Welcome to ask a child-free person, the blog where I, a child-free person who studies motherhood for a living, negotiate common conflicts that arise between the parented and the child-free.

Legal guardian parents are the official deciders for their children in our society. As such, parenting is an incredibly stressful pursuit. You have to make a million little decisions every day that could shape your child’s life FOREVER. For example, what should their name be? Should you circumcise them? To which school should you send them? Should you home school them? When they get older, what should their curfew be?

As a parent, you will make probably at least a few decisions every day that your child can never reverse. But since people under 18 aren’t viewed as fully capable citizens who can look after themselves, that’s all part of the parenting package. In many cases, children don’t have the burden of deciding – you do.

This brings me to the question of the hour: Is it okay to post pictures of one’s child on social media? My answer? Yes, much of the time, but like with all parenting choices, use your judgment.

Many people today freak out over the permanence of the Internet. If something gets cached, whether or not you delete it, people will be able to see if FOREVER. And yeah, that’s true, but remember my above list? Parents do a TON of stuff that could affect their children forever. Basically, unless parents are proven unfit, they are allowed to decide the best interests of their children. And while I WISH they would stop deciding it is in their best interests not to be vaccinated, I totally get how it’s often in a child’s best interest to have a picture of them dressed as Captain American for Halloween posted to Instagram.

You see, small children are too young to manage their own relationships. They don’t necessarily know that familiarity breeds closeness, but adults do. If it’s easier to stay close to Grandma or Uncle Jesse by posting a picture of your baby snuggling with your dog while wearing a onesie covered in tomato sauce, then post it. If you think there’s a benefit to sharing your baby’s pictures in terms of staying close with family and community members who care about them, then I think it’s a swell idea!

Of course, there are some who worry these pictures may come back to haunt children later on in life. In light of this, I do recommend privacy settings, but we all know there can be ways around those for very determined people. Because of this, all I can say is use your judgment. A cute picture of a kid running through an apple orchard is just adorable and probably won’t ruin their life if their friends discover it. Of course, if you pull a Kate Gosselin and photograph a picture of your child sitting beside their first successful bowel movement in a potty, that could become a lightening rod for bullying later in life. So, like with every other aspect of parenting, you should use your judgment. But if you’ve raised your kid for any length of time at all, you probably know that without my having to tell you.

Now, moving on to the less trivial issue of whether or not your social media connections will find the constant stream of baby posts annoying! Yes, some people don’t like pictures of kids in general. I happen to love posts of babies in buckets, but some people don’t. However, remember that your friends can always hide you or mute you or whatever the term is on your social media platform of choice. No one you know HAS to stare at pictures of your toddler feeding ducks if they find them annoying any more than you have to look at the 140,000 selfies a random high school friend posts a week. Don’t be shamed by people who think your baby is boring, because hell, what’s boring to some is scintillating to others. It’s all subjective. Some people are bored of babies, but at the same time, other people are bored of my constant tweeting about premium cable shows.

In the end, social media is literally designed to be all about what you want to share, and yes, while you’re the one legally responsible for your child, this can include documenting their life as you think is appropriate.

Sarah Sahagian is a PhD candidate in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York U, where her academic specialty is motherhood. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington PostxoJane, &  The Beaverton. When she’s not writing her dissertation, Sarah reads a lot of novels about other angsty young women, streams a lot of Netflix, and tweets about topics ranging from reproductive rights to who’s going to win The Bachelor.