Are You Sharenting?



If you are like me, you just read that word and said “what” and if you’re not like me and are in the “know” then good on you because I had no idea that this was a thing. For us, uncool people, the term “sharenting” is a parent who overshares their life on social media – about 900% of the population at this point.

I think it’s almost taboo for people not to have a social media page. As someone in the workplace, I know whenever I get a new hire – the first thing I check for is their social media so I can see what they’ve got going on. If I don’t see one, I can’t help but think “what are they hiding?” not perhaps that they choose not to share their entire life story with complete strangers. But as parents, do we overshare?

I tend to follow a lot of parents on social media and these are people who post pictures of their kids daily, vlog, etc. It seems as though it’s become very normal for people to share a lot about their families. However, what’s considered too much? If you have been following me, you may notice I don’t post my kid’s faces or names on any of my platforms. Earlier when I first started my social media I used to, but I kind of got creeped out by the whole thing and decided to keep their anonymity.

In part, I agree we’ve become a nation of oversharers. We share what we eat, what we wear, where we’re going, what we’re doing, who we’re with, how our children behave in public. Sharing is caring but perhaps we care too much. I chose not to put my children on social media for safety reasons first and foremost – a decision every person makes on their own. I don’t like the idea of some perv eyeballing my kid or someone using their photo as their faux baby on their own social media – yes people do that. Secondly, I didn’t want to open them up to ridicule – the internet is forever and people feel they have a right to comment on the way your kid looks and one day I don’t want my kid looking back and seeing someone saying something negative about them – it’s easy to be cruel behind a screen.

It’s also easy to be forgetful that even though our intentions are good – clearly as parents we’re proud of our tiny humans and the funny things they say and do – not everyone who watches has good intentions. The other side of this argument is not allowing yourself to live in fear of the faceless person who could be there. So where do you draw the line? Who says what’s too much? For me personally, I like talking about my kids and our family but I hold their privacy very close to me, others feel that so long as they take precaution i.e. not posting in real time, no street names of where they live, keeping details to a minimum – the internet is out of their hands. Wouldn’t it be great that at the moment someone has ill intentions, a signal goes out to the police that makes them spring into action and catch the pig before they have time to push enter? Wishful thinking but here’s hoping.

So are you sharenting? If you’re asking me, you probably are. I think that in this current world we live in there’s no going back, there’s no turning off the switch – we live in technology and we’ve made ourselves transparent. Children are learning to live their lives in front of a camera because as their parents we stop them every two minutes to take a picture or video. Older children are finding value in themselves by how many “likes” they’re getting from people they may or may not know. My daughter who is almost two loves to watch the videos I take of her on my phone - but as her mother I’m selfish – instead of posting that video, I keep it for myself and will often watch it over and over. Sure there are things I choose to share on my public profiles and my private ones but I find I overshare with myself – that might sound a little weird but there’s no other way of putting it!

Why are we so fascinated by sharing our life on the internet? Do people really care what we ate for breakfast or that my kid rolled over today? The way I look at it is we’re documenting life and we have a natural curiosity about what goes on in other people’s homes. Our children are growing so quickly, it’s almost easier to keep the camera on so we can freeze time ALL the time. I remember the days when relatives got yearly updated school pictures and that was enough, now we’re posting every day sometimes every hour every little thing our kids do – we are inadvertently teaching them that this lack of privacy and transparency is normal.

I think we can all agree there is such a thing as oversharing – in my opinion we have every right to be proud of our children, excited about their life and in most cases not let family members who live far away miss out but we also have to keep at the forefront of our minds that the internet is not a safe place, that our children deserve the right to a life without us documenting every second, they deserve to have parents who are present and not worried about posting the next silly/embarrassing thing they do, and they need to learn to live their lives for themselves and not their followers.


So, what’s my final thought? My final thought is to be a sharenting – but keep 95% for yourself.

#TimesUp



This past Sunday was the Golden Globes and if you’re on social media you were very aware of the Time’s Up hash tag (#TimesUp) that rapidly appeared all over the place. Something about seeing all the celebrities dressed in black and the focus really staying on what the message was all about got me really excited especially some of the speeches and words that were spoken. Hello? Oprah as President – YES PLEASE! We would all get cars! Just kidding – or am I?

On Instagram – I saw more and more people posting photos of themselves wearing black in solidarity and I got so inspired, I got so excited because I felt the voice, I felt the passion these women were expressing and for so long so many fought, trying to get their voice over the roaring crowd of suppression and finally, finally the voice has been amplified. I am part of that voice. I don’t know one woman who hasn’t been touched by sexual harassment in the workplace, myself included – but were often too scared, too embarrassed, too shocked to say anything and so it continued. But not anymore.

As I listened to the incredible words that Oprah spoke – I thought to myself “is it possible my daughter will never have a “me too” story?” I felt hopeful. In this time, we are finding ourselves, men and women, coming together to stand up against people that wish to do harm to others. No longer will people stay silent as they witness injustice happening or be victimized. I have always been a firm believer that there are people who will stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves thereby giving them the confidence they need. Could we be on the road to a better humanity?

With so much happening in politics right now, if there is one thing I see now more than ever, is that we as decent people, will call B.S. on bigotry, racism, sexual harassment and violence. It’s not normal, it’s not right and it’s not ok. No more turning a blind eye, no more laughing off offensive jokes, no more accepting things the way they are – we can change and we can inspire change in others. Every day I will strive to be the change by being an example for my son and daughter. They are the future – they will learn what the word no means and mean it. They will be equal to each other in every sense. They will express kindness and openness to people different than them and they will speak up against wrong doing. #TimesUp!

Here are some photos of quotes from that night:


 
 








New Year – Goals for 2018





Happy 2018! New year means a big fat press on that reset button of life. It’s a reminder to get your stuff together, set your goals, get back into those skinny jeans – you know the usual. For me, I generally set a list of goals to meet and I’ve gone so far as writing them down paper and sticking it on the fridge where I can see it when the reality is, I always stop noticing it after a while. So this year I thought, let’s keep it simple – I chose three categories in my life to focus on:

Finances: Towards the end of 2017, my husband and I took getting our finances in order very seriously. We sat down and went through all the debt that we had, created a spreadsheet for each month and started itemizing everything we spend money on. For 2018, the goal is to be completely free of debt. Last year I started following Jordan Page of FunCheapOrFree.com and she talks about budgeting and frugal living and living your best life on a budget and so that really resonated with me. We’re parents and so money that we constantly put towards debt takes away from our kid’s future. It’s time to tighten the wallet.

Health: Isn’t this category a given? At the beginning of 2017 I managed to lose 10 pounds by just changing my eating habits and being a little more active but I stalled out in the middle of the year. So, this one has made it back again as I still have about 15 more pounds I want to lose. I don’t go by the number on a scale but by how my clothes fit and right now, they’re not fitting too well. Let's be honest, the majority of us are not as enthusiastic as others about working out, as a matter of fact I'd rather not, but I know that in order to live a healthy life - I have to force myself to do the things I don't want to do. I look at it like this, if I take care of myself - that gives me the best chances at having a long life with my kids. With that being said, I'm aiming for three days a week, at least 30 mins - that's something I can handle.

Family: Time and time again I find myself more engaged with my phone then with the people around me.  Taking a page from another blogger – she sets her days up in blocks where each portion of her day is dedicated to only one specific thing. So for example, while her kids are napping for two hours – that’s when she gets work done and when they come home from school there’s a block of time just dedicated to being present with them. This is something I really want to try and aim for in 2018. Once I walk through that door from work, my focus needs to be present and engaged with my family. Our kids are growing so quickly that moments will pass and we won’t see them because we’re too busy looking down when we should be looking forward.

Are you wondering where my professional category is? I didn’t set it a category of improvement because this is something I'm always working on. Throughout the year I'm constantly looking to improve and educate myself. You could totally set professional goals as one of your 2018, its just for me, since so much of my day is spent at work, this is something that is always front and center so my professional light needs to share the spot light with the other guys as well. Talk to me in 2019 - I betcha you'll see a professional aspiration listed!


Have you set your 2018 goals yet?