Just about all of the parents I know post constant pictures of their children on social media. My newsfeed is regularly flooded with ‘first day of school’ pictures and ‘Johnny won his baseball game’ albums. Entire Instagram accounts exist for parents to document their children on social media. This must be harmless, right? It’s an easy way for relatives and long distance friends to stay up to date on family photos. It’s also much easier for the parents than sending individual texts or emails with photos attached. But there’s more to this – what if these seemingly harmless photos could potentially be putting your kids at risk?
A recent US study showed that 63% of moms use Facebook, and of those moms, 97% said they post pictures of their child.
This means that nearly every mother who is on Facebook is using it as a platform to post pictures of her kid(s). Every day, kids are appearing on the news feeds of all of these mothers’ Facebook friends. When was the last time you did a Facebook friend ‘purge’? I’ve only done it once or twice. Have you ever accepted a friend request you weren’t entirely sure about? Or a friend that you no longer speak to because of bad terms? How many “friends” versus real friends are seeing these pictures?This leads me to the first reason why you shouldn’t post pictures of your children on social media.
You never know where the pictures will end up.
The privacy settings of Facebook are constantly changing. It’s now common knowledge that we live in a world in which once something is posted on the Internet, it’s there forever. This may strike some as a dramatic reminder in a discussion about pictures of little kids, but it’s as relevant and important in a professional setting as it is in a personal one. Although horrifying to consider, it’s a fact that there are creeps in the world. Is the risk of your baby pictures ending up in the wrong hands really worth the cute factor?
The location feature puts your children at risk.
Most of us are aware that our technology has the ability to track us and where we are at the moment we click “share.” But this fact doesn’t always cross our minds when we do go to post our pictures. Posting a picture of your child with the location linked to the photo (whether you intend to link it or not) could potentially bring serious danger to your child.
Your kids aren’t old enough to consent to being posted online.
Have you ever had a friend (or even a stranger) post an unflattering or embarrassing picture of you without asking you first? Being tagged in a photo that makes it look like we have four chins is a distinct feeling that gives us all a slight pit in our stomach. And as previously mentioned, the Internet is forever. The photos you post could pop up just about anywhere later in your kids’ lives, and it’s important to remember that they never agreed to that possibility. They don’t even understand what social media is yet. Consider the fact that the adorable bath time picture you deem necessary for Aunt Karen to see could actually haunt them somewhere down the road.
What do you think? Is posting pictures of your children on social media a harmless move? Or is it worth the potential risks? Tell us in the comments.