3 ways social media is stealing your baby's childhood

Social media is a great tool; but if you aren't careful, it comes at a price.

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  • I read an article a few months ago that claimed to explain what type of person you were by what you post on social media. I am a sucker for things like that, so I clicked it. And apparently, based on what I post, I am considered to be a very caring person — one who cares about doing what is right and has a strong moral compass. It has to be true — the Internet told me so.

  • I know you all are dying to hear what it is I post that makes me such an amazing person. Well, here it is. Wait for it …

  • MY KIDS!

  • I snap photos of my kids constantly. I try and catch every perfect little moment. There isn't a special occasion, funny or not-so-funny moment, or just about any other moment not caught on camera. I have thousands of memories (I literally have 5,000 pictures on my phone right now) stored away. And, as much as I would like to say I do this because it is the right thing to do, I am not sure if I do.

  • I've realized it is taking away from one of life's most precious times: my kids' childhood.

  • I'm not truly experiencing the moment

  • Sure, I was there and it actually did happen; but do I really remember it? My ability to take in the experience is lessened as I stare into the camera hoping for that perfect shot. I will be able to look back on each stage of my child's life, but will I truly have the memory of being in that moment with him? Before I know it my boys will be grown up and all I will have left will be the "memories" of taking pictures; and for what? Likes on Instagram? And what's worse is that my sons will have memory after memory of me hiding behind my phone or camera.

  • The stress of getting that perfect shot

  • Please tell me I am not the only person who has all but forced their child into a certain pose or demanded they recreate a moment. Anyone? OK, it's probably not as bad as it feels sometimes, but there have been times where I can say that I have honestly stressed my child out all for the sake of a picture. Instead of letting my son discover the huge pile of leaves, I directed him on what to do as if he was making his modeling debut on the cover of a magazine. Really, I should've been jumping in that pile of leaves right alongside him — not getting a picture just to show everyone what a "fun" day we had.

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  • Time spent on social media

  • My alarm goes off in the morning and, after hitting the snooze button more times than I should admit, I roll over and grab my phone and almost immediately check my social media. It is so much a habit I don't even have to think about it. I literally start my day with it, and I end it with it too. Just today I was talking to a friend, on Instagram, and I faintly heard my son saying "Mommy, mommy, mommy" over and over before I snapped out of it. By that time he was fed up and walking away. I had to call him back over just so I could see the cutest picture he drew for me. I almost missed that moment because of an app on my phone. It makes me wonder how many moments I have missed and don't even realize it.

  • Social media is a blessing in so many ways. I absolutely love being able to "journal" my family life. It is a great way to easily document life. It is fun to talk to other moms and friends to feel connected to the outside world. It definitely has its place in the world. However, as they always say, "everything in moderation." I don't want to waste another minute of my kids' life behind the camera, trying to get the best picture of them so I can waste the day waiting for likes.

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Cristel Romero is a wife and mother to three sons. She works part-time in marketing at a home health company.

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