Thursday, April 8, 2010

Posting Pictures/videos of Your Children Online

Do you think its okay to post pictures/videos or share stories of your children on the internet? Anyone who comes around these parts knows I post pictures of Holden, but this is actually a question I struggled with when I first started blogging (though it was less of an issue for me once I started blogging mostly about politics). I think it's pretty obvious that for the most part I think it’s perfectly fine. But reading the comments of this post would make one think that uploading a funny video of your child is akin to exploitation and child abuse.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times a parent can go overboard, but those situations need to be addressed individually. I also think that naked/bath pictures of children should be kept private as a rule. But beyond that, I feel like some people are little too concerned with what other people are doing.

For one, it’s really no one’s business but the parents. We tend to collectively feel like we have the right to comment on other people’s parenting decisions and I think this is another result of that. Also, mommy bloggers everywhere post photos and videos of their kids and the world has not come to an end. Will some of these children be embarrassed by some of the videos/photos/stories their parents share? Yes of course. But children will be embarrassed of the shit their parents do regardless and I don’t see why a little embarrassment is such a horrible thing.

I also don’t understand the bullying/being picked on argument (that photos/videos shouldn’t be posted since it may cause some children to be bullied or teased). Are we really saying that it’s better to teach our children not to fully express themselves in order to avoid being targeted by bullies rather then teaching them how to deal with being picked on? That just seems wrong to me. It’s a hard lesson to learn not everyone will love you but it’s an important one. Plus, kids will be bullied regardless. Trying to avoid confrontation does not solve the problem of bulling.

Then there’s the sicko argument (that someone somewhere may “get off” on the photos/videos of your children) which also doesn’t make sense to me. It sucks, but sickos are going to keep doing what they do regardless. I just don’t buy the argument that I can’t post pictures of my son since someone somewhere may be a disgusting human being. Otherwise how could I ever allow my child to even go outside?

I can totally see where some people are coming from, but instead of harping all over parents who do these things I think a little trust that the parent knows what’s right for his/her particular family (more then some stranger on the internet) would go a long way. Should there be some discretion when posting pictures of your children? Of course. There should be discretion when a person posts pictures of anything (you don’t see any old pictures of me hitting a bong now do you?). But in today’s day and age I think it might be a bit outdated to claim “exploitation” over someone posting a video of their kid singing a Lady Gaga song.

I said something on my facebook page recently about how I sometimes feel like I’ve started documenting my entire life and, this may come to a shock as some people, my son is a part of that entirety. Am I really supposed to remain silent about a huge portion of my life just because some people don’t agree that posting pictures of children on the internet is right (especially since that’s how a majority of people I know keep family and friends updated about their children)?

If you decide not to post pictures/videos of your children then great; that’s your choice and I trust you to make the right one for your family. But don’t get all sanctimonious if I make the opposite decision. I know this post turned into a bit of a lecture, but I’m having a hard time buying that all these strangers are really so concerned with the individual welfare of these children.


  1. I wouldn't go so far as exploitation/child abuse, but it is pretty annoying for the kid. Speaking as a teenager, I'm very fucking grateful that by the time my mom got a computer, I was ten and very good about avoiding cameras. The parents who post these videos of their kids don't seem to realize that this kid has to live with them. Take this guy: it may have seemed cute to the parents, posting it on Youtube, but from now on, in high school and college and whatever job he gets, he'll be looking over his shoulder hoping nobody recognizes him.

    You have to wonder how anybody will go into politics from this generation, with all the shit people can dig up on them.

  2. But the gulf between annoying and wrong is very vast.

    Plus growing up is essentially one annoying thing after another. If not this video, it will be something else and I think it’s silly for us to assume this particular boy is going to be haunted by this video. Plus it looks like he may have uploaded it himself since it says “me” in the title. (And it can always be deleted if he changes his mind.)

    I’ve also wondered about the future of politics with so many social websites and such, but I think Girls Gone Wild should be more of a concern then parents posting pictures/videos of their children.


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