Keeping An Online Footprint Offline

I’m very happy the rise of social media came after I was married.

funny-dick-penis-drawing-babys-face-facebook-house-rules-picsWhen I see stories about couples meeting on Twitter or thinking about possible late night drunken ramblings I could have posted on Facebook and how these things could potentially harm you in future job endeavors, I’m thankful that my social media experience has been mostly tame.

However, there is one thing about the company you keep in the online world: some of my peers are turning Facebook into baby photo albums.

I get the whole idea of showing off your kid to your family and friends who might not get to see them on a regular basis, but I don’t need constant updates about your kid’s potty training habits or how cute it is when your baby discovers your family cat.

Seriously, I unfriended someone for posting a pic of their two-year-old propped on the toilet seat. There are just some things you can’t unsee.

facebook-parenting-failThis is the Internet, people, the World Wide Web, and anything you post, no matter how secure you think it is, will result in creating an online footprint. Any embarrassing pics of your kid will only follow them through life. Your child is going to have enough of an awkward time in his or her pre-teen and high school years. Why add to it?

Without getting preachy — after all, I’m the guy who usually posts links to his blog through these social media channels — we have made an effort to keep our daughter’s picture offline. I see some other new parents are similar, too, but I wonder if it’s for the same reasons.

Here are ours:

  • Our baby and her accomplishments and photos do not need to clog your social media experience
  • We don’t need the world knowing what our kid looks like
  • We have a lot of social media friends, but we felt that sharing our daughter and her experiences might just be limited to those who experience things with her
  • One day she is going to create her own online footprint; we don’t need to rush her
  • While we think she is beautiful, you may not, so I don’t want you looking at my kid and going “Ugh … quit posting photos of your ugly baby.”
  • As my wife writes, “I don’t want to be one of those parents that every post revolves around their kids…which I fear would happen to me if I started putting her out there cuz well let’s face it, she is the coolest baby ever.”

article-1143876-037F5890000005DC-118_468x496It’s not like we’re going all Michael Jackson and covering our daughter’s face when she’s in public. We’re not that weird.

My stepfather told us about geographic locations based on the photos you take and that if someone were creepy enough they could track you down based on your pictures and abduct your kid. It’s similar to the Facebook postings by people mentioning where they are, and it’s not at home, so someone knows that your house is free to be broken into right now.

We do realize that is a little extreme and also that there is a solution to this. All you have to do is turn location services on your phone off. He was more worried about it than we are.

As parents, we are undoubtedly proud that something we created can be so fascinating. We are bursting with pride at their accomplishments and want the world to know. I am no different, but my status update shouldn’t be “Ella started crawling today!” Babies crawl. It happens. I don’t need to be pandering you for “likes.”

But, perhaps we should take a cue from the celebrities, who seem to have gotten this one thing of parenting correct: they helped push a law through protecting their kids from the paparazzi.

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