I’m always nervous about what I share on my personal Facebook page and in all my work as a professional blogger. I do occasionally post images of my daughter, but I always make sure that I give a second and third thought to the image before I post it. Those that do exist are all tame: non-controversial and very un-viral worthy. My kid has had her moments of viral worthiness with posts that she helped me with, like this, but those were done in the name of “blogging,” not a personal moment that got out of control.
A mom named Meredith (her last name has not been released to keep her identity hidden) wasn’t so lucky. She took a photo of her two kids and then posted it on her personal Facebook page for friends and family. But it wasn’t just some cutesy sweet pic of her young boys; rather, it was a photo of them dressed up as Walt and Jesse of Breaking Bad, complete with blue rock candy. “I’m a stay-at-home mom, and a huge source of joy for me is taking pictures of my kids,” she said. “The boys have never been exposed to Breaking Bad.”
Next thing you know, a photo she thought was just “funny” was everywhere, especially after Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad posted in on his Instagram account. Then the comments started to flood in. While some found the image amusing and all in fun, others began to question Meredith’s parenting and posted mean and cruel reactions. “It’s more criticism than any mom wants to have,” she said to HuffPost. “I think if it were my choice [to put it out there], I could have been prepared.”
Yes, sadly, in this digital age we all have to be prepared of the fallout from what we share. When in doubt, don’t share. When it may totally embarass your kids, don’t share. If the photo will shoot to viral fame when that is not what you want, don’t share. But it’s easier said then done. It’s so easy to share a quick photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram without giving a second thought to what will happen after we press “post.”
Slate‘s Amy Webb is so worried about her child’s online profile that she has made steps so that she doesn’t have one. “Knowing what we do about how digital content and data are being cataloged, my husband and I made an important choice before our daughter was born,” she wrote in her piece We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online. “We decided that we would never post any photos or other personally identifying information about her online.”
Not a bad idea, especially if you don’t want total strangers forming opinions of you, your kids, and your parenting methods from one image.
Do you share photos of your kids on social media, and how cautious are you about what you post?
Photo Source: istockphotos