My baby is so freaking beautiful it is almost painful to resist the urge to post the dozens of photos I take of him every week to social media. And I don’t blame parents who give into this urge to share the smiles and milestones of their progeny with the world — parental pride is one of the strongest feelings I’ve encountered, and I enjoy seeing my friends’ kids growing up online. It’s just not for me.
Here’s the reasoning, for what it’s worth, behind my decision to keep The Baby’s identity offline:
- I want him to enjoy the privacy I had growing up before the advent of the Internet. I know some of the stories my mom thinks are cute from my childhood would have absolutely mortified me in my emotionally fragile adolescent years. And there really isn’t an age where I’d be OK with photos or stories about my potty training days being accessible by strangers or friends. It’s easier for me to put a blanket ban on all identifiable details about my baby rather than make a decision each and every time I think to post something about whether it might embarrass him someday. I think he should have the final say (when he is mature enough and capable of making the decision) in how he presents himself to the world.
- The Internet can be a dangerous place. My line of work (and habit of occasionally watching the news, it’s not like this is a big secret) has exposed me to the horrors of online predators. While I know it’s going to be tough eventually teaching my kids how to stay safe online, in the meantime I feel safer knowing nobody can snatch up photos of my baby for whatever purposes.
- I’m creeped out by facial recognition technology such as Facebook’s. I’m not even on Facebook presently (more out of boredom than anything else), but I am aware of the fact that I am a commodity to marketers when I am on Facebook, and am not interested in having my kid become one, too.
Yes, as this is a mom blog, it follows logically that I’ll talk about my baby. But I won’t name names, and you won’t see more than the bottoms of his feet or the back of his head (his beautiful, if balding, head).
Fortunately, there are resources for people like me who want to share photos with a select few, like Tiny Beans and 23Snaps. I’ve been using Tiny Beans and I really like it, and a friend of mine uses 23Snaps, and it’s fun to get updates.
Are there any other websites/apps you like to use to privately share family photos? Let me know!