parents,” the app replaces baby pictures on Facebook with photos of things like “cats, sunsets, and
bacon.”24 Innocent bystanders are not the only ones fed up with parents’ social media habits: the
kids are, too. Saturday Night Live performed a “Damn It, My Mom Is On Facebook Filter” skit
satirizing the embarrassing things parents do on social media: commenting embarrassing things on
your photos (“Who is your new friend? She looks ill.”), and offering helpful, but uncool advice (“I
have a five dollar coupon for Kohl’s”).25 The satirical piece resonated with viewers because it was
grounded in reality.26 It manifested a real concern: teens, young adults, and people in general want
control over their image online.27 For the current generation of young adults, parents have become
a threat to that control.
But it may be a lot worse for the next generation. Imagine if your entire life was on
Facebook: pre-birth ultrasounds, birth pictures,28 baby pictures, and first-day-of-school pictures.
Despite these rather benign images potentially creating a violation of privacy themselves, the
extent of sharing about kids does not stop there. Entire websites and blogs are dedicated to
toddler-shaming where parents in an ironic show of parental solidarity share embarrassing things
about their kids.29 What parents do not realize, when they e-mail off their submission to Reasons
Why My Son is Crying Dot Com, is that it is out of their hands forever.30
Parents who share can take it to the extreme. One mother posts a vlog (a video clip) on
YouTube every single day. She documented her entire pregnancy and now documents every day
of her children’s lives.31 Other parents create Facebook or Instagram accounts for their children.
According to a survey by Gerber.com, millennial moms are the biggest culprits: “close to 40
percent of mothers aged 18 to 34 created [independent] social media accounts for their baby.”32
24 Austin Considine, Making Facebook Less Infantile, N. Y. TIMES (Aug. 8, 2012),
25 Saturday Night Live: Season 36, Episode 3, “Damn It, My Mom Is On Facebook Filter,” (NBC television
broadcast Oct. 9, 2010), http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/moms-on-facebook/n12879.
26 MORRIS, supra note 12, at 1; Saturday Night Live, Mom is on Facebook, YAHOO VIDEO,
https://screen.yahoo.com/mom-facebook-000000431.html (last visited Feb. 12, 2016). (The segment “satirizes
concerns of teens and young adults whose privacy or ‘cool’ reputation may be compromised by their mother’s presence
in their online social network.”). I suggest to my readers to view the clip themselves, because as succinct as Mr.
Morris’s explanation is of why it resonates with young people, the actual source is always funnier than its explanation.
See E.B. White, Some Remarks on Humor, Preface to A SUBTREASURY OF AMERICAN HUMOR (1941) (“Humor can
be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.”).
27 KJ Dell’Antonia, Don’t Post About Me on Social Media, Children Say, THE NEW YORK TIMES (March 8, 2016,
nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=1 (“[P]arents can also present a problem for the child who prefers to control how she
appears online . . . . [A] high school sophomore in Natick, Mass., said, ‘I definitely know people who have parents
post things they wish weren’t out there. There was a girl in my eighth grade class whose mom opened a You Tube
account for her in the fourth grade to show off her singing . . . . [O]n one of the last months of middle school, a peer
played the song in class and almost the entire class laughed hysterically over it.’”).
28 See BIRTH
PHOTOGRAPHERS.COM, http://birthphotographers.com (last visited Feb. 12, 2016) (A website for the
International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, who offer their services to be present at a live birth
and take photographs of everything from labor, birth, and post-birth photos of the baby).
29 See REASONS MY SON IS CRYING, http://reasonsmysoniscrying.com (last visited Feb. 12, 2016) (A website
devoted to documenting instances where a child is upset about something minor or absurd).
30 THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Columbia Pictures 2010) (“The Internet’s not written in pencil . . . it’s written in ink.”).
31 Judy Travis, itsJudysLife, YOUTUBE, https://www.youtube.com/user/itsJudysLife/videos (last updated May 2,
32 Alesandra Dublin, Have a Social Media Account for Your Baby? 40 Percent of Millennial Moms Do, TODAY (Oct.