January 16, 2015 by and

I attempted to snap a candid picture of my kids on the way to school because they had just requested silence in the car so that they could read. (Did I just hear that correctly?) I wanted a rare photo of them reading instead of surfing their phones. At first, I thought they were joking. It wouldn’t last to the first stop light. But five minutes into the deafening silence, I figured that I should capture this bizarre, unnatural phenomenon for posterity and Facebook.

But Lucy caught me and begged me not to take the picture. She knew I’d post it on Facebook. Duh, why else would I take a picture?

I used to scrapbook. But then social media and the digital age came along. For the record, social media is a much cheaper and lazier way to document my family’s every move. Suddenly printing pictures to glue into a paper book seemed like a very quaint, overly labor-intensive 1950s thing to do.

I’ve noticed my kids thumbing through their scrapbooks lately. They like the idea of perusing photos and remembering the good ole days and knowing that this collective document is a unique family artifact. Maybe they show a select few elite visitors during a quiet moment of reflection; maybe they don’t. It’s up to them.

They are starting to protest that 500 of my closest friends saw them eating cereal with a very clever caption.

Reality slaps me in the face and I remember our rule No. 2 of social media: Never post a picture of someone else without their approval. The rules are for the kids, of course, but maybe not. Perhaps this is one parents should make a priority to live by.

So, instead of a New Year’s Resolution: I’m starting a revolution. Take pictures of my kids for scrapbooks or picture frames only. I’m challenging us all to a face-free social media. It’ll require
more creativity and, I think, change things up for the better while respecting our kids’ and those innocent bystanders by them. Facebook posts will be dedicated to very clever words.
Think you can do it?

I tell Max and Lucy about my big idea. They hold a stare, petrified of the consequences of rolling their eyes at me. It’d make a great picture…for a scrapbook, of course.

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