So, I read this article on Yahoo ("The Facebook-Free Baby"), which had me questioning what a lot of us may be doing on a regular basis re: social media. The gist of it was this: YOU MAY BE EFFING UP YOUR CHILD'S LIFE BY POSTING THEIR EVERY MOVE AND THEIR PHOTOS OF NEKKID REARS ON FACEBOOK. (Not in those words) It cited a number of different reasons why this is a really bad thing. The first of which is this:
"...parents are discovering that once content becomes digital, it can be easily copied and redistributed willy-nilly...The result: photos of kids in compromising, colorful circumstances, and status updates recounting even more compromising, colorful circumstances, intended for a select few, are now spread out over the Web for everyone."
Frankly, this has always scared the schnit out of me.
But the difficulty in controlling what happens to digital content is only one reason the author of this article, Steven Leckart (Wall Street Journal), has decided not to post any information or photos of his child on Facebook (or presumably any other social media). Essentially, he says, by posting a regular stream of our children's activities and photos, we're documenting their lives in a very permanent, sequential way, thereby passing on to them a "digital legacy." And a digital legacy can be really hard to shed.
|Thanks, Mom, for posting this on Facebook.*|
Leckart doesn't necessarily condemn "oversharingting," however. He's merely explaining his choice to not participate in it, while urging caution when sharing the lives of our own children on social media. Something I'd urge you to do, too, if you're not already. OBVIOUSLY don't go posting nekkid pics of your kiddos on the net. It may be cute to you, but OMeffingG there are creepsters out there.
If you're friends with that Facebook Carol off to the right there (up a little), you may have already guessed my view on things, as I don't post pictures of my children or information that actually reveal anything about them publicly. Things like personal info. Or their faces. Or tan lines. It's not that I'm not hugely proud to be their mom, or that I don't want to show off how totally sweet and precious and amazing they are. It's that I'm paranoid and overprotective and rather hermitish and super private. But, too, my goal for that Facebook account isn't so much a personal one as a professional one. So, there's that.
I actually think a lot of us are very cautious already, especially parents, thankfully. And the truth is I love, love, love to see photos of your families and read about what y'all are up to. I realize this totally makes me a hypocrite. But I do think about the potential pitfalls of sharing (in particular when it becomes oversharing)--not just of the lives of our children, but of ourselves.
So, my question(s) to you guys is: Have you ever started to post something too personal and stopped yourself? Or posted something that you either deleted or later changed its settings to private? Where do you draw the line? What constitutes oversharing?
*This is not actually a photo of me or anyone I know. My mom did NOT post this on Facebook. Or anywhere. She's way nice.