Oversharing Our Kids on Social Media - Life is so full of tae!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oversharing Our Kids on Social Media

A lot of my friends have wondered and have been asking me why I am no longer blogging or posting on Facebook about my son. When in fact, I've been so crazy posting online about every snapshot I took, every milestone he reached, just almost everything about him.

So what made me back off?

Unintentional Bragging
One, in the age of social media, I've been bragging about my son in some way, and I didn't know I'm becoming insensitive about that. You see, there's this group in Facebook where Moms like me share sentiments about motherhood. And I've read a lot of post, I mean a lot, about moms getting worried about their little ones not reaching a certain milestone. While some parents become boastful of their kid's advanced development, like how their 2-year-olds can count from 1 to 100, or how their toddler was able to walk before turning one; others on the other hand bewail on their kid's not so amazing or slow development. Since parenting has become visually public, it is inevitable to compare one's kid to another no matter how many times you tell yourself that children grow at their own pace.

Our job, the parents, is not to put our kids on a race like their successes will become our bragging rights. Of course, I know our kid's achievements are something we should be proud of, and yes, may even speak of publicly. I have to admit, I have my fair share of spilling goo and glory about my son too. Can't help it, it's a mommy nature. But we should also be sensitive as well, not to brag in a way that suggests that some other parent should feel as if they did not do good, or convey like parenting is a kind of competitive sport.

Children's Privacy
Two, I have been reading a lot of articles online especially those written about protecting our child's privacy. And the articles The Perils of Facebook Parenting and Respecting Children's Privacy in the Age of Social Media got it right to the point. Spot on. Ever since then I am beyond hesitant to talk about my son.

So what's my take on this? I have to stop. No matter how tempting it is. I admit it, it's hard especially for a proud mom like me. But it's not my life that I am posting. My son doesn't know I'm posting stuff about him. I am inadvertently putting his life in public. Do you think it's right to post photos about someone who cannot even give a consent, even though that someone happens to be your child? It's somehow, in a way, exploiting them. And who knows? These innocent snapshots we took and uploaded will someday, God-forbid, bite our children back. In this age where internet is so powerful, I don't know where my child's photos might end up. The last thing a parent would want is to see their child's photos somewhere totally inappropriate. Right?

So earlier, I made every album on my Facebook account about him available only for me. I am now careful with what I post. I now choose carefully what's okay to be made in public and what's not. And I have painstakingly put down some blog posts I have written about him. Yes, I made that mistake of putting his full name, birthday and where he was born online. Call me a paranoid. OA lang siguro ako. But it's better safe than sorry. And yes, I do respect my child's privacy.

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm keeping him away from the people. I will still share. But sharing online is now out of the question. I will share if he's old enough to say, "Yes, you can share that mom". And perhaps I'll share those captured shenanigans and embarrassing photos to the girl he's bringing home. *wink*

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