What fatherhood has taught me about the social space?

Rose is a month old, yes! Today, she is now a month old…she was born on September 6th and from the very moment she came into our lives, I have seen life through a new set of eyes. Now I am starting to  understand the statement my mother has preached to me over the years…a parent’s love is like no other.

One of the things that Sarah and I agreed upon when Rose was born, we wanted to document the whole experience. Yes, we believe in photography and we also believe in sharing our joy with our close friends and family. Sarah and I actually spent the good portion of our wedding budget on photography, hiring a wonderful portrait photographer and photojournalist. So when Rose was on the way, we knew we had to capture the event.

Given this statement, our family members are social creatures as well and they all are aspiring shutterbugs. The first moment we knew we had a social media situation on our hands…when the family met Rose for the first time and they were taking pictures with their smart-phones. Sarah and I had been up all night…Rose was no more than an hour old. We had to put the kibosh on uploading pictures to Facebook. Now this seems weird, but we did not want someone else, other than Rose’s parents, sharing the first pictures of Rose with the world.

As I was standing behind a glass wall giving Rose her first bath, my sister-in-law was snapping pictures with her iPhone. As I looked up, I could see the reflection of Facebook. I had to stop the nurse, hand Rose over, walk over and bang on the window. I had to tell Sarah’s sister…no uploading pictures to Facebook until Sarah and I could hold Rose together and share our own pictures. Sounds a bit selfish, but I am sure you understand.

But this was only the beginning, friends and family visited the hospital room over the next few days. Sarah was recovering and I was trying to enjoy the moments. People taking pictures with Blackberry’s, iPhones, and Droids. Before we knew it…photos of Rose were being uploaded. Sarah and I were all over Facebook after a long night in the hospital. Sarah was still recovering from just giving birth…she was tired and probably not happy with her appearance.

Over the last month, we have been trying to filter through the wonderful images uploaded and some that just did not needed to be shared online. The tremendous reach of Facebook’s Photo Albums are tremendous. Many large and small organizations have built tremendous followings with just sharing images including Children’s Hospital Boston with over 650K “Likes”. We have become a part of a public newsfeed. This former journalist who was not afraid to plaster someone’s daily rituals on the six o’clock news now had his most private, yet exciting moment shared all over Facebook…and did not even realize it.

If you are like me…your Facebook account might be a combination of personal friends and professional acquaintances. You might even have clients and business relationships inside your Facebook account. Each person might have the ability to see each picture uploaded each time your name is tagged on an image. The reach of a photo is tremendous.

How have we succumb to this point in our social space. We want to share so fast we do not even think about the potential ramifications of an image. Someone’s excitement might be someone else’s most private moment. Are we even prepared to write social media policies for our friends and families…I thought that was for the corporate world.

As I look back over the past month with my new little girl…there is an upside to the Facebook sharing madness. The whole event has been well documented. It has also been well shared. Believe me…I have had people I did not even know walk up to me in a restaurant congratulating me on my beautiful girl.  Thank you Facebook for providing the platform.

But here is food for thought…when you share, are you sharing with the best intentions. Have you sat back and considered what you are sharing might be a private moment for another? Or has the expectation of privacy been long thrown out the door with this social sharing revolution?

*** Images by Tiffiney Addis of TiffineyPhotography.com. She is wonderful and we are blessed to be working with her over the next year!