Today I will try to explain some of the reasons:
- Why I don’t vlog (aside from having to clean my house).
- Why I don’t have a Facebook page.
- Why I almost never post photos or videos of my kids.
- And Why I ask other people not to post them either!
I’m not lazy, I don’t have ugly kids, and I don’t have a belief system that doesn’t allow for photos. Afraid to give away my childrens’ privacy, I have made these choices. When they become adults they can choose for themselves what part of their privacy they would like to expose. Most people don’t fully realize all of the ramifications of the digital footprint we produce for ourselves and our kids.
I don’t want to shame anyones beliefs or choices. I watch youtube videos and even follow a few family vloggers because I appreciate the way they parent and I get support from their sites. Every family is different, and some families incorporate other ways to protect their kids. (One family that I follow travels across the globe, but never reveals where they are until they have left that location.) I am sharing how I have consciously chosen to handle my families media presence.
Have you heard of sharenting? Or sharentings’ much more sinister sounding brother(but exact same definintion) oversharenting? Sharing too much information about a child is not a black and white, right and wrong issue. There are so many voices to this conversation and the most important ones are still too young to give not only their full opinion but also their legitimate consent.
YouTube analytics show who watches your videos. Demographics can suggest that videos are digitally passed around to pedophiles and hebephiles (you can also see who is embedding your video on to their sites). Some parents upon seeing these statistics try to remove content containing their children. However, these images and videos could survive in copied or embedded forms in any number of places.
This worldwide issue, has gotten some media coverage lately. Although, we face some landmark cases, our children currently have “virtually” no protection in what emerge as posts about their lives. Police in Germany have likewise urged people to stop posting photos of their children online, noting that people freely post pictures of nude children while in a pool or at the beach, as if there were no such thing as consequences. In France however, children can sue their parents for posting without their consent. Guilty parents in France can be fined €45,000 and up to a year in jail.
I have chosen not to use my childrens’ names online. But, will that alone protect them? Facial recognition software is 97.35% accurate. That is only .28% less accurate than the average person. As a person with prosopagnosia, this technology is better at recognizing my kids faces than me (their own mother!). This amazing technology is under constant improvement. Learning software has already been implemented. Computers are able to recognize your image as being the same person, even as you age. Future technology will no doubt be even more intuitive.
I tell my children “You can’t unsee something”. You also can’t get back anything that you post online. No matter how hard you try, it will still exist somewhere, once it is posted. To keep our kids safe, let’s all be super-vigilant about what we post. We can always post something later, but the reverse is no longer true.
The definition of a parent is to look after and to take care of. If your post is not helpful to the upbringing of your child/ren, maybe it isn’t necessary. Your own entertainment, selfish gain, or friendships should not be part of the equation. When in doubt, don’t send it out.
The AMAZINGLY SIMPLE way to protect the privacy of our kids!