The more I get into blogging, especially “mommy” blogging, the more I see something that terrifies me. Okay, maybe terrifies isn’t the right word, but this activity makes me very uncomfortable, to say the least.
I’m talking about bloggers sharing large, detailed photographs of their children on their blogs. Does anyone else see the dangers in this? Aren’t we warned against posting our vacation schedules on social media to avoid inviting criminals to break into our houses when they know we are away? Haven’t we been told that once something is posted online, it is there forever?
As a blogger who has begun to monetize, I find my last name being associated with my blog more and more, and with that my location. Do I really need to be displaying photographs of my child in addition to that? I say No.
As I expand my work with brands and understand the need to include photographs in product reviews, I see how often the request specifies including photos of the child using the product directly. I’ve avoided signing up for many of those opportunities for just this reason, and where I have participated, I have done my best to obscure his face in the pictures I post.
The need to protect my baby is fierce; sharing photos in a public setting exposes him, and on the internet anything is possible. It is easy enough to find my last name and location if you know where to look, so the last thing I need is for someone finding detailed photographs wanting to ‘nap my kid.
You won’t see me posting photos of my baby here unless his face is mostly hidden. The same thing applies to public social media accounts – no photos of my baby have been shared on my public Twitter or Instagram. I only share photos on my private Facebook profile to share them with friends and family who live far away – that is my one exception to the social media rule.
Further, he will grow up and may want to have a social presence of his own. Will my future teenager really want to find out how public his life was as a baby? Likely not. I want to respect his privacy and need to make the safest decision on his behalf.
When he is old enough to get on social media, I plan to teach him the dangers of sharing too much and why certain things should not be shared publicly. He will learn what is alright to share and what information should be kept within the family or a smaller circle of friends. I hope I am successful in raising him to understand personal safety and privacy, but in the meantime, I need to teach by example.