Our Kids Online

What do We Post?

When we see our kids’ pictures – so easy to take nowadays – and they’re soooo cute, we want to share them, we post them on social media. We want to share how cute and lovely our child is. We do it, our friends do it… it is a common practice.

Parents not only post cute pics, we also post funny ones – many times in the bad days for our child. It might seem cute and funny, but beware: we are creating a public story for our children which they will be able to see in their future lives, not only them but their friends and enemies. They will always be associated with their online story – the one we are creating.

We have seen desperate moms posting videos of their child’s meltdowns, asking for help. Many times they do get help, they can even get full support and sometimes money when the video goes viral – yet their child will always be associated to that video. The success of the video paves the way for other parents to do the same as if it is the only way to get support.

What about our children’s rights for privacy? I am certain they would not like that association – even if their mom got the funds and support to combat the issue being posted, like bullying.

Please don’t give in to your impulses of sharing videos and stories of your kids with the rest of the world. There are other ways to get support and combat issues like bullying, ways that do not compromise our children’s privacy. Perhaps try Sleep’n Sync Bullying program.

Think forward 10 – 15 years from now, when today’s toddlers realise that their whole lives have been  documented and posted online. Did they ever consent? What will their reactions be? Imagine your own mom took pictures, videos and wrote about every moment of your life,  sharing it publicly – would you feel comfortable? How would you react to this knowledge?

Today there are teens whose parents using their phone cameras documented and shared their children’s images and videos on platforms like Facebook live and Instagram. They have had complicated emotional reactions when they realise their whole lives are public and they were posted and shared without their consent- as reported in The Atlantic last year by Taylor Lorenz.

It is complex for all children, now think about children with special needs, The problem is even tougher. Just think about it. Even adults with special needs encounter their pictures taken and published without their consent in an effort that objectifies the person with the disability – becoming the disability itself – making the viewer feel good, or attempting to get support for that specific disability, in the best cases – yet it has nothing to do with the wishes of the person portrayed in the photograph.

Technology and everyday lifestyle provides the tools for today’s parents to document and share every moment of our children’s lives, and deliver it out to this unscrupulous world. Just remember our kids are growing up, and they will encounter all that has been shared of their lives by their parents and friends. They will not like to see their worst times have been documented and are public for everyone to see. I am certain you want them to be happy about what has been shared – so think about this each time you post a photo or video of your child.