Photos Of Kids Online – What’s Your Take On The New Digital World

We live in an extremely digital world and one that allows us to share our lives in whatever way we please with not only our friends but with strangers too

We live in an extremely digital world and one that allows us to share our lives in whatever way we please with not only our friends but with strangers too. The constant debate exists on whether it is fair to share pictures of your children on your social media platforms and quite rightly so. However much we try and deny it once we share a single picture it is propelled into the public eyes and amazingly, it is easily stolen. Potentially, it could be used in a way you did not consider when posting an innocent photo. Furthermore, sharing video is now commonplace but how safe is this and is it doing children more harm than good? 
To get some proper insights I asked many of my friends their opinions and their views were quite different to each other. Some assumed sharing was fine and did so regularly, many thought it was harmless whereas others refused to pop up photos of their children at all. For the few I spoke to the regular sharers were aware of the risks but liked to share pictures with their family and friends. There were also many parents who shared pictures but managed their privacy settings to only permit close friends or family to view their pictures. The least amount (not surprisingly) were the parents who never shared photos of their children to protect their privacy. One parent said, ‘No one knows what my children look like.’ Another parent who shares photos weekly of her children said, ‘If it weren’t for Facebook no one would ever see my children as no one visits us.’ 
The comments piqued my interest by it being obvious that by sharing we are allowing people to get to know our children without having to leave their couch. Does that affect relationships? Is it right that people recognise children who they may never have met properly? I know some months ago I bumped into a kiddie and said “hello” followed by her name - without thinking as I am friends with her mom on Facebook, but I don’t know the child at all. The kiddie looked confused and I suddenly realised that to her I was a stranger though I quickly explained I knew her mom. I felt bad afterwards in case I made her nervous and as a mother of two children, I realised that by sharing photos of them and bits of their lives, people can recognise them without EVER knowing them. Could this put them in danger? 
As GDPR comes in and we talk about consent is it fair to share children photos without their permission? Would you like it if someone did it to you? However, there are the upsides to sharing – the memories Facebook shows you. It is lovely to be reminded of moments that meant so much, but should parents be finding other ways of noting these occasions? Modern life is completely different from when we grew up and these issues parents are facing regarding privacy and safety are new issues. Ones that we have not been prepared for and who knows how the future will alter our decisions now. 
I guess time will tell but for now, as a parent who does share photos of my children now and again, I am considering my options.
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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