Fear & the Digital Age Child

A reputable parenting mag looking for product testers on fb for a one time article was interesting but the comments below were what really caught my attention. To enter you had to send your name, kids ages and address to the beauty dept. and a few women were up in arms:

“Why do they need my kids ages?”, “I don’t feel comfortable telling someone my address and kids ages”, etc.

Being protective of your private information is always a good idea but in this case it made no sense.

Your kids ages? really? I did a quick 60 second glance at these women’s public photos and was able to discern the name, age and birthdays of their children (thanks to birthday pics), their preschools and kindergartens (posing with easily read diplomas) and multiple shots of their homes containing the house number in plain view. If I wanted to find these children they made it super easy just with the info found in the public pictures yet they were worried about submitting their AGES (all the mag asked for) to a magazine?

Here’s the thing, there is no such thing as “private” online. Telling yourself there is is really just fooling yourself. If you want to protect your kids you should just keep all info about them off of the internet but recognize that you won’t be able to do so forever.  If you do go this route though GO ALL THE WAY! You can’t just post everything and count on “privacy” settings that do little to protect your information.

For me I have decided that I can not build a digital bubble around my children so instead I am thoughtful about what I post, considering both their feelings should a friend stumble on the post/picture in 10 years and the safety, does this make my child more vulnerable than they are just participating in society? (For example ANYONE can legally take pictures of my kids when they are out in public and I can not stop them but that’s different than if I am posting like bathtub pics (which I don’t).

What limits do you have involving posts about your child and the digital world?

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One thought on “Fear & the Digital Age Child

  1. I limit what I put out there to share with the world. They are my children to cherish and treasure and they aren’t online and have no online presence- so why should I post all of the most personal details of our lives for everyone to see? I share in milestones and loveliness and things that bring happiness and delight- with the intention to share those positive things with friends and families through the avenues available in social networking….. But in a public online forum, even only if registration is required, there is something to be said about oversharing and the act of doing such. Why are you so compelled to spill your worlds out onto the openness of the Internet for everyone else and strangers to see?

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