Social Media No-Show
By: Sadie Newell | Engaged to Michael Winger, Front Office for Los Angeles Clippers
As I sit here typing this, my daughter is giggling every time our dog squeaks his favorite toy. Two things immediately come to mind:
1. “oh man, this is the cutest. I have to get this on video.”
2. “I wish I could post this to my Instagram.”
The desire to raise our children “off” social media (within reason) was made quickly. Michael is not active on social media at all, and I am a self-proclaimed Instagram addict! I love to scroll and keep track of my friends (I also buy 90% of my gifts off the ads). We’ve moved so much that social media really is the glue that keeps us connected to everyone’s lives. Since knowing Michael, I’ve taken certain precautions with my accounts – being careful to not word-vomit, share political opinions, turn my privacy settings on, and overall put thought into what I’m posting and how it is perceived.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that is incredibly accessible. People can geotag where they are with a few clicks, post to a few hundred followers online and that information can never be taken back. I can post her full name, birthday and geotag her location at time of birth – and now someone can steal her identity. I can post a photo with the caption “here I am at the park with Baby M!” in real time. My fear is this: if I post publicly, someone that I don’t know sees. That person can come to the park within a few minutes and potentially do serious damage to me, my child, and my family just because I posted something seemingly innocuous. I am constantly worrying that crazy people will figure out where we live (you can look it up on the county website), learn the game schedule, know when I’m home alone or when we are out of town and break into our house. Does that seem paranoid? Yes. Even writing it feels a little nutty! Honestly though, I would never forgive myself if I put my child in danger because I posted a cute photo on social media. Is she so cute that I really do feel she could win a Gerber baby contest? ABSOLUTELY. Will I ever enter her? No.
So how do we deal with people that won’t let it go? Baby M has her own private Instagram. I approve/deny anyone that requests, and sometimes I deny people that I am friends with on other platforms but I don’t necessarily feel like they need to know about our family. I disable comments on most her photos (for my sanity) and I always ALWAYS geotag after the fact. I never post photos in real time. If I post a photo of her at the park, I’ve been home or elsewhere for hours. We have both made it incredibly clear that no one is allowed repost photos and if anyone does, we will automatically delete them from her follower list. We haven’t had this happen but it isn’t an empty threat! I also use Snapchat as a way to release most my day-to-day “look at this cuteness” because I have maybe forty followers and they are all people I’ve known and trusted forever! Being in the NBA is hard enough without having to deal with drama or the crazies. As moms and wives, we often have to wear many hats and one of our hats has to be the keeper of the family. We are often alone, whether we live apart from our significant others or no – and as a front office wife, I am often alone during the offseason. Here at the Clippers, our security team has asked us to follow the common sense rules of social media: no posting when you’re on a trip until after you come back, being careful who follows you, and making sure that you feel safe in all environments when alone or with your children. Ladies, we can never be too safe. Every time I want to post something on my personal page, I do a quick checklist of safety: will this put me in danger? Will this show any significant landmarks? Is it safe to post in real-time? If the answers are yes or even a maybe, I don’t post or I wait until later to post to her account.