Should We Stop Shooting Our Children?

Vanity is my favorite sin. – Devil’s Advocate

Have you ever heard of KGOY or Kids Grow Older Younger? And do you know one of its causes? According to what the NYTimes.com article Why We Should Take Fewer Pictures of Our Children implies, the digital camera is to blame and I can’t help but agree. Shooting photos of kids has escalated from what was once just a fad to a regular sight. We see this almost every day, everywhere, any time: kids striking a pose in front of the camera whether in front of their parents or done on their own. It would have been fine if these are innocent poses but there are already those we see masquerading, unknowingly I hope, sensual or offensive gestures obviously influenced by what they see on TV or in print materials such as the glossy magazines.

Thanks (but not thanks) to the availability and affordability of gadgets, this addiction of kids to the camera in any form, whether through a mobile phone, a point-and-shoot, or an entry-level DSLR, became very irresistible. Plus the lure of social media, such as facebook and Twitter, or photo-sharing applications such Instagram and Flickr have made taking and posting pictures online a must-do activity for both parents and kids.

So is this frequent photoshoot of your kids destructive in the long run? Well, in my opinion, it depends – though for sure it’s annoying to some of your facebook friends if you keep on flooding their timeline especially with not so attractive pictures. For some, it’s one way of relieving the longing of their love ones who are away from them – like lolos and lolas. And for others, it could be another medium of boosting their child’s confidence. But whatever the reasons are, I acknowledge that it is about time we realize that we need to do everything in moderation including exposure of our kids to the camera. Let us make them live the moments without any worries if they appear good in the pictures of not. Let them be just kids, not little wannabee models.

***

Our own kid is actually among these little models. I still remember the night when we passed by Roxas Boulevard in Manila and we noticed Marcus, who was just barely 2-year old then, staying still and smiling at every headlight, and even lamp posts, outside our taxi cab. We soon realized that it must be because he thinks these bright lights are camera flashes that he has gotten used to seeing as we have been pointing a camera at him since he was still a small baby. His fascination with these flashes continued until about a few months after that but nowadays it has stopped. He has, however, transitioned to doing the check-chin pose and some other weird facial expressions. Ti abi.

***

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Going to a car dealer to have our car’s headlight checked.)

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