It seems like everyday you see new pictures of people’s babies and children on FaceBook. It is a wonderful way to share info and keep people up to date, but not for us.
There are a lot of reasons that parent’s choose to create a digital blackout around their kids. Safety concerns, data mining and respect for their child’s autonomy before they are old enough to make that choice for themselves. An article that stuck out to us was on the Huffington Post.
Our choice is much more out of an avoidance of data mining and respect our kids’ right to choose what kind of information that they want out there. The idea that our child is their own person and should be able to have the ability to determine what information is out there is really important.
With more tools available every year, data mining is a very interesting issue that hasn’t faced parents until fairly recently. The choice of what services to share data about our kids on has a lot to do with how that data is shared with third parties. With social media services such as Facebook, they do own your content as soon as you post it and it is available to third parties.
With advanced image analytics combined with contextual searching across a wide range of services together, a very accurate picture can be put together by advertisers of us and our kids. While we have the option of opting in to this and controlling our online presence to some extent, our kids have no such option. For now, we want to be the digital gatekeeper for them.
We both are very conscious of what is placed in a public space. The assumption that it is put on the internet, it is really not ours to control anymore, so we’d like to give as small an exposure as possible for our children. Our concerns are really not out of “stranger danger.” We live in a safer world right now than we ever really have and I would say our ideas are much more on the “free range parent” side of things.
We have created a pseudonym in which we will talk or share info about our first child, Red Fox.
Things we ask: No info on gender, no info on name, no pictures of face on social media from us and all of you. No embarrassing info about the child. We will be sharing info in email or through snail mail (Kristy loves taking pictures and sending mail).
I love to see pictures of family and friends kids on FB and totally support other parent’s choices for their children, but our little red fox will not be one of them.