Why I Won’t Stop Sharing Happy Pictures

Sarah Reinhart
This is me with my gang. We are mostly happy in this picture. Even though it was a hot day as we walked along the waterfront, and we ran out of snacks, and I maybe snapped at my husband for drinking the last of the water we’d brought with us waaaaay before we made it back to the car – we are mostly happy here. It’s a happy time. I post a few pictures like this one every day on Instagram and Facebook. I am one of those. One of those moms with a penchant for digital documentation. I am a constant chronicler. My family’s curator of all our good, and happy times.

But every so often I’ll see an article come through my newsfeed that dismisses my happy picture-taking-posting-to-social media-hobby. Or worse, one that condemns the happy sharing. It’s bad for my kids. It’s annoying. It’s a way to get blocked, hidden, un-friended, un-followed. It’s wrong in general.

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[Insert aaaalll the big-eyed emojis and shoulder-shrugging GIFs here]

Because after feeling a twinge of WHOOPS, I wonder: Am I portraying us as TOO HAPPY?

And then, Nah. This is who we are.

I remind myself of the reasons why I love to share – and will continue to share – my family’s happy pictures on the internet.
1. Social media can be used for good. Wait, what? Social media isn’t just a place for narcissists? Self-promotion? Advertising? Venting? Political hubbub? Negativity?

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No, no it’s not. At the root of social media is connection. I know, I know–digital connection. But digital connection IS REAL. It has real energy. It can propel real movement. Let’s use it to raise each other up, support each other. Sharing the happiness is sharing love.

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 2. Pictures tell stories and stories are powerful. No further expounding necessary because a picture is worth a thousand…

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3. Living smaller isn’t the answer. You don’t have to shrink to make others feel bigger or better about themselves. Can I quote Marianne Williamson here? I think I will. “…As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Feel good. Feel good. Feel good. Go ahead and post an after baby’s bath cute photo or that sweet family bathroom selfie because those moments made you feel so good.

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4. $h*t happens and sometimes life more than sucks. We all know this. We ALL know this. Let me provide a quick example. The week before last my son brought home head lice from a friend who graciously passed it on through a baseball helmet. My other children got lice.  I had a house and family to de-bug. That meant our washing machine was running constantly. Consequently the sump pump broke. Our basement laundry room flooded. Among other things, our internet modem fell onto the wet floor. Let’s look at this break down: itchy, infested children. Flooded basement. No washing machine. Broken modem. No internet. Nooooooo. Just no.

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I could go on and on with these kinds of examples; I have five children! For every happy picture I share I assume people know there could be 10, 20, 50 images of our unhappy times too. (And sometimes I post about those times as well.) I am honest about the good and the otherwise.

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But overwhelmingly there is good. Lice or no lice, there is good. There is happiness. I look for it every day. And the more I look for it, the more I find it.

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It was Maya Angelou who said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And that’s really the bottom line. When I share happy images on social media my intention is that other people will see them and feel happy, too.

Related post: I’m A Pinterest Mom And Proud Of It

About the writer

Five years ago Sarah Reinhart, put down the keys to her middle school classroom and picked up a camera instead. Now a mama of five (!), part time writer and photographer in Louisville, Kentucky she blogs at sarah-reinhart.com to share the occasional photography tip, her family's stories, and all the joy in the every day. Catch her on Facebook and Instagram/Twitter: @shreinhart

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Amanda Reynolds 9 months ago

Thank you for this post. It was so uplifting to read. I am THAT person too. I post a bunch of happy pics of us too. Keep them comin!!

Dave Greenbaum 1 year ago

Who doesn’t like pictures of Redhawks. Way to represent!

Amara Rojas-Schupp 1 year ago

Yup….

Karen 1 year ago

Share on sister! I love to see the happy. I love to see the scribbled on couch, or the bag of flour that Johnny and Susie just through all over the living room. Life happens in the happy and not so happy moments we share with our families. Why not show everyone that we’re not alone in our experiences?

Daria Dustin Mirra 1 year ago

Amen! Love this!

LeighAnn Dodson 1 year ago

One one of my favorite articles!

Melissa 1 year ago

Let the positive vibes flow! Let’s see what the world can produce…THANK YOU.

Mono 1 year ago

Yes!!!! This was great. Thank you!! If someone else’s happy picture makes you angry maybe you should log off facebook and start doing something that makes you happier inside. DUH there are crappy times in between, some comical some not but why am I not keeping it real if I chose to mostly post the happy ones. I don’t get it-do you want a picture of me fighting with my husband because he still can’t find the effing scissors?!? No!! Great article!!

Nelsie Alcoser 1 year ago

We should rejoice and share in the good times! Let the good times roll!

Stephanie Scholtz 1 year ago

Yes! Great post, completely agree! If you don’t like the way I use social media then unfriend me, of course I’m only going to post happy memories on my Facebook, why would I air my problems online?! My profile is for ME not for anyone else, it’s a bonus my family and friends share these moments but it’s like a diary for me, I love to go back through my pictures and statuses because it makes me happy and be thankful for what I have!

Muriel Forrest Thrower 1 year ago

I liked this read.

Sophie 1 year ago

So you don’t think you’re a narcissist that is self promoting? Good for you that you’re happy- no one wants you not to be. Anyone who is your “friend” probably wants to see your happy pics. But NO one (ok maybe your mom but no one else) wants to see them every day. And they do make people who do not have perfect lives feel bad. That isn’t your fault but understand. If one of your beautiful Children was critically ill and your family’s days were spent at the hospital, would you post pics of that? Would you be jealous of the happy perfect people? Just think before you slam your critics. You are self promoting and putting it in other peoples faces- you don’t have to be ashamed just be realistic :)

Aimee Bermingham Miller 1 year ago

I love to post happy pictures, but I also post all the silly mess ups we have too. Or the comical drama that occurs. Real life.

Maren Berven 1 year ago

YES. Love it.

Melanie Ann Perez 1 year ago

Totally agree too much negativity!! My three kids are my life & drive me completely insane but I will share all of our happy moments whenever I feel like it because, we are just that…happy!

Fran MacCallum 1 year ago

Great article…we all need more happiness in our lives!

Megan Crick Posey 1 year ago

People are too grumpy anyway so they will pick about something all the time. I say share away!! I do!

Meli Slaucitajs 1 year ago

Never dim your light to make others feel better. Shine on. Love it

Natalia Kapsalis 1 year ago

Plus, am to supposed to whip out my camera at a funeral and then post the pictures? Take a selfie while arguing with my husband? Ridiculous! My Facebook page is a virtual photo album. I look back at these pictures all the time and marvel at how much they have grown and how much we have done.

Shaina Bolin 1 year ago

Share those happy pictures! On bad days, I need to remember that it’s not all bad!

Dianne LaRoche Johnson 1 year ago

I love happy posts! I enjoy seeing family pictures, too. When I spend time on FB, I want to smile.

Beth Carney Burbank 1 year ago

Happy to admit I’m exactly like this. I have had my own sister tell me to stop posting so many pix. I told her oh well defriend me. What’s ironic is that she lives 6 hours away and sees us maybe once a year. Anyways I love seeing my friends pix. Hell I even like looking at pix of friends friends that I don’t know. Lol

Valerie Moxley 1 year ago

Yes!!! Love this!!

Karri c 1 year ago

Yay! Thank you! People always make me feel like an a*hole for posting daily pictures of our life and happy pictures. Social media is our way of sharing our family’s experiences with friends and family who live far away. I want to see happy people. I love to see families happy and loving each other! What’s wrong with happy?

Kim Marsh 1 year ago

My wall is 99% pictures of my son and 1% funny cat pictures. Don’t like it then anyone’s free to unfriend themselves (chances are I didn’t like you anyway

Victoria Ronald 1 year ago

I am this mum too

Verónica Díaz 1 year ago

Hell yes!

Sylvia Sinsay 1 year ago

Great post!

Keri Taylor 1 year ago

It feels really good to go through your old posts and be reminded how much fun you had with your kids

Kristy Dixon 1 year ago

Yes yes yes!!!!!!

Denise Susan Nicholls 1 year ago

I post pictures of.my.4 kids…lots of pictures….and quite probably an annoying amount.of pictures…happy ones, nit so happy,funny,everyday ordinary life pictures (you.might not find a pic of my kids shelling peas special…to me its special for.personal reasons, its a link between my happy chikdhood and theirs…no one is particularly smiley looking but the moment was special) my photos are set to private.if you dont like my photos and im a nuisance please, go ahead and block me or delete me or just simply dont look at them!..im hugely.proud of.my.kids…two are special ed.ucational needs and life.is.often VERY DIFFICULT and I share those.moments in words and statuses..i tend to use fb as a diary…im.not.going to tell you I had a row with my husband or I desperately want.this.or.that or.i can’t afford this and.it makes me.sad …but I will share photos of.my special, beautiful babies..my fb.my rules. If you dont.lime.im afraid.i really dont.care. (great article btw)

Lindsay Davies 1 year ago

I love this, I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for assuaging my guilt for posting happy pictures

Melinda Hicks 1 year ago

This whole thing about sharing only happy pictures is fake ticks me off. I am not going to take pictures of my kids on bad days because, lemme see, I DON’T WANT PICTURES TAKEN OF ME ON MY BAD DAYS. I mean, heaven forbid we treat our kids as we’d like to be treated. Beyond that, I don’t believe that airing my dirty laundry for the world is healthy, appropriate, or appreciated. You know what I call people who air their dirty laundry on social media? Attention w****e’s, and I block them.

Joan Wedege Lundkvist 1 year ago

I couldn’t agree more

Viviana Capella 1 year ago

Im one of those and proud!!

Kumi Obayashi-Ward 1 year ago

Love this!!!

Jennifer 1 year ago

I wish more people posted photos. Real photos. Not selfies in their bathroom. The best part of Facebook is seeing what is going on in other people’s lives. I’m a happy-photo-poster too. I hope other people enjoy seeing my happy photos as much as I enjoy seeing theirs.

Sharon Garland Carlson 1 year ago

Love AND appreciate this. From….another happy, positive, encouraging, family loving, haters stay away, proud picture posting mom!

Stephanie Lewis 1 year ago

All those pictures made me happy and smile. Why would anyone want to stop that reaction for others??

Chante McGinnis 1 year ago

I love this article!

Sherri Keates 1 year ago

Thank you! I needed that!

Susan Pittman 1 year ago

Please don’t EVER allow yourself to be shamed or guilted into not sharing your happy times. That is what LIFE IS ABOUT. How is it that people don’t get that? Has evil and bitterness really infected society that badly? Those of us who live far from loved ones rely on social media as a free and convenient forum by which to keep people involved. That’s just the reality of the age we live in, and I’m glad we have it.

Angela Brown Loyola 1 year ago

I agree with this! ☺

Jessica Sconyers 1 year ago

Yes yes yes!

Beth Rose 1 year ago

I am one of those moms. I would much rather see happy pictures of families then posts whining about petty things, which seams to be popular right now.

Olivia Martinez 1 year ago

I’ll admit to this lol Sometimes I feel guilty but if they don’t like it they can easily delete me lol

Megan Hammack 1 year ago

I freaking love this! I get flicked crap all the time for being to happy, posting too many pics of my smiling kids or happy moments, or blessings if you don’t like it unfriend me…..at least I’m not negative or full of drama!

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