Posting Kid Pics Online
Posting Kid Pics Online
Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of articles debating the safety and ethics of posting pictures of children online. Mostly these have been parents arguing the subject, some saying that children have an inherent right to privacy until they decide how to navigate social media on their own, and others arguing that this is a digital age where a few benign photos online aren’t going to hurt anyone.
As a photographer, I figured it was about time I give my two-cents on the subject!
While I will forever argue the importance of retaining hard copies of your photos (printing and framing your favorite images and creating quality albums that will stand the test of time) we all have to admit one thing: this really is a digital age where much of what we do is shared online. For better or worse, the Internet is often our conduit to connection.
For a lot of us, there are thousands of miles that reside between us and the people we care most about. Friends and family who are scattered across the country and the world; people we want to share the important moments of our lives with. That isn’t always easy to accomplish over the phone or via snail mail, and particularly when you have a lot of people who are just out of arms reach – social media options can offer an easy way to share those moments with everyone you love, with just the touch of your keyboard.
Are there reasons to be worried? Sure there are. There have been stories in the news about scammers using people’s personal photos and passing them off as their own. Advertising agencies that have done the same in other countries, thinking that the families photographed will never find out. And even sad tales of pedophiles who have been found with files on their computers specifically dedicated to the pictures of children they have pulled directly off of social networks. There are absolutely reasons to be wary about what we post online, and it is always important to ensure you privacy settings are tight and that you are remaining cognizant of who can view everything you post online.
But are a few pictures here and there of your kids, posted to keep friends and family up to date, really going to hurt? Probably not. In fact, the strong likelihood is that they will do far more good (warm fuzzy feelings, birthday ‘s remembered and all that) than bad.
Your children are not likely going to grow up feeling resentful that you shared photos from their 2nd birthday online. Nor are they likely going to care much about those first day of school pictures. Now, the bathroom shots and embarrassing videos may be a different story, but even that is up to your discretion as a parent.
In reality, most of your kids are going to be growing up in this digital age where having images of themselves online is totally commonplace and nothing to be concerned about. Teaching them about appropriate internet posting and the need for privacy settings will always be important, but shielding them from the prying eyes of social media isn’t necessarily something to get yourself worked up about.
Every family has to decide what is right for them, and ultimately – if you are uncomfortable, you should follow your gut. Just know that it may be impossible to completely keep your child’s image off the internet, and the day may come when they are captured in the periphery of someone’s innocent photo of their own children, winding up online without your even knowing it.
These things happen, and I can pretty much guarantee – it won’t be the end of the world when it does.