One man is furious after finding out that his wife had a secret Instagram account for their newborn son with over thirty thousand followers. Prior to the birth of their son, the man explains, they weren’t regular users of social media and he’d assumed that they had similar attitudes towards it. During a discussion they had both agreed that it was ‘ridiculous to post several photos a day’ of children and create social media accounts specifically for this purpose. However, as he found out, all of this changed after their baby was born.
My wife (30F) and I (33M) are what they call a “low profile” when it comes to social media. We both have accounts on most of the most famous platforms, but we post very little. I personally always had a stupid prejudice about people who record every step of their life, but I respect it. I don’t spew hate on anyone for that reason (or any other).
Recently my wife and I were born a baby. During pregnancy, we agree that it is ridiculous to post several photos a day of the child or to create exclusive social networks for this. Until a child was born, we had very similar values about children’s exposure on the internet. To exemplify, when she was pregnant, Clara only posted two pictures of her belly.
When Daniel was born, Clara posted several pictures of him, which annoyed me, but I didn’t say anything. It was a mother who had just given birth, so I considered it normal behavior. But that didn’t stop as the weeks passed, and I had to complain. Clara was very upset, said that she loved him very much and that he was the most beautiful child she had ever seen. I just rolled my eyes.
Not only did Clara enjoy posting photographs of her new baby to share with friends and family, she also started an Instagram account for him. When baby Daniel was a month old, Clara told her husband about it, and in his words, he ‘exploded.’
When our baby was one month old, Clara announced that Daniel had an instagram profile. I exploded and said I didn’t agree with any of this and asked her to delete it. She said I was being totally unreasonable and the child was hers so she would do what she wanted. I said that the child is also mine, and I didn’t want so much exposure. We fought and she went to her mother’s house. I also went to my MIL’s house and slept in the living room, I wasn’t going to miss my son’s moments because of a stupid fight. She got even more annoyed and we went back to our house, but she refused to talk beyond the essentials to me.
A month passed and Clara assured me that she deleted the instagram, but that she would continue to post at a lower frequency on her own profile. I agreed to this because it was the best middle ground possible. I came across my wife with 20k followers, and before I had only 1k. I thought this was bizarre. I saw her transforming too, it wasn’t just pictures and videos of Daniel. She was documenting her routine. I’m not a controlling person and I’m not going to say what my wife can and can’t do with her own image.
The big problem is that I found out she lied to me. I was blocked from my son’s Instagram to think it was deleted. When I found out, I took the cell phone from my wife’s hand and locked myself in my bathroom. I deleted the profile of almost 30k of Daniel’s followers while listening to Clara screaming outside.
Nothing happened but silence. She won’t talk to me, her mother claims that Clara will develop post-natal depression after all this stress. I think this is all terribly futile and I start to think I’m a bit of an asshole for caring so much about it, but at the same time I don’t want that kind of life for my son. I don’t want Daniel’s life living for the sake of being well on camera. I just want him to have a normal childhood.
As you might imagine, people had a lot to say about the issue with many taking the father’s side.
NTA, an infant doesn’t need an Instagram account, plus that should be something you both have access to if you both want it. I feel this would be a 2 yes 1 no situation, she shouldn’t have gone behind your back (alidiot)
NTA. And here’s why. Your son did not consent to his life being posted online. There are studies which document the anxiety children feel when they’re old enough for school and find out their entire lives since birth have been documented online. Your wife is using your son as bait to get likes and followers and that shit needs to stop. (anon)
Child consent is a key term here. I have 2 year old and there is not any single online photo. In future she can share her photos. It is up to her not us (Opposite-Gold-6229)
A newborn does not need an Instagram. My family is all in total agreement on not posting pics online of the little ones until they are old enough to have their own accounts and consent to have their photos posted. The only exception was the one time one of my niblings was in the newspaper.
I never understood how people could be so careless with their children’s lives. If you aren’t even moderately well known then you are just putting your kid in danger. (UnluckyDreamer1)
Your wife sounds like she’s needs to see a professional, honestly. This sudden personality change is a red flag, mental health-wise.
Also, good on you for protecting your son’s privacy. Not allowing his mother to use him for validation from internet strangers is a good thing for his future mental health. (NightWolfRose)
Others agreed with the man in principle but felt like he’d handled the situation poorly.
Soft NTA, I think your opinion was right, but you should’ve found a better way to solve this. (Death_Invisible)
ESH I understand your issue with this completely but it seemed to go from 0-100 really quick.
Your wife is probably having issues after the birth. It is very common to slip into postpartum depression. My guess is that the Instagram page with all the followers and likes gave her some form of validation while she was struggling. It seems like she may want to talk to someone about this. Her doctor can help diagnose and treat if necessary. (dys_dyes)
Esh. You need to learn to communicate. And you should have checked with her before deleting. Those could have been her only copies of some moments. Imagine burning a wedding album and the concept is clearer. But still, you need to learn to parent together, and quickly. (theatrewhore)
What do you think? Is he right to be concerned about his wife sharing images of his infant son on social media and documenting his life? Should he have approached things differently or were his actions warranted under the circumstances?