Deciding How Much (and What) to Share about My Children Online

9.26.2016

Note: The following is my personal opinion regarding what I feel most comfortable with as it concerns sharing about my own children online. I realize everyone has different thoughts about this topic and many of those will differ from mine!

I came across an interesting article in USA Today recently about an 18-year-old in Australia who was suing her parents for posting baby pictures of her on Facebook without her consent. 

Now, obviously suing your own parents because they posted a few photos of you online is too ridiculous to even talk about (seriously, what is wrong with people?), but what I do want to talk about is that the article made an interesting point about what and how much we should or need to be sharing about our kids on social media. 

The article states that according to a UK-based site about parenting in the digital age, “The average parent shares almost 1,500 photos—mostly on Facebook—of a child before they turn five years old.” Regardless of whether or not that number is completely accurate, the point is the same: collectively as a society, we share a lot of photos of our kids on social media. 

As someone who is pretty active on multiple social media channels and writes a lifestyle blog, this is definitely something I’ve thought about a lot over the past year since R came along. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to share her full name in public, online spaces. Unfortunately, the world and the internet can be a scary place, and I was not comfortable with the idea of random strangers knowing my daughter’s full name.

Food for thought: anyone can go to Google image search, type in a name, and pull up any picture on the Internet of that person. The thought of anyone being able to do that with my child just doesn’t sit well with me. Even when I comment on other blogs, I don’t use her name. It at least makes me feel like I can maintain some privacy for her and for our family, and for an added bonus you can’t easily search for her online. 

When it comes to photos, I always want to be protective of R’s body and her privacy. For me personally, that means no pictures of her without clothes on, including pictures of her just in a diaper. That means no pictures of her in the bath, on the potty, etc. 

You have no doubt also noticed that on the blog and on my blog’s Facebook page, I put my blog name as a watermark across her face. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I have heard too many stories about crazy people stealing photos and using them for strange purposes like pretending to have a fake family (yes, it happens!) or making a meme out of it (also happens) or whatever else. Sure, someone could probably Photoshop the watermark out, but at least I’m making it harder for them.

Before R was born, I considered only posting pictures of her on social media that showed her when her face wasn’t directly facing the camera or when her face wasn’t showing at all. Clearly that isn’t a rule I ever implemented (because, hello, she’s adorable), but now that she’s a bit older, I am rethinking how much I want to share moving forward. 

I loved writing monthly updates for R. I know they aren't going to be interesting for everyone else, but it’s fun for me to look back on them and remember different milestones and see pictures and things she was doing. I would not have been that detailed or diligent about recording things if I hadn’t for the blog! But as she gets older, I do realize that these moments are hers to have and hers to share (or not share) as she wants. 

I really enjoy reading the baby book that my mom kept for me, but I don’t know... would I appreciate having my baby book online for anyone to read? I’m just not sure, and since R can’t answer that question yet, I want to be careful about how much I post. 

Moving forward, here’s what I feel the most comfortable with as it concerns sharing about R on social media:

-No naked/diaper pictures, pictures in the bath, etc. 
-I will share pictures, but I will continue to watermark her face, and I probably won’t be posting as many straight-on face pictures of her in general where she is by herself. 
-I will be careful of what I write about her life in terms of potentially embarrassing or unflattering stories.
-I will most of all just be aware of what I share on social media, recognizing that R is her own person who can’t yet make the decision of whether or not she wants her life posted on the internet, and I want to remain respectful of that.

I know this is a personal issue and is different for everyone, so I’m interested to know: What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have any “rules” for posting about your kids online?

p.s. You might find this article from the New York Times interesting while we're on the subject.

Links + Loves vol 4

9.23.2016


The Cubs won the NL Central Division, in case you didn't know. This postseason hype video gives me all the chills. Is it October yet? #LetsGo


A pretty amazing fact about the English language you didn't know you knew.


One of my favorite places to shop online. Such cute stuff all the time, and I have a hard time resisting buying one of everything. (Not an affiliate link. I just love them.)

This YouTube video came out in 2008, and I remember watching it way back when. I had forgotten about it until for some reason recently I thought of it and went back and found it. It's quite literally one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. I just can't. It starts out slow, but I promise you will not be sad you watched it.

I updated my "motherhood" page so that it is a list of all the posts I've written specifically about motherhood. Hopefully that makes it easier if you want to go back and find an old post!

I've mentioned my dad's podcast before. This series of interviews are so interesting. My dad is talking to a guy who is currently walking around the world. Crazy!

Happy Friday and weekend! 

Tomorrow R and I are leaving Jordan to fend for himself while we head to Saint Louis for a girls' weekend with my college friends. This will be her tenth plane flight! I'm hoping it goes as smoothly as the others have. Wish us luck!

p.s. links + loves vol 3 //  vol 2 // vol 1
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