Your Kids' Internet Identity: Bloggers Respond To The Latest Controversy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“My kids are screwed” was my first thought as I read the recent Slate article by Amy Webb in which she argues against posting any pictures of your kids online. She claims that doing so basically “robs” children of a digital adulthood free of bias. So cyber-cautious are she and her husband that before choosing their daughter’s name, they did a thorough online search and made sure there was no negative content associated with her name.

I post pictures of the kids on the  blogs I write and on Facebook. Not every day, but often enough. Sometimes, it’s because I want to share their cuteness, awesomeness or both. More often, it’s because I’m raising awareness about kids with special needs; my son, Max, has cerebral palsy. Early on I made the decision to show photos of him, with my husband’s agreement, because I wanted to give a full picture of Max and help people see the ability in disability—one particular reason her argument seemed narrow. My son’s Internet identity is fueled by social good.

Still, at times I grapple with doubt about the going-public decision I’ve essentially made for my kids, so Webb’s article touched a nerve—as it did for many parents who share images of their kids in social media. Fellow Babble blogger Thomas Beller calls Webb’s argument “sad” and “perverse.” Here, reactions and in-your-face photos from other parents.

  • Be smart, not scared 1 of 8

    Parents are right to assume that if you want complete privacy, you shouldn't post anything online. However, I will continue (cautiously) sharing my family's memories. I haven't ever posted anything embarrassing to my kids, so that won't change. Think well before posting, but at least for me, it's a joy to be able to have my friends and family from afar see how my kids grow up.—Jeanette Kaplun, Mamifesto and Hispana Global

  • Safety is an illusion 2 of 8

    Yes, there are risks posting my children's faces to the Internet. But I also take risks letting them go to school, play at the playground, cross the street and get vaccinations. I cannot put my children in a bubble. I can only help them live as safely as possible in an unsafe world. Life is a risk."—Janice Croze, Babble contributor & 5 Minutes for Mom

  • There’s always this approach…. 3 of 8

    Another option is to simply cover your kids' heads with paper bags. P.S. Don't forget to cut out a nose hole! Breathing is awesome!—Johi Kokjohn-Wagner, Babble conributor & Confessions of a Cornfed Girl

  • You can’t stop the data tsunami 4 of 8

    Fighting the tide of our lives turning into bits of data is a wasted effort. While of course you should be circumspect in sharing photos of your kids, I think hiding them from the Internet is severe. In other words, we're a pro-data-mining family.—Cecily Kellogg, Babble contributor & Uppercase Woman 

  • Get real! 5 of 8

    "I guarantee that by age 11, the writer's daughter will have gained access to a computer and set up social media account using the nickname she got at soccer camp and will have a digital profile to rival Justin Bieber's in a matter of months."—Rebeka Kuschmider, Babble contributor Stay At Home Pundit


  • @thisisridiculous 6 of 8

    So now we're naming our kids based on which URLs and Twitter handles are available? Please, meet my son, @Tharleon1799. Or don't, because I AM NEVER GOING TO TALK ABOUT HIM. Now I'm grumpy.—Casey Mullins, Shutter LovelyMoosh in Indy

  • Show kids the way 7 of 8

    This no-photo etc. policy is a bit short-sighted, and sweeping the bigger issues under the rug. It's inevitable! Responsible use of social media is something we all need to learn, then teach that to our kids. Or go live underground— if that's your thing!—Ciaran Blumenfeld, Casa de Chaos & Momfluential

  • Get real, part 2 8 of 8

    Does the writer also send her daughter to school in a mask to avoid recognition?—Rich Hailey, A Complementary Angle

Article Posted 2 years Ago
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