A slightly above-average achiever's guide to parenting
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June 16, 2014
UPDATE (6/19/2014): I just got a great tip from a reader that 23snaps is an app that works basically the same as a photostream, but isn't strictly for iphones. We're in pretty deep with the photostream, so we'll probably try that, but this might be a great option for families without a lot of iphones.
Chewbacca is only 5 and a half months old, and my husband and I have taken 963 photos and 19 videos of him. And while I think that absolutely every one of those photos is utterly adorable, I'm cognizant of the fact that not everyone feels that way. Don't get me wrong, I think my baby is objectively cute. I actually said that to the nurse just moments after he was born: "I mean, I know every parent thinks their kid is the most beautiful thing in the world, but we can agree that he's OBJECTIVELY cute, right?" (for the record, she did not answer. But I think it's because she must not have heard me) But nearly 1,000 photos of anyones kid can be...a lot.
So, in the information age, how do you share photos of your kid with family and friends who want to see him daily, but not overwhelm your other friends who don't want their facebook news feeds dominated by babies covered in oatmeal? (to be clear-- if you don't think that's adorable, you have no soul).
I took a few steps to find a balance between these competing needs. First, Facebook is NOT our main source of photosharing. Sure, it's great because everyone is on there. But it's also terrible because everyone is on there. I just didn't feel comfortable putting up bathtime photos on a website that my coworkers and old friends from high school were on. Not that there's anything wrong with these people, but it just felt too impersonal for such personal pictures.
We do use facebook, but before I gave birth, I put up a post and asked people who were interested in getting Chewbacca pictures to like that status. I announced that I would put those people on a separate list, and everytime I posted Chewbacca pictures, I would only post to those people. That made sure that I wasn't blasting out to people who weren't interested. So everytime I put up a baby Chewie picture, I post it just to my BABY list. This gives me a little more control over who sees our photos.
That doesn't solve the problem of immediate family and friends who want to see more regular pictures. For them, we've created a photostream. Unfortunately this only works for people with iphones. You can turn your stream public and share that link with non-iphone users, but they won't get immediate notifications that you've posted pictures (but maybe that's for the best). For us, most of my family and friends have iphones, so this has worked very well as a photo-sharing option. Before inviting anyone to our photostream, I usually showed them how to configure their settings so they weren't getting alerts everytime I posted a picture. Because we don't call it the "DailyChewie" feed for nothing.
At nearly 1,000 photos, my friends and family are still, amazingly, subscribed to the feed. They "like" pictures, and comment on how we're endangering our child by posing with him in the heisman trophy stance. It's like our own personal facebook, for just family and immediate friends.
With the clarity of 5 months, I can look back at Chewbacca's early pictures, and recognize that although he was a cute newborn, he still was a newborn--with his scrunched face and long fingers and kind of gross hair. I realize now that he looked like an alien baby, just like every other newborn. But despite all that, our friends and family are still following the DailyChewie photostream to look at my subjectively adorable baby. And for that, I thank them.