I love taking pictures of my family. I love sharing pictures of my family. My cellphone has become a proverbial wallet with the flowing picture stack. Often my first instinct is to post some cute thing that Miss E has done. But 99% of the time, I don’t actually do it. Unlike a wallet, a digital post is instantly accessible by the myriad of people who can see my different social media accounts which isn’t just the people I’m connected with online, but also the employees of the different services that I use. Unlike a wallet, multiple digital versions of a photo instantly come into existence the nanosecond I upload that photo. Unlike a wallet, uploaded photos are nigh-impossible to destroy completely.
The Digital Wild
The digital world is wild and filled with trolls which unfortunately do not turn into stone during the day. Be that as it may, we cannot keep our children out of the world, digital or otherwise, and expect them to know how to deal with the dangers lurking in the shadows of the mountains.
Here’s the reality of the digital wild:
- Memes can quite suddenly come from anywhere. When something goes viral, there’s no taking that back. Even though memes fade, a person will be connected to it for a very long time (kind of like a one-hit wonder).
- There are people who take publicly accessible photos and manipulate them into some pretty heinous garbage. To be frank, I don’t want my kids image to be exploited, especially by pornographers.
- We want our kids to be able to grow up with as little digital baggage as possible. We understand that our children will be among the most quantified and digitized generation that has ever existed. In the interest of what little privacy our children will have, we want to make sure that they don’t have the burden of having every success, failure, happiness, tantrum, sick day, sadness, and other intimate moments follow them throughout their lives in HDR detail for every employer, potential spouse, friends, and enemies to see.
Mrs. Jones and I know that we can’t keep our kids out of the digital world. Barring some fantastical series of events that send us back to the 19th century, the digital world is here to stay.
So, Here’s Our 4 Rules For Posting Family Pictures
- Our children must always be dressed.
- Our children must always have an adult in the photo with them.
- The photo should be in as public of a space as possible.
- We ask parents of other kids who may be in our photos with us if it’s alright to post, and we really, really appreciate it when you ask us the same.
We decided these rules before Miss E was born. They work for us because we often struggle to catch up to our various social media providers ever-changing privacy policies. Instead of trying to create a complicated curation system based on who can see what and where, we thought about it more from the perspective of “would this be ok to post on a bulletin board.”
I’m not saying you should do what we do for your family. I just thought you might would like to see why we do it.