As is clear from some of my more recent posts the Watling household has recently been thrown in to disarray by a mini arrival in the form of our daughter H. Sam and I are of course biased, but H is incredibly cute… even when she decides to screams her head off (she sticks her bottom lip out which is both cute and really funny!).
However, in the world as it is today, parents don’t just share pictures of their children by showing them a snap in their wallet or the screen saver on their phone. They also post them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. etc. Sam and I discussed our views on posting pictures of our child online before it was born, triggered by an article in the Guardian. We unanimously agreed that we didn’t want to share pictures of our child on social media and therefore wouldn’t. An Internet presence wouldn’t be ruled out, after all we both have websites and Sam’s is where we upload holiday pictures. But we definitely would not be uploading pictures on to the likes of Facebook. In fact, it was a blog post I read referencing a new function Facebook seem to be implementing called ‘Scrapbook’ (to help parents share images and videos of their children without needing an account for them) that reminded me of the discussions Sam and I had.
The reason: we want H to choose what kind of digital footprint and presence she has. Sure, as I mentioned, she will be referenced in things like my blog (albeit with a degree of anonymity) and there will likely be some ‘formal’ holiday shots potentially out there. But when it comes to all the silly photos and videos Sam and I take, we don’t want those to be floating around in cyber space when she applies for jobs or universities in years to come. Sure, it would be crazy for someone to be judged or held back as a result of some footage of when they are a child but you never know and I don’t feel is right for me to take that risk on her behalf.
Of course the majority of people do share media that includes their kids and I in no way judge them for doing so, just incase this post could in anyway been construed as preaching. In fact I love seeing pictures other people post and it often makes me want to show off H to the world. But whilst I am sure I have been naive with my own data security, I don’t intend to be with that if my daughter who currently has a clean slate. It might be an impossible challenge but it doesn’t hurt to try!