Like most people these days, I tend to spend more time on social media sites than I probably should. Facebook especially is the one I have a hard time staying away from. I use it to chat with friends that I probably wouldn't otherwise talk to as often, and I've become a big fan of Facebook groups. Over time I've joined quite a few pet related FB groups - no surprise there I'm sure. They can be a fun place to chat with other like minded animal lovers.
The fact that I own both predator and prey species makes my FB feed quite interesting. Having dogs, I've joined a number of raw feeding groups. Having a house rabbit, I'm also a member of quite a few small animal/rabbit focused groups. It's not uncommon for me to scroll down my FB feed and see pictures of adorable pet rabbits sandwiched in between questions posted by people who are interested in feeding rabbit to their dogs.
The other week someone in a rabbit group posted an image of his deceased rabbit. A bit unorthodox, perhaps, but the rabbit was laid out on a blanket surrounded by flowers. It was obvious that the owner was quite upset over his buddy's passing. Although some people seemed to view the post as a heartfelt memorial, others argued that posting images of a pet's body is disrespectful.
I believe that post was eventually deleted but it got me thinking. When it comes to our pets, how much sharing is too much? Is there a line? Are there things about your own pet that you would feel uncomfortable sharing on social media, or that you would disapprove of if you saw a post by someone else?
Surely our pets don't care one way or the other. Not to be crass, but I'm quite sure the pictures posted of the deceased rabbit had no impact on the poor rabbit himself.
I feel like I've seen everything from one end of the spectrum to the other, with no apparent general consensus about whether or not some pet related things are inappropriate to post online. I know someone who won't post pictures of her dogs online without using Photoshop to censor their 'private' parts. But I've also seen my fair share of pictures of dog parts, deceased animals, you name it.
This issue also comes up quite often in regards to online animal activism. When you're trying to raise awareness about abused animals, etc, exactly how far can you go before you're accused of taking things too far? I guess the answer really would depend on who you ask. I'm usually all for presenting people with reality, but on the other hand I can also understand not wanting to be continuously bombarded by images of neglected and abused animals.
I don't know if there really are any answers here, other than to say that it's probably safe to assume that no matter what, someone on the internet is going to be offended. It's an interesting question to ponder nonetheless, especially these days with so many people taking to social media. As for me, I'll continue to use my best judgement when it comes to what I share. If anyone gets offended, I'm sure they know where the 'unlike' button is.