To post or not to post, that is one big question

This one hits close to home. Should you, or should you not, post pictures (and videos) of your kids online? And when you prefer not, what do you do when others post pictures of your kids without your consent? Personally, I prefer not to post too many pictures of mine. In fact, up until very recently, I didn't even talk about my children in public very much. There are several reasons for that, including the fact that my kids have two parents who spend a fair bit of their time in the public eye (a bit less so for me now that I no longer do television, but still). Having parents that strangers recognize in the grocery store is something they're used to. But I don't know if they're prepared to have strangers recognize them from online pictures. And since I don't know, I prefer to play it safe and wait until they're bigger.

There is also the issue of facial recognition software and digital tracking and who knows what all. This is the first generation to have their lives recorded and published digitally in real time. What will happen with all this data? I don't know. But since it's their future more than mine, I want them to have the option of not displaying everything if they choose to be more private than less. That's why the pictures I post of my kids don't show their faces. Yes, sometimes my kids ask me about it. They've even asked if I was ashamed of them. This led to a big giant group hug followed by a long discussion about the dangers of the internet (they're extremely aware of its benefits, worry not).

Anyway, that's me. Other people have other preferences, and that's fine. I have friends who post pictures that are much more personal and intimate than I would be comfortable posting. But on the other hand, I enjoy being able to keep up with them and their broods online. It's mighty convenient, and fun.

What I can't stand, however, is people not respecting your preferences when it comes to your children. Everywhere we go, when the phones come out for pictures, I ask (politely) that my kids not be identified in group photos. And I police that. So far I've only had a few incidents that have been resolved with minimal damage, and for that I am grateful. I never ID other people's kids in my pictures and I try to check with parents what their preferences are.

So there. Remember that what you post on Facebook and elsewhere will live online for a very long time. And what may look adorable and cute right now is liable to mortify your future teenagers. They mortify easy, but still; would you have liked to have googlable pictures of you in silly poses out there when you were 15?

Also? Despite what privacy boxes you check, remember this: once it's online, it's public. So post judiciously.

Ah, beautiful (useful) cannelle

To develop properly, children need to feel loved