unfortunately very, VERY real.I have a tendency of staying completely out of social media arguments and “keyboard battles" online. However, I have seen people shame every tiny aspect of someone else's parenting style and choices (and I'm talking about trivial things. I've seen social media outrage over the brand of bottle used). It makes me so sad. Parenting is not easy and being thrown under the proverbial bus online and made to feel horrible for choices does not make it any easier.

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