Many people from grandparents on down to kids too young to legally have an account are on social media these days. Some parents are even setting up pages for their newborns even though use restrictions of sites such of Facebook require users to be at least 13 years old.
And many of those using Facebook and other sites post with little regard everything about their life. Even as employers began scrutinizing social media as part of their hiring practice, people continue to post just about every incident or thought in their head.
And without a second thought, many of us post images of our kids at the zoo, celebrating their birthday, on their first day of school or even when they are having a tantrum. But few of us take the time to think about whether we SHOULD post about our child. It is after all their life and now that picture/post is out there for everyone to see/read. And remember the Internet if forever. Those pictures aren’t going away.
I know my own son has sometimes asked about whether I am going to post a picture I just took on Facebook. (Even at 11, he has his own Facebook account which only family members can access. He got it in order to play a game on his iPad. My daughter (age 8) often asks for an account, but we have not set one up for her.)
I recently read a blog post on the NY Times about a blogger who decided that she would stop writing about her children. She admitted to sharing intimate details of their lives on her blog, in chat rooms and on Facebook. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/29/why-i-decided-to-stop-writing-about-my-children/
And while I get her point and do think parents in general need to rethink what they share about their kids’ lives on social media, I won’t be stopping posting about my kids for several reasons.
The first is I have very strict privacy settings on my social media account. Only family and friends can see my posts.
The second reason is that I am very careful about what I post both on my blog and my personal Facebook account. I don’t post pictures of my kids naked or of them in their underwear. I don’t post when they are having a bad day or when they have gotten in trouble. In fact, I would say only a third of the posts currently on my page from the past month are about the kids. And they are not doing anything out of the ordinary – riding bikes, learning archery and attending the first day of school.
As for my posts on this blog, well, I post about my kids and topics that come up based on what is happening in their lives. However, I decided in the beginning that I would never post their actual names. I have given each of them a “new” name for this blog. No friends later in life or employers are going to find this site when they are looking for information on my kids. I have even done Google searches on their real names and nothing comes up. (But searching their alias do bring up images.)
Now I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. But I do caution all parents to take the time to think before they post. Think about your child’s feelings when you post about their latest exploits and embarrassing photos. It is just your life you are affecting after all, it is also your child’s. And let those thoughts be what guide you.