Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Virtually Disconnecting

When social networking and blogging became 'the thing to do' a couple of years ago...I was a bit hesitant.  Maybe I'm just old-school that way, but I didn't want everyone in my business.  Why would I want the world to know everything I'm doing all of the time?  I was the last of my friends to join Facebook.

Even after I joined, I posted here and there....but never with any real commitment.  At least, not until Samuel was born.  Then, I felt like I needed to post everything and accept everyone as friends.  "I don't care WHO you are, as long as you pray for my son."

As you know, this blog has also been handy in regards to Samuel.  At first, it was the best way to keep everyone updated on what was happening while he was in the NICU.  When we came home, it became my outlet - sharing the joy I've found in him, the hurts that incurred with his early birth, and the healing I have found over time.  It certainly hasn't been like most family blogs - where the author paints a pretty picture of their family with their words and photos.  Although, I do hope I have conveyed how beautiful our life is and how thankful we are for it.

After a discussion with a friend about the dangers of posting a child's picture all over the Internet, I've considered restricting this blog to family and friends only.  I've also thought about deleting all of Samuel's pictures from FB.....but there isn't much else worth sharing if I don't share him.  Perhaps I will delete my account and leave FB altogether.

It's been on my mind a lot recently.  As my friend so graciously put, "You have protected him from everything else, why not protect him from this too?"  Of course, I feel like she has a valid point.  But a big part of me knows that we have shared this journey with others for a reason.

When Samuel was first born, I searched the web for stories of 24 weekers.  The only blog I could find was the story of Holland and Eden.  Their blog is read by hundreds - it's the go-to for 24 weekers.  I read all six years of their lives in nearly one sitting.  I loved that their mother was honest and open with her readers.  For the first time, I thought, "I'm not alone!  Someone else has gone through similar things and lived to tell about it!"

Occasionally, that will happen with THIS blog.  I'll receive an email, a comment, or a message from another mother who has had a micropreemie and they will invariably say, "I'm so glad I'm not the only one..."  Ironically, I received just such an email this week.

I also hope that this blog is a source of pride for those who have followed Samuel's journey and have invested many prayers.  If God has given us this miracle, wouldn't it be silly for me to say, "Ok God, You saved Samuel from countless near death experiences...but I don't want to share his story because I don't trust You to protect him from the people I share him with?"

All that to say, I'm leaning toward continuing the blog as-is.  But I'd love your opinion.  What are your thoughts about children's pictures and names on social media?


  1. I hope you keep it going. You have been such an encouragement to me, and I really don't remember how we got connected! And the sad truth is, people can find out all about you - where you live, etc., even without Facebook and blogs. As my blog has grown, I have set guidelines to what I will write about. Obviously, I never say when I am home alone when my husband is away on business... those sorts of things.

  2. hi, well I'm not even a mother but I read your blog every time you post and it's a learning experience for me. On one occasion I think I did warn you about the pics, that what seems to so innocent to any normal person, it might come to wrong hands (as to the pics of your beautiful boy where his bum can be seen), I wanted to protect him even though I've never met him.

  3. Hello, I would suggest 'watermarking' your pics of Samuel so they can not be stolen. Also maybe disable 'right clicking' on your pics so they can't be saved to someone's computer.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate different perspectives...especially on such a sensitive topic as children.
    However, I must say that I'm not so concerned about the pictures themselves being abused (cute naked bum or not.) I suppose I didn't make that very clear. I'm really just concerned about the possibility of a stranger knowing not only what Samuel looks like, but his name, and quite a lot about his family. I'm sure you can imagine ways they could use that information to their advantage. Thankfully, we have a few years before Samuel goes anywhere without me...but I thought my friend made a good point about protecting him from that possibility.

  5. Hi Sarah, I'm not sure I can give any useful pointers. All I can say is I have enjoyed seeing Samuel grow as he has...his triumphs and his not so triumphant moments. I like coming to find more specifically how I can pray for him. Whatever decision you make is one you feel is best for your family. (ps...I truly believe he should have been the one to win the Gerber contest!)

  6. Hi Sarah. When I came home with Christiaan after 107 days in the NICU, your video on Samuel’s first year as well as your blog was a great encouragement to me. Although my family and friends did a wonderful job supporting me, I always felt that they didn't really understood the emotions that I experienced. They often saw my worries as pessimism. When I started reading your blog I was amazed by the fact that my emotions were not as unique as I first thought. I felt traumatised, abnormal and I couldn’t understand why God let something like this happen to me. (I had a perfect pregnancy 2 years ago with my daughter, Karla.) I felt a little destroyed and for a while really depressed. As a Christian I knew that God was still in control, but I felt so unsatisfied with what He planned for me. Your 28 June post (Trust) helped me to get perspective in this regard. In short: I needed a blog like yours and now I enjoy following Samuel’s progress. I really hope that you will continue with the blog.
    And maybe I am naïve or uninformed, but what can people really do with the information that you share?

  7. You have to continue with the blog. Think of how many people it helps. I felt the same when I had the twins; I could hardly find any positive stories of 24 weekers. I feel like I want to put our positive story out there (just like yours) to tell parents who are going through what we went through that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's beautiful and bright and worth waiting for.

  8. I would recommend Gavin De Becker's "Protecting the Gift" for info on keeping your child safe. Best wishes to you, whatever you decide about the blog.