Cameras in the delivery room have caused some controversy in recent weeks. First, Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, MD banned the use of cameras in the delivery room until five minutes after a baby is born. The move is intended to protect privacy and prevent unnecessary distractions, although it’s hard to believe that potential liability isn’t a factor in their decision as well.
Also in the news this week is an apology from Facebook over the suspension of the account of a photographer specializing in birth photography.
With the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and their ability to take photos and share them online instantly, we’ll continue to see these conflicts emerge. The social norms for what is or isn’t acceptable to share with the world are in a state of change at the moment.
These baby photo issues are one manifestation of those shifts, but they’re not the only ones. Over the past year, I’ve learned of two very serious family illnesses through Facebook. In both cases it wasn’t the boomer-generation patients sharing this information but their children. The generation that’s now grown up with this level of transparency has a different perspective than the preceding generations about how these tools can and should be used and hence, conflicts.
In the end, I suspect that we’ll end up somewhere in the middle with an approach that’s more prudent for some and a more open for others; however, getting there will take some time. I saw this action earlier in the week when I received a call from my brother to share some exciting news about the next addition to the Dillon family (It’s a girl!). My sister-in-law added “I’m so glad that we got a hold of you. I’ve been dying to post this to Facebook all day!”
I wonder how long it will take them to get photos of my new niece posted when the time comes.
My guess is about five minutes.