Of my female Facebook friends with children, I am one of only a handful who have not substituted a picture of a child -or a family photo- for a picture of themselves.
Of my male Facebook friends with children, the trend is reversed: only a few men post a photograph of their child in place of themselves, while the majority continue to plaster the Internet with selfies.
This makes me uncomfortable- both the gender disparity and my status as an outlier,
To put it baldly, I do not want my child anywhere near my profile picture.
I am not my baby, nor do I want my baby to symbolically obviate my selfhood by taking ofter my Facebook profile. But in keeping my profile picture baby free, I'm clearly deviating from the female -if not the male- norm, and it's tough to stray from normal without questioning yourself: What is wrong with me that I don't prioritize my child / give my online life over to him/ hold him up visually as the most important thing in my life, etc.?
On the other hand, why, as a woman, should it be so abnormal NOT to have my profile overrun by progeny? No one would think twice about man who maintains a boundary between his online identity and that of of his child. Just as no one ever asks the question: "Did your husband keep his name?"
When you flout a social norm you're ultimately called upon to weigh who is dipping into the crazy. Is it the norm? Or is it you?
I haven't decided yet.