RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
New parents have always loved to snap photos of their babies and share them with anyone in sight. Thanks to social media they can now share them with practically everybody - and instantly. New research looks at the maternal motivations to share baby pictures in the digital age. NPR's Elise Hu reports.
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ELISE HU, BYLINE: Two year old toddler, Jackson, and his mom Nicole, Jedinak, hang out at the Prospect Park playgrounds so often that it feels like this is his backyard.
His bouncing around on this balmy Brooklyn day makes for many picture perfect moments and mom Nicole knows when to snap them and share them.
NICOLE: I can share with my friends and family a picture of Jack, you know, when he walked for the first time at the park. Or when he kicked a ball for the first time at the park.
HU: She started an Instagram feed featuring photos of Jack when he was born. She hasn't stopped posting since.
NICOLE: Because we're living in a different era where families are not necessarily living in the same neighborhood, on the same block, seeing their grandparents every Sunday I think it's a really great way for his grandparents and aunts and uncles and everybody in the family to kind of keep up with what's going on.
HU: Jackson is part of the first generation with digital evidence of their entire lives shared on social media. It starts as early as a sonogram image.
PRIYA KUMAR: Those children have a digital footprint before they were even born.
HU: Priya Kumar at the University of Michigan wanted to know more about the motivations of moms who post photos of their babies online.
KUMAR: Facebook pictures can give us a really unique lens on not only the transition to motherhood but also that mother-child relationship.
HU: In interviews with dozens of moms, Kumar found that they share to connect, as Nicole Jedinak does, and because they see photo sharing as a social norm. The study further found moms consider four main ideas when it comes to posting baby photos: content - what the photo shows. Audience - who would want see it. Recency - how recently did I share another picture? And convenience - how easy is it for me to share right now?
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