A few years ago, my sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful son, which made Rick and me an aunt and uncle for the first time. A few weeks later, as proud as I was, I took a selfie with my newborn nephew and posted it on Instagram. When I showed it to my sister-in-law, she kindly said something that changed a lot for me! She said to me that even though she liked the picture and that for this one time it was okay, she’d rather not see me or anyone post pictures of her son online without her consent. Ofcourse I agreed, I think you should always respect the parents wishes, but it also got me thinking.
Even years later, especially when I decided that I wanted to start a blog that would focus on family life, I still thought about it and how I felt about what she said. People that follow me on Instagram or Twitter might have noticed that I (and ofcourse my husband agrees) decided not to put my daughter’s face online. I have a few reasons for this, one of which I will share with you, because I think it’s interesting to hear other people’s opinions on this.
The first (and I think most important) reason to decide this, is that when you think about it, it’s really a bit weird to post a picture of a baby online without knowing if she would like that. In fact, I think it’s a bit weird to post a picture of anyone online, without even knowing if that person actually wants it there. And since a baby can’t speak for itself, I think we as her parents should protect her privacy until she can decide for herself if she wants her face online or not. I think it’s only fair to her. And ofcourse it isn’t easy at times. My daughter has the prettiest face in the world and she can make the most funny faces and we are bursting with pride! But no, I won’t do it.
Ofcourse, another reason is safety. Social media hasn’t been around for that long and I think we have yet to discover all the dangers that goes with putting ourselves out there. Let alone our children. I know stories of pictures of children or sonograms used in advertisements or even scams. The only place I post the occasional picture of her, is Facebook. My Facebook is very private and I’m only connected to family and people I really trust. There’s the debate about wether Facebook really is as safe as we believe, but for now it feels okay that only selected people can see what I post.
The subject gets especially unpleasant when family or friends are posting pictures of your child online. I had to deal with that recently and I hated to tell that person to delete the picture off their very public Facebook profile, but it had to be done. Sure, some will think I’m overreacting and will not understand my opinions. But that’s okay, they have the right to think what they want. Just as I have the right to not want pictures of my daughter’s face online and to be seen by thousands of strangers.
What are your opinions about this?