Kids photos and internet anonymity

How much do you share? Where do you stop?

As a dad blogger I have a choice to make, in fact every parent does, but it's an especially tough choice for parenting bloggers.

The choice: whether to include personal information and family photos on your blog and social media or not?

On one hand, a blog with personal photos and videos allows the reader get an insight into the life of the blogger, helps document memories and outings and makes better quality reviews possible. On the other hand, having no personal photos provides anonymity and allows you to be refreshingly honest (as you can shield who you are from the outside world).

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Everyone has their own cut off point, some don't use their kids photos at all. Blog of dad is one of my favourite bloggers. He's opted to keep anonymous. He includes no kids photos and even uses pseudonyms for him and his family, unless he's actually called James Smith 🤔😱 (that's some double bluff if he is).

Others share everything; child nudity, latest poop, what they had for breakfast, you name it, there's no filter and nothing that isn't shown to strangers on he net. 

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Now, I'm all for realism and love pictures of 'actual family life' but don't want to overshare and regret it in the future.  

When I was a kid  (in the 80's) parents had to take a photo and develop it in a chemists, giving them a hard copy of the image which sat in your home to be shown to those of their choosing. Fast forward almost 40 years and nearly every photo seems to be taken by a smart phone and instantly shared to the world.

A lot of people seem to forget that once a photo has been shared on the web it can't be taken back, it's out there for the world to see (I'm one of those people who is thrilled smart phones weren't around when I was a teen btw).

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Here's how I decide to use a photo or not, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Will my kids be embarrassed by these photos in the future?
  • Are they old enough to ask?
  • Could Internet weirdos be interested in these photos for more sinister means?
  • Will my wife bloody kill me? 

I often ask my son whether it's OK to upload specific photos (whenever I'm in any doubt) he's 7 and like most 7 year olds he knows how to say no. (Although it usually when being asked if he'll eat certain vegetables or go to bed). By including him in the decision making process it allows him feel part of the website and gives him the power to veto anything. The answer isn't so simple with the recently turned 2 year old though.

I'm assuming at some stage in the future my kids could look at particular posts and say please take that down (and of course I will) but until that day occurs I'll continue to write and apply the same rules I have up until now. (Even if it's been previously OK'd I know that a 7 year old's views and 17 years views aren't  necessarily going to be the same). 

However, with this in mind I've recently started to omit their names from the blog altogether, opting for 'the little man' and 'the Boo' instead. I will in time be revising all previous blogs to remove their names too. 

From Day 1 and with my kids privacy in mind I've used the moniker 'Daddy Poppins' but if you did a bit of searching it's not too difficult to find my real name on t'interweb. Why did I do this then? Well, it's so in their teenage years no one googles my kids names and stumbles across embarrassing photos of them.  

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I don't share 'bath photos' that's my cut off point. I never will.

Don't get me wrong, I have them (some even adorn my walls in 'arty black and white') but I won't ever put them on the net. I don't judge those that do, each to their own. I just don't want my kids to come to me in their later years asking me why I'd shared such a thing.  

Where do you stand?

Do you share photos of your kids?

Have you considered the implications? 

What have you done to safeguard their privacy?

I'd honestly love to know, tell me in the comments