I have gotten a lot of mixed feedback from people about not posting photos of my children online. I often get a request from friends on Facebook, or grapevine comments about how I should post a photo so that people can see how my daughters look. I like to take pride in the fact that people are curious after hearing about how darn cute they are, but maybe that is more reason for me not to post things online.
To be honest, I am not necessarily preventing myself from posting online because of an exaggerated fear of online predators, but I am also not oblivious to the fact that these people do exist. I watched a documentary once about how a photo can be tracked to show where it was taken. In many cases, the coordinates in the photo’s coding can even show you the child’s favorite place to play in a park, or even his or her bedroom.
My main reason for not posting photos of my children online was based on a thought I had before I had my first daughter was born: Why do I think I have the right to post her photo online? This should be a choice of hers when she is old enough to make that informed choice herself.
The internet is a scary beast, and once it is online, anyone can find it. That does not mean that everyone will have malicious intent. However, in a world of limited privacy, it would be nice to know that someone “had my back” before I was born to ensure that I could choose the amount of access to my life people would have.
I never posted pictures of ultrasounds, or when my babies were born, or pictures of them playing outdoors. When I have seen photos online, or when people have kindly informed me of these photos, I kindly request that they be removed. Nobody has ever questioned me making these requests. I have, however, posted status updates announcing the birth of my children, including their full names, date of birth, weight and height.
I also understand that for some people, posting on Facebook is a convenient way for all their friends and relatives around the world to see the photos in one shot. I also recognize that for some people this is the only way to share photos with their families. I preferred more private methods of texting a photo or emailing (although I recognize that even these are not completely private and secure). I also do not judge those who post their children’s photos online, and admit that I enjoy seeing all the cute kiddos in my newsfeeds.
I am curious to know your opinions on this, however…not so much suggesting that I start posting photos, but rather: Do babies have a right to privacy from the womb to young-adolescence when it comes to their photos online? Or should this be an acceptable norm?