Parental Paparazzi: The Influence of Parenthood on Social Media

Parental Paparazzi

The most popular people on social media aren’t celebrities or athletes; they’re kids. Photos and videos of children dominate our social media feeds as proud parents show the world their cute babies. We surveyed 2,000 new parents to ask them how they use social media to document their children. Check out the article below to see what we found.

Before having children, 24 percent of people thought they’d never post baby photos, and 18 percent admitted to being annoyed when they saw their friends posting baby pics. An optimistic 31 percent said that they were looking forward to posting photos of their future children.

However, much like newborns, parenting ideas change fast. The fact is that 45 percent of respondents actually post more on social media since having children. Over half of the respondents said they posted the sonogram to social media (56 percent) and another 55 percent also posted pics of baby shower celebrations. It’s no surprise that when the big day comes, 73 percent of parents post a photo of their newborn. After all, social media is the quickest way to announce the baby’s arrival to the most people. And now that there’s an audience, it makes sense that 73 percent continue with monthly photoshoots to show the baby’s progress. Most babies have a robust online presence before taking their first steps. 

So what’s the social media platform of choice for shutterbug parents? 71 percent of respondents prefer to post on Facebook because it’s easy to connect with family and friends (70 percent), creating and sharing albums is simple (17 percent), and frankly, it’s fun to show off their baby (13 percent). And while some parents (22 percent) claim to be inspired by their friends’ baby posts, another 20 percent admitted to feeling competitive with their baby posts.

With so much baby photo sharing, how concerned are parents about privacy and personal information? 60 percent of couples have discussed rules and boundaries for posting their baby’s photos, and only 20 percent post to public accounts (men are 34 percent more likely to do this). In fact, 36 percent of parents have issue with others posting photos of their child online and 54 percent would ask for those images without permission to be deleted.

Some parents set up digital markers for their baby, such as a domain name (5 percent), a social media account (9 percent), and/or a personalized hashtag (12 percent). As the child grows older, however, the frequency of posts drops—in fact, 44 percent of parents claim to post less once their child is over 2 years old. Maybe it’s because Junior won’t sit still long enough for a good photo?

On average, most parents will post about their child until the child is 11 years old. By then, most preteens want less parental involvement anyway. Sorry, Mom and Dad, time to let them figure out their own relationship with online sharing.