When I gave birth to Savannah I wasn’t on Facebook having deleted it a couple of years before. This meant that during my pregnancy there were no big reveals or bump updates and no big announcement when she entered the world either.
I have never had an issue with people posting such announcements but had no interest in doing it myself.
Once I had Savannah my protective instincts kicked in big time. I didn’t want ANY photos of her going online. Anywhere. Especially as I wasn’t able to see what photos were being posted. Her dad agreed with this approach and was happy to also keep photos of her offline too.
A few days after her birth though, his mum contacted him and asked if he would post a photo of Savannah on Facebook and announce her birth. She explained that a couple of people had messaged her asking if everything was OK or, more accurately, ‘Was something wrong with the baby’ as nothing had been shared online.
I was quite shocked by this at the time. Why couldn’t it just be that we preferred to keep our daughters life private? Or that we were more focused on enjoying being new parents rather than sharing it all online?
Obviously, as time has gone by my feelings on this have eased and I do share images of Savannah online, even more so in recent months than ever before. However lately I have found myself backtracking once more and questioning whether or not to stop again.
She now (at the grand old age of 6) has approval of what photos I post of her online. I have done this since she got embarrassed by me sending a funny photo of her to my friends on WhatsApp. It didn’t occur to me – ignorantly of course – that it would bother her. To me she still seems so young. But it did bother her and ever since then I have made sure I ask her permission before I publish anything anywhere.
It got me thinking though; is simply asking her approval enough? Even though she is now giving me permission she still doesn’t really know what social media is. It reminded me of an article I once read about a teenager who googled his name and was shocked by how many images of him came up from his parents social media accounts.
I believe a lot of people who share images of their kids, especially as babies, don’t consider how their children will feel about those pics being online when they’re are teenagers. Why would you? It seems a million years away when they’re just a babe in arms. But who are we to know what they may or may not want put on the worldwide web for all to see?
Overall, I think it will just be the norm. Most teenagers now, and in years to come, will have parents on social media who have shared photos of them online and it won’t be significant. However, think how you feel when a friend or loved one posts embarrassing photos of you online and you look at it differently.
It has got me thinking these last few weeks and second guessing what I post. Especially on my blog. I am conscious about Savannah googling me when she is older and being embarrassed by past content I have published. Or even worse, being picked on for it when she is at high school.
After doing a bit of research on this topic, it turns out bullying and embarrassment are just a couple of the top reasons you should consider what you’re posting before hitting ‘publish’. Have you ever heard of digital kidnapping? I hadn’t.
I spoke to other parents about this and most said the same thing as me. That they are careful what they post and for those who had kids the same age as Savannah or older they would always ask permission before sharing anything online.
However after reading up on this it seems there is a lot more to consider than just asking your childs permission. We need to be clued up on keeping them safe and what the risks are.
What do you think?