I love my son. He is the cutest thing in the entire world and I’m dying to share every adorable thing he does on my blog and on Facebook. But something is holding me back. A couple of years ago, I was writing posts for another blog and got a comment from some total whackjob. I had written a post that included a picture of me, and this guy decided to go to town. It was mean and insulting and unfounded… and most of all scary. If crazy people could see photos I publish of me, then they can see pics I put up of Jed. All of the sudden my imagination went wild with Criminal Mind-fulness of the sickos that are out there cyberstalking children, and I did NOT want them laying their eyes on mine. I admit that I cave and post the occasional photo of Jed on Facebook (how can I resist Halloween?), but I have my privacy settings set so that only my “friends” (and hackers) can see. I also have a password protected Shutterfly account for close friends and family.
Thus far, I’ve posted one picture of Jed on my blog. It was too cute to resist. But in general, I think it’s only fair that Jed be in control of his online identity. I got to choose how I was represented online and he should have the freedom to do the same. When he’s 10, I don’t want him to see hundreds of photos of himself on the Internet only to realize he’s a very private person and would rather not have that naked picture of him in the tub with his bubble bath mohawk on display for all the world to see (no matter how terribly cute it is).
So my reasoning is two-fold: 1. Out of respect for Jed and his privacy, and 2. My whacky imagination and all of the sickos and whackos out there waiting to attack us… all because of a pic I put up of Jed that’s speaking to them in tongues or something.
I read this article a couple of months back about Baby Photos in the Age of Facebook. It’s very interesting if you want to give it a read.
What are your thoughts on children’s photos, their online identities and Facebook, etc? I know you have an opinion. Speak!