OPINION

Why I won't post about my kids on social media

Kids don't appreciate your tweets

I read the following on the NYTimes today, and it ring true to my own concerns about how we expose our children’s digital history to the end of time, without considering the harm we may be doing..

Don’t Post About Me on Social Media, Children Say - NYTimes.com

My comments follow

About three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents shared on social media

So for every parent who shies away from sharing their kids lives online, there are 3 kids who want their parents to be more circumspect

“I worry more about my dad. He doesn’t always ask if he can post things, so I immediately turn away and ask if he’s going to post it”

I don’t want my kids “turning away” when I take photos for fear of future exposure. I’d rather my kids shares their honest selves in the safety and privacy of our home.

Those early posts from parents linger, not just online, but in our children’s memories — and the topics may be things we don’t see as potentially embarrassing. The son of a friend (who asked that I not use her name) still brings up things she wrote about his picky eating when he was younger — years ago, she says.

I know adults who remain ashamed of how their parents embarrassed them as teens, decades later. And that was before the embarrassment included a permanent digital record.

Parents can consider, too, the searchability and reach of the format (although those are always evolving). A frustrated tweet about a child who won’t eat her cereal because it’s not in a red bowl is a lot less likely to resurface than a YouTube video of the resulting tantrum

Interesting how “searchability” is a negative in this context.

..we have a whole house rule: no sharing images of anyone else without their consent, ever. That trust means I get my candid shots, and he keeps his digital identity, whatever he eventually wants it to be, intact.

I like this house rule (we do this already, since we avoid social media on principle) and will think about adopting it for my family as the kids grow up.


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