Why Posting Photos of Your Children on Social Media Isn’t Always Welcome

Source: Pexels

Long before smartphones and social media came to be, people had no choice but to carry physical photographs if they wanted to show their friends and family images of their recent vacation or kids’ recital. Grandparents would whip out their wallets instead of struggling to upload pictures from their digital camera.

But now that anyone can post photos to Facebook or Instagram within moments, users rarely hold back. From brunch plates to birthday parties, everything’s fair game (even if no one needs to know you’re on your third mimosa). However, just because you can post any and every photo you so desire, that does not mean you should.

Now that the people who joined Facebook upon its inception are beginning to start families of their own, the social media platform features more baby photos than your average mall portrait studio. People insist on sharing photos of their kids’ every waking moment. Personally, I love when parents wish their child a lengthy “Happy Birthday” on social media even though the kid isn’t old enough to read, much less manage an account of their own. Everyone knows those who commit such acts are merely fishing for compliments. (But that’s the underlying essence of social media, isn’t it?)

Beyond this element of self-indulgence, however, these incessant posts demonstrate an innate level of insensitivity that disregards the feelings of those followers forced to endure this flood.

Most proud parents and grandparents are too caught up in their joy to notice that many others aren’t so lucky. They brag on social media not because they are malicious, but because they’re consumed with happiness. But what about those who are suffering silently? How about those friends and family members who’ve desperately tried to expand their own families, only to find they can’t conceive?

While I cannot assess the situation based on personal experience, every new photo reminds me of how devastating infertility and miscarriages can be. Of course, it’d be rude to deny those lucky families the opportunity to bask in their joy, but they also need to understand that the photos intended to spread smiles might spark sorrow for others.

Social media often breeds narcissism, after all, as most users care about little more than the image they convey to the outside world. Perhaps if we showed more thought and concern for the emotions people hide inside, however, we’d breathe new life into the compassionate planet we hope to leave for these little ones in the first place.

(This post originally appeared on Storia.)


The Bill Paxton Effect

Despite our presumed differences, it’s safe to say that we’re all looking for that elusive “something” that makes us feel complete. Our specific pursuits are irrelevant when we stop to consider that, deep down, we’re all desperate to find meaning in a world that seems devoid of logic, especially now.

Film and television are notorious for bringing such feelings to light, for it’s in the eyes of the actors that we can see ourselves. Bill Paxton’s body of work—his characters, in particular—personifies our innate desire to seek what’s just out of reach. But if there’s one thing we can learn from what the beloved actor and director left behind, it’s that what we want and what we need don’t always align.

Source: CraveOnline

Source: CraveOnline

Paxton’s roles often looked to the outside world for direction. His unhinged persona in Frailty believed he was destined to rid the world of demons, for instance, while his adventurous alter ego in Twister unearthed renewed purpose when chasing tornadoes. But it was his turn as Brock Lovett in 1997’s Titanic that demonstrated how tunnel vision might distract us from the critical lessons of life.

“Three years, I’ve thought of nothing except Titanic, but I never got it. I never let it in.”

Spoken by Paxton’s Lovett at the end of the film, these words emphasize the character’s epiphany. While he’d spent years searching for the Heart of the Ocean, a rare diamond once worn by the now aging Rose Calvert, he neglected to explore the rich history buried deep within the ship’s wreckage. Lovett longed to find artifacts, forgetting that each item pulled from the ocean floor carried the stories of those lost and found. As he said, he never let the immensity of the disaster sink in, so to speak.

Source: CinemaBlend

Source: CinemaBlend

But isn’t that how most of us go about our daily lives? We are selfish. We rarely stop to observe what’s all around. We are oblivious to both the beauty and the injustice right before our eyes.

Though we live in an increasingly enlightened time—an era filled with activists who wish to fix the faults of our ailing society—many people opt to look the other way. Face forward and eyes down, they trudge through life with little regard for those who are suffering. If they stop to acknowledge these issues, they run the risk of derailing their own efforts. One step off the beaten path could mark the beginning of the end for their personal success.

Nowadays, we call that privilege. Historically, we call that ignorance.

But now, more than ever, we need to open our eyes and our ears. We must extend our hand and heart to our neighbor, both near and far. Local communities may be close-knit, but we’re all global citizens now. We owe to our people and our planet to seek solutions to the problems that affect everyone worldwide. We must spread the stories and amplify the voices of those in need to educate the selfish and encourage the selfless.

Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

During an interview with “Film School Rejects” in 2014, Paxton expressed his boundless fascination with human-interest stories. “My father always read obituaries to me out loud, not because he was maudlin or morbid, but because they were mini biographies. ‘Listen to what this guy did! Look what he said. Look how he started out.’”

Human-interest stories, those that truly touch our hearts and inspire change, are born from an interest in humans from all walks of life. But to learn the lessons our friends and strangers have to teach, we must commit to walking with them, hand-in-hand, even if only for a short while.

Fans will surely quote Paxton for generations: “Game over, man!” For those blessed with life, however, the game has only just begun.

But we’ve got to be in it to win it.

Let’s allow Paxton, the director, to call the next shot. Let’s show more interest in our fellow humans, for it’s in every human’s best interest to cultivate an overarching culture of curiosity and compassion. From this core value, we can achieve anything as long as we do so together.

Source: SunStar

Source: SunStar