Sharing photos of our child(ren) online has been a highly debated topic with varying opinions. Here’s a peek inside my thought process and why my family has made the decision that we felt was best for us.
I’m going to address the elephant on my blog (is that a thing?). While I love sharing helpful resources, my experiences and so much more with you, there’s one thing that I won’t be sharing on Messy & Mine– pictures of my child. I feel most comfortable keeping things like my daughter’s photo, birthday and name private.
It’s a personal decision for my family, but it’s important to me that I explain my reasoning for why I don’t share pictures of my child online. This is not meant to convince anyone of my point of view, but when I put myself on this public platform every day, I want to do so with my full-self and be as upfront and honest with you, my wonderful readers and friends, as possible.
When it comes to sharing online, I truly believe that every parent has to make the decision that they believe is best for themselves and their family.
I have friends who post absolutely nothing about their kids online and other friends who post one or more photos every day– and I respect both! It’s truly about what each individual parent/parenting team is comfortable with!
Why I Don’t Share Pictures of My Child Online
Our Personal Choice
When I first started Messy & Mine, my husband and I discussed the type of personal information that I would be sharing. And while I enjoy sharing my experiences with motherhood, personal growth and parenting, we both agreed that it would be best not to share specific details about or photos of our daughter.
So you may see a photo of her from behind or a photo that includes her, with a cute little Minnie-inspired head over her face (it’s her favorite!), and you’ll know I’m talking about her when I mention our Ladybug 🙂 And yes, there are so many times that I would LOVE to share a photo of the silly faces that she makes or a video of her hitting a milestone, but it’s important to us to stick with our decision.
And before I go into some of our reasoning, I want to reiterate that these are just the “why” for my family’s decision, but there is no judgment or issue with whatever policy you decide is best for your family.
It’s Ultimately Not Our Decision
The internet isn’t going anywhere. So anything that I post today will likely still be around in some form in the next 10, 20 or even 50 years. My daughter won’t stay a toddler forever and something posted today could have an effect on her as a teenager, college student, job-seeking adult, etc. So even though she is little now, she is still her own person, so ultimately, we felt that her online presence (or lack of) shouldn’t be our decision.
When she is old enough to use the internet without parental supervision, she will be responsible for her own decisions regarding what she does or does not post. And her Dad and I can only hope that we raise her to make smart and informed choices.
The Internet Can Be a Scary Place
As I mentioned above, things on the internet tend to stick around. And while I can watermark photos and post about my copyright policy, there is no guarantee that other internet users (aka anyone with a computer!) will actually follow it.
I know I may sound a bit paranoid, but there are so many stories out there about pictures of kids being stolen from social media, blogs and other pages and being used or shared in a completely inappropriate way. As a mom who wishes she could keep little Ladybug in a bubble to protect her from all of the evil in the world (okay, maybe I’m being
a bit over-dramatic here), this is a real fear!
So for us, not sharing photos of her is just one way that we can limit her exposure and keep her, and her likeness, safe.
Keeping Special Moments to Ourselves
There’s really something to be said for this. Now I know what you must be thinking– “But you started a blog to share your experiences!” and “If you wanted things to be private, why have a blog about parenting?”
But I’ve realized something lately. Social media is such a staple in our lives and while it provides so many wonderful things to the world, it’s also greatly impacted how we view not only our peers but also our own lives. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t posted a picture and then checked Facebook continuously to see the likes, reactions and comments– and I know I can’t be alone in that.
So by keeping some of these moments and milestones to ourselves, it really gives our family the opportunity to be more present. Instead of trying to get that perfect family selfie or picture of Ladybug in her Halloween costume, we have found that we can focus more on just having fun and really being in and enjoying the moment.
That’s not to say I still don’t try to get her to smile for one of the hundreds of pictures I’m taking of her– but it’s for our own memories and our own reasons– not for the likes and comments.
Ultimately for us, it’s about protecting Ladybug in the best way that we know how. And giving her the ability to make decisions about what is and is not shared when she is old enough.
But that doesn’t mean that this same philosophy will work for every family.
My un-solicited advice? Have the discussion with your spouse, family, friends or inner circle and create your own family policy. How do you feel about sharing photos of your kid(s)? Are there any guidelines for what can or cannot be posted? Are you okay with anything being shared as long as you are asked for permission beforehand? Or do you prefer to keep things private?
I’d love to keep the discussion going! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.