Author Topic: Do you have any social media boundaries for othersí sharing photos of your kids?  (Read 2396 times)

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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We are expecting our first (yay!) and this is a topic DH and I continue to discuss.  He rarely uses social media; I use it and only connect with relatives and close friends.  We know that in the future we will have issues with his parents sharing baby photos to their 500+ and 5000 (yes, you read that right) FB ďfriends.Ē  How do we address this?  We donít want to set boundaries across the board (ďno one post photos of our child without our permissionĒ) but we do not want photos shared with hundreds of complete strangers.  Any advice?

We anticipate his mom having a problem with this  because in the past she will friend my friends and relatives she doesnít know in order to see their baby photos.  It really creeped out my SIL.  DH had a talk with her, ďMom, have you ever met ThreeCarbís brotherís wife? No? Ok well then it doesnít make sense to friend her on FB.Ē  She got upset. 

I am annoyed that we even are thinking about this but we are concerned about safety and privacy.  Iím interested in what other parents have done.  Feedback appreciated!

I do not want to be unnecessarily a stick in the mud but, at the same time, once you put things out there you canít take them back.

less4success

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I feel bad for these kids who have their entire childhood photo album essentially posted semi-publicly and given to an advertising company, all without the kids getting a say.

I suspect new regulations might materialize that give the kidsí future selves the right to have their content expunged, but Iím skeptical how well that would even work.

Iím not sure what Iíd do in your position, but I think it would be best if people didnít post pictures of your child, at least if the photos weren't taken in a public place. This would require some awkward conversations :(

Archipelago

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There is a website in which you can give access to certain users via email address. Then you can make a list of relatives/friends that can see it. I forget the name of right now, but it sounds like a much better alternative to Facebook.

Also, I believe you can buy a digital picture frame and remotely add pictures to it, so the person(s) on the other end can have pictures coming in.

Dicey

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Our daughter was a nanny for an uber-rich family. There was actually a team of six nannies. They all had to sign agreements not to post photos of the kids anywhere. Too bad that's unlikely to work in your situation. Probably not worth the stress of making it an issue.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 06:53:57 AM by Dicey »

Fru-Gal

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Isn't this as simple as restricting who can view the photo on Facebook? Make family lists, share selectively. Photos that can be viewed only by a certain list will not appear to people not granted access.

Granted, a family member can still screenshot and share that, but perhaps that's unlikely for your MIL. Also, don't give FB permission to identify you by face. Of course by putting yourself and your kids on there, your face is in their database, but at least that's a step you can shield your kids from in terms of associating name to face.

I don't see why she wouldn't understand that you're "afraid of identity theft" (insert other scary thing, like kidnapping) for your kids. For me a far greater concern is people posting their precise location, or exterior house shots so people see where they and their kids live. If I have a favorite place to hike, drink coffee or work, best believe I do not declare that on the internet.

I have never named my kids on social media. Just figure they didn't need that dossier. Now that they're older they do use social accounts with their real names (Snapchat, Instagram) for interacting with friends, but I still don't name them on mine. They use pseudonyms on YouTube.

Electronic Frontier Foundation has excellent guidelines for online privacy here: https://www.eff.org/issues/privacy

ender

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We have a group text conversation with our parents that we send pictures to. Other than a few larger family pictures and profile pictures with the newborn, there are nearly no pictures of our kiddo on Facebook. A few that extended family take but none from us.

We have a shared private Google album with immediate family, too. The advantage there is that it's more curated and likely to be relevant in 20 years than "let me scroll through 20 years of Facebook posts."

You have boundary problems that are well beyond the question you are asking here, though.  If your mother in law is actively stalking/creeping people on Facebook that seems like a convo that needs to happen. Because regardless of what you decide on this, it seems she thinks it is her right to do whatever she wants with respect to privacy on social media.

Sibley

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I know a couple who say, and enforce, zero pics of the kids on the internet. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. That rule applies to the grandparents, and there is a grandmother who didn't like the rule. Shared a pic on her facepage page despite knowing the rule.

Said grandmother hasn't received any pictures in any form in the 5 years since that incident. There was various other bad behavior that didn't help, but at this point, phones and cameras are confiscated when that grandma sees the kid. (some of that bad behavior involved safety issues, so she's probably lucky to be allowed to see the kid)

Point being - your kid, your rules, and everyone else can lump it.

ketchup

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I know a couple who say, and enforce, zero pics of the kids on the internet. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. That rule applies to the grandparents, and there is a grandmother who didn't like the rule. Shared a pic on her facepage page despite knowing the rule.

Said grandmother hasn't received any pictures in any form in the 5 years since that incident. There was various other bad behavior that didn't help, but at this point, phones and cameras are confiscated when that grandma sees the kid. (some of that bad behavior involved safety issues, so she's probably lucky to be allowed to see the kid)

Point being - your kid, your rules, and everyone else can lump it.
Not a parent, but this is probably the road I'd go down.  Pictures of kids on people's social media accounts make me very uncomfortable.  I don't post much on social media myself (like, a post every two years or so), but even what I post about myself is pretty curated.  If I wouldn't be comfortable with my boss, my mom, the police, the president, and Mr. Rogers seeing something, it doesn't go out there with my name attached to it. 

BabyShark

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This is also something I've been seriously thinking about but part of it for me comes down to not wanting my SIL plastering photos of my kid on social media.  I'm thinking of instituting a blanket ban or maybe a "parents only" ban but I have to discuss this with my husband.

nessness

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I post pictures of my kids on Facebook about once a month, but I'm careful not to post anything that would potentially embarrass them when they get older - they're always fully clothed, for example. I haven't really had issues with relatives sharing photos (my MIL shares photos I post on Facebook all the time, but since my sharing settings are set to "friends", that doesn't increase the number of people who can see them, which I don't think she realizes).

If you don't want your parents/ILs to share photos on Facebook, I don't think there's anyway around talking to her about it. To smooth over any hurt feelings, maybe give her a small physical photo album that she could use to share photos with her (actual) friends?

katscratch

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My friends use Tinybeans, I think it might be the site Archipelago is talking about.

They also are very strict with friends/relatives and enforce a no photos of kids on social media rule. One infraction, blocked.

Our son was born before social media was big, but we asked for no photos online and had no problem asking people to take them down. At that time it was met with hurt feelings because 'what harm could it do nobody is looking', now I think it's the same hurt feelings for the opposite reason 'photos are everywhere'.

I think now I would definitely ask for no social media photos due to facial recognition and targeted ads. Kids have enough commercialism in their face without my tech personalising it for them before they can type. Tinybeans does not use facial recognition so I'd consider that for sharing with friends/family. Mostly though I'm pretty private and shut down my facebook when too many relatives got in my business, haha.

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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Thank you everyone for the feedback!  This has been so helpful to confirm this is a perfectly rational concern.

I think we need to set ground rules and make those clear and then that will require an additional difficult conversation with anyone who pushes back..  I know DH is totally on board and is willing to have those conversations as well.  I think I really just needed a sanity check.

I really like the idea of the digital photo frame!  My concerns about the photo sharing site is the password will be shared and Iíll have no way of knowing.

I definitely do have my FB settings already set to friends only so it wouldnít be possible to share my photos but it would be possible to save/screenshot and repost.


marble_faun

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This is definitely a legitimate concern!

I don't want any photos of our future child circulating on social media, either, especially not to thousands of strangers.  I'm concerned about privacy, creating a public image of the kid that they might not like, and creeps. 

You would be totally within your rights to ask that no one post pictures to social media, at all. I think more and more parents are becoming aware of the issues with it and are moving in this direction.  I've heard of people posting only photos of their kids that show just the back of their heads, or photos taken from so far away that you can't make the kids' faces out. And never tagging locations or including recognizable landmarks.

In our case, we will probably print and mail a selection of photos to the grandparents.  But in our case, it's an easier shift, because almost no one in the family is into social media anymore.

Mrs. D.

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Good on you for thinking about this before baby arrives. It will come up within the first hour before you even settle into the recovery room so it's best to have a plan.

We have a strict no sharing pictures on any social media without our permission, except for a private Facebook group which DH and I manage. We invite people we want to include, plus members can suggest people to add. Sometimes I add them (my mom's long-lost cousin) and sometimes I don't (our elderly family friend's mah jongg gals). Members can post pictures on that page freely without our permission. I would still maintain authority to take down a picture if someone posted something embarrassing or inappropriate (which has not happened so far).

And, yes, this will come with some uncomfortable conversations. I've had to confront a best friend from college who put a picture of my son on her wedding website. I hope your MIL is understanding and respects your boundaries.

Archipelago

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My friends use Tinybeans, I think it might be the site Archipelago is talking about.

They also are very strict with friends/relatives and enforce a no photos of kids on social media rule. One infraction, blocked.

Our son was born before social media was big, but we asked for no photos online and had no problem asking people to take them down. At that time it was met with hurt feelings because 'what harm could it do nobody is looking', now I think it's the same hurt feelings for the opposite reason 'photos are everywhere'.

I think now I would definitely ask for no social media photos due to facial recognition and targeted ads. Kids have enough commercialism in their face without my tech personalising it for them before they can type. Tinybeans does not use facial recognition so I'd consider that for sharing with friends/family. Mostly though I'm pretty private and shut down my facebook when too many relatives got in my business, haha.

Yes, I think that was the site!

kimmarg

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I post pictures of my kids on Facebook about once a month, but I'm careful not to post anything that would potentially embarrass them when they get older - they're always fully clothed, for example. I haven't really had issues with relatives sharing photos (my MIL shares photos I post on Facebook all the time, but since my sharing settings are set to "friends", that doesn't increase the number of people who can see them, which I don't think she realizes).


I do something similar. I do post the occasional photo on Facebook because I do want my friends (and I"m only 'friends' with folks I actually know) to see them. Nothing that would inhibit a run for office in the future.  We have a family only shared album that gets much more content.

kanga1622

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We don't post pictures on social media and have told all the family that we don't want the kids on there either. My siblings and nieces/nephews have been respectful. I only once had to tell my niece to take photos down and her mom agreed with me that you must always ask the parents before posting.

My kids are 9 and 6. I do troll the public library social media account and have them take photos down if my kids are at all identifiable. If I can tell it is my kid because I know his clothes and the shape of the back of his head, it can be left up but nothing that would show a face.

Sugaree

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We decided before he was born that we didn't want him to have a huge Internet presence until he was old enough to decide what he did or didn't want online.  A big part of that was that my parents have no concept of what is appropriate to post online.  My mother once not only posted that I was going to be out of the country, but that the dates that I'd be gone.  She might have well put a sign in the front yard that said "Rob me."  Despite sending all the grandparents an email prior to birth about this, my father still posted his entire name and birthdate the night he was born.  He took it down quickly when I called him out on it and they've been pretty good since then.

economista

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This is definitely going to be an issue with my mother. I swear she spends 80% of her day on facebook and it has already been an issue with things my husband and I want to keep private/donít want shared with the whole world. Our facebooks only have friends we actually know and relatives and my mom has thousands of ďfriendsĒ most of which she has never met in real life. Every time we share an announcement on facebook (engagement photos, wedding photos, baby announcement, etc) we set it so only our friends can see it, but then she calls me and begs me to change the settings to private so when she shares it her friends can see it. It makes my husband mad and so far we have said ok, and then a few days later switched it back so itís only up there a short time. When it comes to the baby we will NOT change it to public for her and I know it is going to end with her in tears. I can already hear her ďbut itís MY GRANDBABY and I should be able to share photos of MY GRANDBABY.Ē

jeninco

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The boundaries for our kids, until they reached the age of consent, was "NO."

No, you may not take a photo of my kid and put it on the internet. No, I will not sign a release form giving you (schools and summer camps) permission to put my kid's photo up anywhere.  No, I once ripped a photographer from the local paper a fresh one for trying to take a photo of my kids (then, quite small) in their admittedly adorable halloween costumes without asking my permission first. No, no, no.

Fortunately, we barely preceded the era of everyone being on Facebook, but the answer is still NO.

Seriously, there are so many ways for this to go south. Think of it as a way to set some boundaries with the grandparents and have the opportunity to think through consequences ahead of time. Can't avoid taking pictures of the grandkids and posting them? No more visits for you.  If the grandparents are not alert to the dangers of overexposure on the internet, this is a chance for them to get educated. If you really want to freak them out, look into pedophiles on the internet!

Your house, your baby/kids, your rules.

BabyShark

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Inspired by this post I had the conversation with my husband this weekend. We finally came to the agreement that only we would be able to post things on social media and we'd ask everybody else not to. This will let us limit the potential audience. He's on board, but I'm guessing it's going to start being a fight once the baby is actually here.

MrThatsDifferent

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I have a cousin who has a strict rule about this. Sheíll only privately share photos if you agree not to post publicly, if you do, sheíll never share again. We all respect her decision. Iíve got a SIL who posts everything in the world about her baby. Itís annoying. You quickly realize that so many people use those baby pictures to get attention for themselves without thinking of the implications. I kinda like Mindy Kalingís way of posting but not showing her kidís face. I also think Iíd do the shared family album but no public pics cause I think the kids should decide when they are older how much they want the face recognition technologies to have a hold of them.

Blonde Lawyer

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Absent special safety concerns, I don't get the whole don't put the kid on the internet thing.  I've worked with actual sex offenders.  They are not getting their jollies by looking at your fully clothed child on FB.  Sadly, they have much better resources.  The biggest threat to your kid is your creepy uncle, cousin, camp counselor, priest or babysitter.  Stranger danger is actually not really that big of a thing. I'm shocked at Jeninco's post below. If you are out in public with your kids, people can take their picture.  There is no expectation of privacy. 

I can't remember the girl's name now but remember the girl who was kidnapped and her parents murdered? The person that did it drove by her at the bus stop.  He didn't find her online.  Your kids face way greater risks on a daily basis.

The world communicates online now.  I quit Facebook for 10 years and only rejoined last year. People legit forgot to invite me to things when I wasn't on FB.  I have a way better social life now that I'm back on.  I agree that you can set ground rules for family and friends but I just don't understand the upset if grandma posts a picture of the baby eating cake, even if 1,000 people see it. Really, the worst that is likely to happen is you make a few people smile.

Edit to add one caveat: there is also the chance a really awesome photo could go viral and your kid becomes a meme.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 02:34:59 PM by Blonde Lawyer »

CrustyBadger

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Inspired by this post I had the conversation with my husband this weekend. We finally came to the agreement that only we would be able to post things on social media and we'd ask everybody else not to. This will let us limit the potential audience. He's on board, but I'm guessing it's going to start being a fight once the baby is actually here.

I think if you have a problem with people sharing photos of you or your family on social media, you really have to not share photos of you or your family on social media.  That's truly the only way to be sure no one shares anything.

Social media is "social".  It is set up to promote sharing of photos.  If you want to keep photos of your child out of the public eye, but want to share photos with family members far away, it would be better to snail mail them actual photographs or even better, put the photos in a yearly album.  It is a strong reminder to relatives that you don't want digital photos of your child shared with anyone but the people to whom you sent the photos.

As a side note, my own parents absolutely dote on their grandkids, but after having 8 of them, they are not terribly interested in reposting yet another picture of a grandkid blowing out candles on a cake.   They will repost something like a team photo of a grandkid winning a major competition -- academic or sports -- as that is deemed newsworthy enough to interest their friends.  But everyone in their circle has grandkids, and no one is particularly interested in seeing generic milestones of someone else's grandkids I don't think.

CrustyBadger

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The boundaries for our kids, until they reached the age of consent, was "NO."

No, you may not take a photo of my kid and put it on the internet. No, I will not sign a release form giving you (schools and summer camps) permission to put my kid's photo up anywhere.  No, I once ripped a photographer from the local paper a fresh one for trying to take a photo of my kids (then, quite small) in their admittedly adorable halloween costumes without asking my permission first. No, no, no.

What was the age of consent?

I'm curious how you'd feel about photos of, say, your kids' School Robotics Team Championship win?  Usually the team is photographed with their trophy and the photo and a little blurb is posted on school social media...but could be shared from their widely.   Would that be something you are comfortable with or would you request your child not be part of that photo at, say, grade 5 (10 years old) or grade 8 (13 years old?)  Or are you saying wait until age 18 ?

jeninco

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The boundaries for our kids, until they reached the age of consent, was "NO."

No, you may not take a photo of my kid and put it on the internet. No, I will not sign a release form giving you (schools and summer camps) permission to put my kid's photo up anywhere.  No, I once ripped a photographer from the local paper a fresh one for trying to take a photo of my kids (then, quite small) in their admittedly adorable halloween costumes without asking my permission first. No, no, no.

What was the age of consent?

I'm curious how you'd feel about photos of, say, your kids' School Robotics Team Championship win?  Usually the team is photographed with their trophy and the photo and a little blurb is posted on school social media...but could be shared from their widely.   Would that be something you are comfortable with or would you request your child not be part of that photo at, say, grade 5 (10 years old) or grade 8 (13 years old?)  Or are you saying wait until age 18 ?

Great question!

My kid did a robotics thing at grade 5, and my inclination was "no". By grade 8, I'd play it situation-by-situation: a possible solution was the photo can't have a name associated with it, so "the XX school robotics team poses with their monster-crusher creation."

When the kids play varsity high school sports, it's a little tricksier to limit, so I guess that's about when we gave in, at least somewhat.  Again, this is made easier because none of the immediate family Facebooks, or twits, or Instagrams (actually, the older kid now Instagrams, under not-his-real-name).

Admittedly, we're enormously conservative (some might say paranoid) about our presence on the internet, and see no reason to put the kids' photos out there with their names attached. And the more articles I read about data mining, and face recognition (MrInCO works in a face-recognition-adjacent space, so we're not completely lay readers) the less comfortable I am parading it all out there. I figure I can at least protect the kids for some amount of time.

I'm aware that I'm holding down one end of the spectrum for y'all.

Sugaree

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Absent special safety concerns, I don't get the whole don't put the kid on the internet thing.  I've worked with actual sex offenders.  They are not getting their jollies by looking at your fully clothed child on FB.  Sadly, they have much better resources.  The biggest threat to your kid is your creepy uncle, cousin, camp counselor, priest or babysitter.  Stranger danger is actually not really that big of a thing. I'm shocked at Jeninco's post below. If you are out in public with your kids, people can take their picture.  There is no expectation of privacy. 

I can't remember the girl's name now but remember the girl who was kidnapped and her parents murdered? The person that did it drove by her at the bus stop.  He didn't find her online.  Your kids face way greater risks on a daily basis.

The world communicates online now.  I quit Facebook for 10 years and only rejoined last year. People legit forgot to invite me to things when I wasn't on FB.  I have a way better social life now that I'm back on.  I agree that you can set ground rules for family and friends but I just don't understand the upset if grandma posts a picture of the baby eating cake, even if 1,000 people see it. Really, the worst that is likely to happen is you make a few people smile.

Edit to add one caveat: there is also the chance a really awesome photo could go viral and your kid becomes a meme.


My concerns have less to do with sex offenders and more to do with giving him the right to decide what does and doesn't end up online.  He had classmates last year in Kindergarten that have had had every single milestone documented on Facebook from the first ultrasound to the last day of school.  I just ask myself "would I have really wanted my parents to share that I'd finally used the potty?" and the answer is "Hell no."

Also, I have some vague concerns about social engineering and identity theft.  I mentioned before that my father posted the night my son was born his full name and that he was born.  That gave his 1500 friends, some that he has never actually met, my son's full name, birthdate, and mother's maiden name.  Holy PII, Batman. 

BabyShark

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Inspired by this post I had the conversation with my husband this weekend. We finally came to the agreement that only we would be able to post things on social media and we'd ask everybody else not to. This will let us limit the potential audience. He's on board, but I'm guessing it's going to start being a fight once the baby is actually here.

I think if you have a problem with people sharing photos of you or your family on social media, you really have to not share photos of you or your family on social media.  That's truly the only way to be sure no one shares anything.

Social media is "social".  It is set up to promote sharing of photos.  If you want to keep photos of your child out of the public eye, but want to share photos with family members far away, it would be better to snail mail them actual photographs or even better, put the photos in a yearly album.  It is a strong reminder to relatives that you don't want digital photos of your child shared with anyone but the people to whom you sent the photos.

As a side note, my own parents absolutely dote on their grandkids, but after having 8 of them, they are not terribly interested in reposting yet another picture of a grandkid blowing out candles on a cake.   They will repost something like a team photo of a grandkid winning a major competition -- academic or sports -- as that is deemed newsworthy enough to interest their friends.  But everyone in their circle has grandkids, and no one is particularly interested in seeing generic milestones of someone else's grandkids I don't think.

I agree.  My in-laws are the type though who will find the need to post everything, SIL especially.  I'd much rather them only have the option to share what we post rather than my SIL  posting a million selfies with my kid to show what a great aunt she is. We can post and limit the audience with the post settings. It also lets us limit the content of the pictures more easily so that the kid doesn't end up having every milestone documented online.

kanga1622

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You might think you can limit the sharing using privacy settings in Facebook, but it only takes someone skilled enough to do a screen shot to be able to repost at will.

ketchup

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You might think you can limit the sharing using privacy settings in Facebook, but it only takes someone skilled enough to do a screen shot to be able to repost at will.
Yeah, I would consider restricting sharing settings on Facebook to be akin to leaving the keys in the ignition with a sign saying "do not steal."  Zero effort to mitigate.

BabyShark

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You might think you can limit the sharing using privacy settings in Facebook, but it only takes someone skilled enough to do a screen shot to be able to repost at will.
Yeah, I would consider restricting sharing settings on Facebook to be akin to leaving the keys in the ignition with a sign saying "do not steal."  Zero effort to mitigate.


Fair. But at the very least this rule prevents them from posting their own pictures. We may revise the plan once the child arrives.

CrustyBadger

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So your plan is to tell relatives itís OK to take pictures of your children, but please donít post them anywhere online or text them to anybody?

Sugaree

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So your plan is to tell relatives itís OK to take pictures of your children, but please donít post them anywhere online or text them to anybody?

That's what we did except that we don't mind the texting so much.  Basically we told them that if I found out they posted a picture online it would be the last picture they were allowed to take until his college graduation.

mindy

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Absent special safety concerns, I don't get the whole don't put the kid on the internet thing.  I've worked with actual sex offenders.  They are not getting their jollies by looking at your fully clothed child on FB.  Sadly, they have much better resources.  The biggest threat to your kid is your creepy uncle, cousin, camp counselor, priest or babysitter.  Stranger danger is actually not really that big of a thing. I'm shocked at Jeninco's post below. If you are out in public with your kids, people can take their picture.  There is no expectation of privacy. 

I can't remember the girl's name now but remember the girl who was kidnapped and her parents murdered? The person that did it drove by her at the bus stop.  He didn't find her online.  Your kids face way greater risks on a daily basis.

The world communicates online now.  I quit Facebook for 10 years and only rejoined last year. People legit forgot to invite me to things when I wasn't on FB.  I have a way better social life now that I'm back on.  I agree that you can set ground rules for family and friends but I just don't understand the upset if grandma posts a picture of the baby eating cake, even if 1,000 people see it. Really, the worst that is likely to happen is you make a few people smile.

Edit to add one caveat: there is also the chance a really awesome photo could go viral and your kid becomes a meme.

I understand that for someone like me who has a very, very small social circle online, the chances of someone creepy getting a picture of my child is very low. However, I think the reason why I don't want to share any pictures of my kid online is because I want them to choose what they put out to the public. I would hate it if my childhood was plastered all over the internet, even if it's nothing to be embarrassed about. I would imagine many kids growing up today will feel the same way in a few years.

katscratch

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I don't want to share any pictures of my kid online is because I want them to choose what they put out to the public.

Same. The pedophilia concept wasn't in the top 100 reasons we didn't post pics online.

BabyShark

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So your plan is to tell relatives itís OK to take pictures of your children, but please donít post them anywhere online or text them to anybody?

That's what we did except that we don't mind the texting so much.  Basically we told them that if I found out they posted a picture online it would be the last picture they were allowed to take until his college graduation.

Yup, that's the plan, we'll see how it goes.

cats

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Our relatives all live far enough away that they are very rarely getting a chance to take photos of our kid themselves, which I think makes enforcing any kind of policy much easier.  They also aren't *that* into social media and I would say overall the grandparents are somewhat distrustful of sharing too much online.

I have told my parents it's fine to share pictures via email or by pulling out their phone and showing a picture to someone in person, but that I would prefer they not post photos directly to social media, as I can't control what kind of privacy settings they have or how many photos they choose to post.  They have been very good about following this rule.  When our son was born they did ask me what level of sharing we were okay with and I think they did genuinely believe we would refuse to share photos with them if they didn't respect our wishes (and, well...we might have). If we had grandparents who were more likely to overshare and lived nearby I think I would definitely look into a photo-sharing app that would limit sharing outside of the app, and maybe also adopt a more general "no smart phones around the baby" rule to limit the number of photos being taken by anyone other than us.

Overall while I do post some photos of our son online I definitely limit the number and try to be cognizant about how he might feel about XYZ photo when he's older.  I have also personally had problems with an online stalker in the past so I try to avoid posting photos that would give away too much about our regular routine, things with street signs, park names, etc., clearly spelled out in the background, and so on.

Blonde Lawyer

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I don't want to share any pictures of my kid online is because I want them to choose what they put out to the public.

Same. The pedophilia concept wasn't in the top 100 reasons we didn't post pics online.

Could you share what some of your concerns are then?

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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This is definitely going to be an issue with my mother. I swear she spends 80% of her day on facebook and it has already been an issue with things my husband and I want to keep private/donít want shared with the whole world. Our facebooks only have friends we actually know and relatives and my mom has thousands of ďfriendsĒ most of which she has never met in real life. Every time we share an announcement on facebook (engagement photos, wedding photos, baby announcement, etc) we set it so only our friends can see it, but then she calls me and begs me to change the settings to private so when she shares it her friends can see it. It makes my husband mad and so far we have said ok, and then a few days later switched it back so itís only up there a short time. When it comes to the baby we will NOT change it to public for her and I know it is going to end with her in tears. I can already hear her ďbut itís MY GRANDBABY and I should be able to share photos of MY GRANDBABY.Ē


This, exactly!  My concern lies with my in-laws because of the incredible amount of time they spend on social media.  I truly do think my MIL spends most of her day on social media and is frequently upset about perceived offenses  (frequently she shares something totally fake and someone points out it is fake and this is upsetting for some reason).  There have already been incidents of posting photos of a child before adoption/custody issues were finalized, etc.  The ďMY grandchildĒ sentiment has already been expressed several times after she shared her daughterís good news with us before her daughter had a chance. 

This led to a larger discussion DH and I were having about some members of the older generation who seem addicted to social media.  Itís surprising to me since they didnít grow up with it; I guess I assumed people in their 60s would be immune to getting hooked on it but that doesnít seem to be the case.  Has anyone else noticed this?  We have a number of older relatives who check in for every meal, tell every medical procedure detail and every family update.  Itís really refreshing to be around those who donít use it at all.

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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Absent special safety concerns, I don't get the whole don't put the kid on the internet thing.  I've worked with actual sex offenders.  They are not getting their jollies by looking at your fully clothed child on FB.  Sadly, they have much better resources.  The biggest threat to your kid is your creepy uncle, cousin, camp counselor, priest or babysitter.  Stranger danger is actually not really that big of a thing. I'm shocked at Jeninco's post below. If you are out in public with your kids, people can take their picture.  There is no expectation of privacy. 

I can't remember the girl's name now but remember the girl who was kidnapped and her parents murdered? The person that did it drove by her at the bus stop.  He didn't find her online.  Your kids face way greater risks on a daily basis.

The world communicates online now.  I quit Facebook for 10 years and only rejoined last year. People legit forgot to invite me to things when I wasn't on FB.  I have a way better social life now that I'm back on.  I agree that you can set ground rules for family and friends but I just don't understand the upset if grandma posts a picture of the baby eating cake, even if 1,000 people see it. Really, the worst that is likely to happen is you make a few people smile.

Edit to add one caveat: there is also the chance a really awesome photo could go viral and your kid becomes a meme.

For me, safety is a concern but perhaps any safety violation would be unlikely to happen.  Iím more concerned about what I know for a fact will happen, which is my childís photo will be shared to hundreds of strangers who will comment with their opinions and I just donít see any reason they need to have access to photos of my child. 

As an example, this has happened to me when my MIL was very into sharing photos of us as a couple on social media years ago  and lots of people would comment about our appearances, usually kind, but it just made me so uncomfortable.  I just donít need validation from complete strangers.

As you mentioned, the viral meme is a possibility as well as the cases where someone steals a photo and creates one of those awful ďTHIS CHILD HAS CANCER 1 SHARE = 1 PRAYERĒ.  I have read about photos of children being stolen for those.

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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Inspired by this post I had the conversation with my husband this weekend. We finally came to the agreement that only we would be able to post things on social media and we'd ask everybody else not to. This will let us limit the potential audience. He's on board, but I'm guessing it's going to start being a fight once the baby is actually here.

I think if you have a problem with people sharing photos of you or your family on social media, you really have to not share photos of you or your family on social media.  That's truly the only way to be sure no one shares anything.

Social media is "social".  It is set up to promote sharing of photos.  If you want to keep photos of your child out of the public eye, but want to share photos with family members far away, it would be better to snail mail them actual photographs or even better, put the photos in a yearly album.  It is a strong reminder to relatives that you don't want digital photos of your child shared with anyone but the people to whom you sent the photos.

óSNIPó

You make an excellent point.  This may be the best way to handle!

BabyShark

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Oh, another thing we're planning to do is give the grandparents one of those cloud enabled digital picture frames where we can just drop new photos of the baby in from our phones. Hopefully that'll help satisfy the picture itch without them being able to put them online.

Like I said earlier, my main concern in SIL, so she's who I'll be watching for.

Blonde Lawyer

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This is definitely going to be an issue with my mother. I swear she spends 80% of her day on facebook and it has already been an issue with things my husband and I want to keep private/donít want shared with the whole world. Our facebooks only have friends we actually know and relatives and my mom has thousands of ďfriendsĒ most of which she has never met in real life. Every time we share an announcement on facebook (engagement photos, wedding photos, baby announcement, etc) we set it so only our friends can see it, but then she calls me and begs me to change the settings to private so when she shares it her friends can see it. It makes my husband mad and so far we have said ok, and then a few days later switched it back so itís only up there a short time. When it comes to the baby we will NOT change it to public for her and I know it is going to end with her in tears. I can already hear her ďbut itís MY GRANDBABY and I should be able to share photos of MY GRANDBABY.Ē


This, exactly!  My concern lies with my in-laws because of the incredible amount of time they spend on social media.  I truly do think my MIL spends most of her day on social media and is frequently upset about perceived offenses  (frequently she shares something totally fake and someone points out it is fake and this is upsetting for some reason).  There have already been incidents of posting photos of a child before adoption/custody issues were finalized, etc.  The ďMY grandchildĒ sentiment has already been expressed several times after she shared her daughterís good news with us before her daughter had a chance. 

This led to a larger discussion DH and I were having about some members of the older generation who seem addicted to social media.  Itís surprising to me since they didnít grow up with it; I guess I assumed people in their 60s would be immune to getting hooked on it but that doesnít seem to be the case.  Has anyone else noticed this?  We have a number of older relatives who check in for every meal, tell every medical procedure detail and every family update.  Itís really refreshing to be around those who donít use it at all.

The older generation being addicted makes perfect sense to me.  It's a dopamine hit.  Every time someone comments or likes something you share, it gives you a feel-good rush.  It's validation.  They might not be working anymore. They are bored.  Their friends and family are scattered geographically.  They can post a grand-baby picture and get all their buddies to say "awww how cute, you are so lucky!" and it makes them feel better about their lives.

Fru-Gal

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Consider the average age of casino-dwellers who are pulling the lever on slot machines all day long. Then consider that the social media industry used casino consultants to design their "infinite slot machine" scrolling interface. Makes perfect sense.

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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This is definitely going to be an issue with my mother. I swear she spends 80% of her day on facebook and it has already been an issue with things my husband and I want to keep private/donít want shared with the whole world. Our facebooks only have friends we actually know and relatives and my mom has thousands of ďfriendsĒ most of which she has never met in real life. Every time we share an announcement on facebook (engagement photos, wedding photos, baby announcement, etc) we set it so only our friends can see it, but then she calls me and begs me to change the settings to private so when she shares it her friends can see it. It makes my husband mad and so far we have said ok, and then a few days later switched it back so itís only up there a short time. When it comes to the baby we will NOT change it to public for her and I know it is going to end with her in tears. I can already hear her ďbut itís MY GRANDBABY and I should be able to share photos of MY GRANDBABY.Ē


This, exactly!  My concern lies with my in-laws because of the incredible amount of time they spend on social media.  I truly do think my MIL spends most of her day on social media and is frequently upset about perceived offenses  (frequently she shares something totally fake and someone points out it is fake and this is upsetting for some reason).  There have already been incidents of posting photos of a child before adoption/custody issues were finalized, etc.  The ďMY grandchildĒ sentiment has already been expressed several times after she shared her daughterís good news with us before her daughter had a chance. 

This led to a larger discussion DH and I were having about some members of the older generation who seem addicted to social media.  Itís surprising to me since they didnít grow up with it; I guess I assumed people in their 60s would be immune to getting hooked on it but that doesnít seem to be the case.  Has anyone else noticed this?  We have a number of older relatives who check in for every meal, tell every medical procedure detail and every family update.  Itís really refreshing to be around those who donít use it at all.

The older generation being addicted makes perfect sense to me.  It's a dopamine hit.  Every time someone comments or likes something you share, it gives you a feel-good rush.  It's validation.  They might not be working anymore. They are bored.  Their friends and family are scattered geographically.  They can post a grand-baby picture and get all their buddies to say "awww how cute, you are so lucky!" and it makes them feel better about their lives.

WOW you really nailed it.  Because the older folks I know who donít use social media (or use it sparingly) are busy working, volunteering, traveling, babysitting, or doing something else they enjoy.  My older relatives who travel the most actually post on social media the least. 

Incidentally, this overall discussion has led to me taking a good long look at myself and my relationship with social media. I had always assumed I (we) would announce my pregnancy on social media (to my few social media connections) and recently realized there is no value in that (for me personally).  Weíll personally tell people close to us and people who arenít close can find out through the grapevine (or not at all, who cares).  Surely I was just after the dopamine hit myself!  Good opportunity for some self reflection.

katscratch

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I don't want to share any pictures of my kid online is because I want them to choose what they put out to the public.

Same. The pedophilia concept wasn't in the top 100 reasons we didn't post pics online.

Could you share what some of your concerns are then?

Fear of pedophilia/kidnapping by a stranger was statistically not something we worried about -  it's a terrible, awful thing for anyone to ever go through but the numbers show over and over that kids are more at risk from a neighbor or relative. Sadly this has been true among my adult friends who have gone through PTSD therapy for childhood sexual trauma.

I'd say our number one reason was the same as mindy's - we wanted our kid to make that choice for himself, not us making that choice before he was even able to say yes or no.

At the time we thought the concept of sharing any personal crap on a public forum was really odd (my son's dad has never had a social media account, and my son still isn't on any as a profile but uses FB messenger) but the culture around social media has obviously changed dramatically since then. My son's dad is a professional photographer and he was pretty adamant about consent for using photos in publicly published spaces, and the concept of being old enough to consent in general was a big factor to a lot of our parenting decisions when it came to things that would affect our kid long-term. For example we wouldn't have pierced our child's ears when babies, even though for other families that is expected and absolutely not a big deal. As the internet changed we became more aware of the potential for images being used for identity theft, especially once bigger sites started using facial recognition (around the time our kid hit his teen years). That's something as an adult I can be aware of and proceed as I wish, but for our kiddo we opted to not post about him in places that could end up public. We made similar (conservative) choices around other parts of life that will follow our kid digitally forever, so I admit we're weirdos :)


Blonde Lawyer

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This is definitely going to be an issue with my mother. I swear she spends 80% of her day on facebook and it has already been an issue with things my husband and I want to keep private/donít want shared with the whole world. Our facebooks only have friends we actually know and relatives and my mom has thousands of ďfriendsĒ most of which she has never met in real life. Every time we share an announcement on facebook (engagement photos, wedding photos, baby announcement, etc) we set it so only our friends can see it, but then she calls me and begs me to change the settings to private so when she shares it her friends can see it. It makes my husband mad and so far we have said ok, and then a few days later switched it back so itís only up there a short time. When it comes to the baby we will NOT change it to public for her and I know it is going to end with her in tears. I can already hear her ďbut itís MY GRANDBABY and I should be able to share photos of MY GRANDBABY.Ē


This, exactly!  My concern lies with my in-laws because of the incredible amount of time they spend on social media.  I truly do think my MIL spends most of her day on social media and is frequently upset about perceived offenses  (frequently she shares something totally fake and someone points out it is fake and this is upsetting for some reason).  There have already been incidents of posting photos of a child before adoption/custody issues were finalized, etc.  The ďMY grandchildĒ sentiment has already been expressed several times after she shared her daughterís good news with us before her daughter had a chance. 

This led to a larger discussion DH and I were having about some members of the older generation who seem addicted to social media.  Itís surprising to me since they didnít grow up with it; I guess I assumed people in their 60s would be immune to getting hooked on it but that doesnít seem to be the case.  Has anyone else noticed this?  We have a number of older relatives who check in for every meal, tell every medical procedure detail and every family update.  Itís really refreshing to be around those who donít use it at all.

The older generation being addicted makes perfect sense to me.  It's a dopamine hit.  Every time someone comments or likes something you share, it gives you a feel-good rush.  It's validation.  They might not be working anymore. They are bored.  Their friends and family are scattered geographically.  They can post a grand-baby picture and get all their buddies to say "awww how cute, you are so lucky!" and it makes them feel better about their lives.

WOW you really nailed it.  Because the older folks I know who donít use social media (or use it sparingly) are busy working, volunteering, traveling, babysitting, or doing something else they enjoy.  My older relatives who travel the most actually post on social media the least. 

Incidentally, this overall discussion has led to me taking a good long look at myself and my relationship with social media. I had always assumed I (we) would announce my pregnancy on social media (to my few social media connections) and recently realized there is no value in that (for me personally).  Weíll personally tell people close to us and people who arenít close can find out through the grapevine (or not at all, who cares).  Surely I was just after the dopamine hit myself!  Good opportunity for some self reflection.

The dopamine hit isn't always a bad thing if you are doing it consciously.  I wouldn't deny yourself the joy of sharing your pregnancy.  Personally, I just like to be more conscious of why I'm doing things and try not to let my social media use get out of control again.  I just shared a story about something funny my dog did.  I shared it in part to make other people smile and laugh at his antic and in part to see the fun responses (dopamine hits) I'll get.  I know I did it more for me than for them.  I'll take the small pleasures in life where I can get them but it's a dangerous thing when you don't realize you're doing it. 

Blueberries

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We don't want any photos online and our extended families have respected it.  We've been upfront since our children were born and when we had one issue, it was handled quickly and without drama.

JustTrying

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We don't put pictures of our kid's face on social media. If we're paying someone for a service (such as a preschool), we ask them not to post pictures of her either. For friends and family, we just let them do what they want. Most notice that we're careful about it and therefore ask about posting, some do occasionally post without asking. My friends who live out of town joke that they've never seen her face! ;)