Before I get into this post, I’m just going to say up front I’m pretty in love with blogging. Not just in love: it’s what’s keeping me sane right now. This afternoon I had a play date scheduled with another real human being and real babies. Then out of nowhere came this blizzard and I had to cancel because I can’t get down the stoop or push the stroller through the snow. But then, like a light from heaven here is this blog, my communication portal.
That said, it is a strange thing, sharing information with the Internet. How much is okay to share? What are the issues? The blog has to involve my kids because that’s a major part of my life right now. So I thought I would put these questions out there and see what you all say. Here they are:
Is it wrong to share photos of the babies? And videos?
It’s sort of irresistible to share sometimes. The blog is incomplete without at least the occasional picture. So why do I get an uneasy feeling each time I post one? The worst-case scenario that comes to mind, of a stalker or pedophile finding photos of your child online and deciding to target them is not an actual danger, according to this New York Times piece. As with anything you put online, the danger is with misappropriation of the image. Pedophiles, as the Times piece points out, are also not going to use your child’s picture. More likely is something like this bizarre story of a family whose christmas photo ended up being used as an advertisement for a grocery store in the Czech Republic. Clearly at minimum I should start using watermarks.
More worrying, I think, is the fear of photos being used for cyber bullying. Some bully in the future using the babies’ images against them. But then again, these are baby photos we’re talking about. I don’t think using anyone’s adorable baby picture would be an effective bullying technique, but maybe you can convince me otherwise. I wouldn’t post naked photos, or photos of the babies in any compromising situation. D says maybe my photoshopping funny hats onto their photos, as I have done, could be compromising to the babies in future (he has a way of making me feel morally guilty). I took those photos down just in case, but in my opinion it’s harmless. At some point, though, they won’t be babies anymore, and then I think the conversation changes.
Babies can’t decide for themselves how they feel about the blog, so is it wrong to write about them on it?
I talk about my husband on this blog on occasion. Each time, I am extremely conscious of what I say and how he will feel about it. I try not to be over-revealing, speak for him, or portray him in a way he might object to. I also don’t use his full name, and I don’t put his picture. Do I do the same with my babies? Yes and no. Their pictures I mentioned. I don’t put their names, and I portray them in a positive light (how could I possibly portray babies in a negative light?). I think of this sort of like a book for them, and I envision them years later reading it. I try not to post anything I think they might object to, and to be conscious about not comparing or pigeon-holing them.
I’m not making any sweeping pronouncements or points here. I would love to know how you all decide what images or information you’ll share online about your kids (or self or family), be it in blogs, Facebook, or whatever. Thanks for reading!