Instagram, Facebook, & the Perils of “Sharenting”


By Hua Hsu, The New Yorker


For the vast majority of people, checking Instagram involves a mix of aspirationalism and voyeurism; the app feeds on a collective fear that we are missing out on something, whether it’s a fabulous party, a pop-up sale, or the mere concept of vacation. But the same dynamic doesn’t quite apply to parents sharing pictures of their young children online.

There certainly may be an element of proud boasting: “Oh, this? It’s just my daughter’s tastefully mismatched outfit,” “Admire my toddler son’s taste in jazz,” etc. But these carefully chosen glimpses of adorable bliss often do little more than mark a tranquil reprieve during an otherwise arduous day.

The isolation of parenthood delivers one to strange places, especially in the early going, and you need your tribe. Sharing images or stories on social media makes the experience bearable, connecting one to a larger world at a time when the scales and contours of life feel as though they are shrinking.

All of this seems harmless enough—annoying, even, if you have hit your saturation point of doughy newborns. Sometimes we annoy ourselves…more

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