My life is spent online blogging about various topics, including my 4 kids. While I have blogged and posted photos of my kids since having my first 9 years ago, last year I took pause at what I was posting.
As a digital photo hoarder, I like many moms store my photos on Flickr. I have never been active in the Flickr community, I just used this resource as a place for the grandparents who live in Oregon to see the kids and a digital archive of our photos. I have a few IRL friends who share their photos as well. I’m not a huge Facebook photo sharer, and have always felt like Flickr was my little place to post for the inner-inner circle.
Last summer, I had logged on to Flickr and noticed a few photos were getting a good deal of views. Then I saw what was being viewed and I was sick.
It was my daughter, then a 3-year-old with her butt showing as she dragged a pumpkin. It was a total innocent picture that is comical until you realize, wait, strangers are seeing this … a large amount of strangers. Then I noticed another photo, a pic of my daughter, 4 years old at the time, and wearing a bikini. A commenter had said, “She is so beautiful.” ICK.
I immediately turned those photos to private and had a coming to Jesus with what the Internet is and what the Internet is not. I posted these photos in a public forum. While they were intended for a few eyes, some sickos were obviously enjoying these as well.
The internet is full of sickos, and if I am going to post on it — I just have to accept that.
Will I stop posting photos of my kids? Nah. Will I watch what I post? Yes, well kind of. I have changed the way I think about tagging things. The tag “bikini babe” is cute, but not when talking about a toddler.
I know some take extra protections to protect your children online. I am aware of what I post and the risks that are sometimes involved. But I do know that we are in 2012. The world is online. My children will grow up not knowing life outside of the digital realm. To each parent their own, this is just how I am going to roll with my kids online.
Do You Watch What Photos You Post of Your Kids Online?
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Molly blogs parenting, geekery and technology at digitalmomblog.com.