Every time I open Facebook, I see pictures of our kids. I get that Michelle wants to share their cute antics, but I feel as if it's inappropriate to post pictures the kids may find embarrassing later.
She says: He is overreacting, I get tons of "likes"
I think Josh is overreacting. The kids are too young to care about what's on Facebook, and my friends and family love seeing their pictures - I get tons of "likes" and comments!
What do they do?
We consulted two experts, our 15- and 16-year-old daughters. Their consensus: yes, childhood pictures can be embarrassing, no matter who sees them, or how or when. But they’re completely innocent. It’s normal and cool for parents to show off their children, whether in real life or in pictures.
But our 16-year-old found it jarring that Michelle, in discussing whether posting these pictures is right, would care at all about the “likes” or comments. If it’s wrong to post them – and our daughter is not saying it is – then it’s irrelevant whether they’re popular.
We agree with the experts. Since popularity is a notoriously unreliable guide to morality (Gal 1:10: “Am I now currying favor with human beings, or God?”), we urge Michelle to put the “likes” in proper perspective.
We also agree that showing off pictures of your children is, in general, not inappropriate. In fact it can be wonderful. But Josh doesn’t seem to disagree with this. He has deeper concerns.
These days, the moment we send any picture anywhere over the internet, we have to expect it could end up in anyone’s hands, at any time. And they could do anything with it. While some parents might think “So what?” and upload pictures anyway, others might be horrified and never upload a thing.
There is no absolute right or wrong on this. It’s a matter of Josh and Michelle having differing comfort zones, and needing to find a common ground. Here’s a suggestion: For the moment, set aside your respective “positions” and focus only on thoroughly understanding and appreciating each other’s underlying desires. Make no corrections or critical comments. Your goal is not to win the other over, but only to sincerely and lovingly reflect back what is heartfelt by the other. Examples: “It’s wonderful that you want the whole world to enjoy our children.” “Thank you for really wanting to protect our children.”
The more you are able to genuinely appreciate one another’s innermost desires and concerns, the more willing you will be to grow and bend, together, toward a place within both of your comfort zones. God wants you to get there, so pray that he will help you find the way.