Everyone does it. Upon taking the picture, we immediately post it to our social media sites. We can’t wait for the internet world to see what we’re seeing; the happy faces of our kids playing with other kids whether it’s a birthday party or play date. We’re smitten by how cute everyone looks and how well they’re playing together. What we’re not seeing is the anguish on the face of the mom who is frantically scanning the photos to see who is there and trying to rationalize why her son or daughter isn’t.
Social media is a resource for many outlets. It’s a great way to promote your business, rant about politics, publicly shame someone, write happy quotes or ones of dismay. People are very quick to post, share, and comment. But what happens when someone isn’t included? It’s that dreaded moment when your newsfeed is filled with multiple pictures of your kid’s friends. You look for the time and date stamp, you scrutinize the photo to find evidence of it happening at that given moment. Then your heart sinks. Your kid wasn’t invited. What do you do? You can text one of your “mom” friends to find out where they are and hopefully they will be honest. You can search through your kid’s book bag because it’s possible you didn’t see the invitation. Or you can wonder what is wrong with your kid and why wasn’t the invitation extended. The latter is what most will do, and it’s the most heart-wrenching thought.
Of course you want your kid to be part of the popular group. Who doesn’t? Life seems to be easier when you’re popular, at least at an elementary school age. Of course as adults we know anguish inflicted upon the uninvited ones will all be for naught because it really won’t matter in twenty years. But to a kid, it means the world.
Perhaps before uploading your pictures to social media, think twice about who might see it. If you intentionally didn’t invite little Johnny or Janie, then know that someone out there in cyberspace may know him or her and they will find out. Be conscious of what you put out there on social media. It’s hard enough being a kid, and even harder when you’re on the outside looking in.