Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. I do, even with its inherent suggestion that everyone should have an opinion on absolutely everything. You can follow me everywhere, send me tweets and FB messages that I will happily respond to with a witty comeback if possible. I post about my thoughts, articles I like, funny posts or pictures, and every cute thing my kids have ever said (like when my son mistook a picture of Steven Tyler for me. I changed that haircut ASAP). There is only one thing you won’t see me post…pictures of my kids.
Why? Are my kids so unsuitable for non-family eyes? Do they squint, wince, and show inappropriate body parts when the camera clicks? Well, yes, but that’s not the point. Follow these three simple steps to find out why:
- Go on Facebook
- Click and hold on any picture posted
- Drag and drop to your desktop
Congrats, now you have that picture to do whatever you like with. Want to sell it? Sure? Probably won’t get caught. Want to take that photo and pass it off as you? Go ahead, have fun. Because you have it now. Even if I unfriend you because I found out you are crazy or just going into prison, you still have that picture that I posted to show that my son had lost his tooth or that my baby looks like a mixture between his uncle and E.T. And sure, theoretically you can control who sees it on Facebook and who you friend, but with the daily changes they make there can you count on that?
Paranoid? Sure. But I still post pictures of myself and my adult friends, that I’m okay with. We are adults who have an online presence whether we like it or not. Google Image search your name, odds are you will find a picture of yourself (even higher odds it will be an unflattering picture of your drunken college trip to Tijuana). But you are an adult who can handle seeing things that may not be suitable for you, notice if your identity has been stolen, and see signs of danger if a stranger approaches you in a suspicious way. Most children are not quite there yet, and it’s your job to keep them safe.
Your kids are not actually born with an online presence, guess who gives them one? Yep, you. So control it, be smart about it, and make thoughtful decisions.
For more blogs and podcasts from Laura Nickerson visit www.broadtopicsradio.com