Kristófer Reykjalín

How do you share photos with your family?

Published on January 20, 2021.

For the last several years I’ve been living far, far away from my family, and — as is to be expected — they want updates! Photos and such. Moments. I’ve never really been any good at sharing those, but I would at least posted something occasionally while I had Facebook and Instagram accounts. Now that I’ve deleted those accounts I’m not sure how to go about sharing moments from my life with them.

Another aspect to this is that I don’t receive any updates from them. If my wife didn’t have Instagram and Facebook I’d have no idea what was going on, except for news arriving through my parents.

I could, of course, do something like sending out a newsletter every month, adding photos to some shared cloud service, or set up a different blog that’s only intended for family. But that’s mostly one-way communication. There’s no sense of sharing things with your family. They might as well be random people on the internet.

I’m not a big fan of those solutions. I just want to share some photos and videos with a short caption. Maybe a quick status update every now and then. Does that really have to be this hard?

I guess I could create profiles on either Facebook or Instagram (ew 🤮). “Traditional” social media would certainly make this easier, but I don’t want to use social media to share personal moments in my life. I just want to share things with my friends and family.

There are things like Pixelfed that aim to replace services like Instagram with a more privacy friendly alternative. I even set up an instance to try it out, and that’s been going pretty well, even though the user experience is clunky right now.

My problem, however, with Pixelfed is that it’s trying to be Instagram. Part of the mission statement there is discovery; other people can view all your public posts. It’s an open platform where anyone can follow anyone. You don’t even need an account to see posts.

I want something private, something personal; just for my friends and family. I don’t care about the thoughts of the world. Quite frankly I don’t even want to share these moments with the rest of the world. Why would I?

Another side to this is that I don’t care about likes or notifications or boosts or retweets or favorites or “hey, you might know this person!”. Comments and discussion can be fun, but I could do without all that other fluff.

I just want to share some photos and videos with the people closest to me, and maybe have a quick chat with them about those moments. But there’s just no good way to do that.

Maybe something will come along soon. I wouldn’t bet on it, but who knows?

How do you, dear reader, approach this? How do you let your family know what’s up with you?