Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you can’t have missed that the kids are back at school and social media is filled with smiling children getting ready to start the new year.
I love back-to-school pics. I love everything about them, from the children’s proud faces to checking out all the different uniforms. But this year I noticed a trend that made me a little bit sad. Lots of my friends posted their pics with an apologetic caption about ‘jumping on the band wagon’. I noticed people seemed to be embarrassed about posting their back-to-school photos – not proud, happy and enthusiastic like they should be.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a massive sharent-er (aka a parent who shares stuff online). When I had my first son, I started posting about him. I shared photos and the odd anecdote about motherhood, and I lost a few ‘friends’. I have to admit, some of those I lost I didn’t even notice, not until they sent me friend requests a few years later when they had their own children and realised what I was on about.
But parents aren’t the only ones apologising, I see my status filled with “sorry, another running related post” or “this is the last time I’ll post about this but…” and this confuses me, because to me, sharing is what social media is all about.
I share pictures and anecdotes of my boys for my mum who I haven’t seen for nearly six weeks, for their Nan and Grandad who are currently in Spain (GRRR), for my friends, and for myself. My posts about my books are pride in my own achievements, and my posts about gin…well they’re for fun.
I see social media as a way of catching up with people I love, or with friends who I think about regularly but don’t always get a chance to see. I greedily look at baby scan photos and first birthday pictures. I get to see my old work friend training for the Great North Run – and her proud face as she finished the race. I get to see my oldest friend having fun with her amazing little boy – who we thought might never be here. I see my nephew playing actual real-life guitar gigs, my niece galavanting around the world while working her socks off on a cruise ship, and my best friend enjoying her holiday.
It might not be the same as sharing a diet coke and a plate of salty chips, or falling asleep on the sofa together after a bottle of wine and a natter, but it’s the next best thing.
So with that in mind, I hope no one feels embarrassed or sheepish about sharing. Like many other people, I’m genuinely happy for my friends when something good happens, and I love hearing all about their lives. I’m not going to apologise for sharing my life online – and neither should you.
Aimee is a writer and communications mastermind, with a background in digital marketing. A once self-published author she is now represented by @juliasreading and working on her latest novel.
Aimee can also be found mostly talking about beige food and running, and loves anything that includes leopard print and/or pineapples – or in the words of her husband ‘tat’.