Should You Post Photos of Your Children on The Internet?

Should You Post Photos of Your Children on The Internet?
Photo Credit: 野馬天使
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As parents, does your heart stop whenever you see the words, “Are you exposing photos of your children” or “Ten signs you’re exposing your children on Facebook”? But after two days, you happily share photos of your little angel on the Internet again.

Every time an issue pops up, whether you agree with it or not, you need to think before forgetting about it. An argument represents someone else’s opinion, and it is only after you reflect on it does it become a value of your own. This helps you remain calm when coming across alarming content. Especially when it comes to your beloved children. You don’t intend to hurt them with any decision you make.

Many websites have been created to help record memories of your children. This relates to the advancement of technology. Original tribes used to rely on word of mouth to document events, and then writing came along, which was followed by the invention of cameras. At first, people believed the machines were evil devices that stole your soul, but moving on from this misconception, they knew not to fear the video camera when it came along. And now we have the Internet. The speed of revolution is not in our control, and with unpredictability comes anxiety.

But you can’t let this unease get in the way of you understanding how technology helps create memories of your children. Maybe we are in the middle of amending our synergy with the Internet, and the moment belongs to us. We can’t just abandon this occasion.

It often comes down to the question of privacy and autonomy when discussing why someone is against the exposure of their children. The ultimate demand all points toward waiting until your children become of age and letting them decide if they want to make an appearance on the Internet.

From another perspective, before children become legal adults, their parents make every decision. If merely posting photos requires approval, then doesn’t it mean children need to agree to everything starting from the first school they attend?

An inappropriate photo can raise issues, but what influence it has is all speculation.

A translated article in an overseas publication mentions, when applying for college, professors might try to get an idea of who you are from your Facebook profile or other websites, and use it as a basis for admission.

I almost choked on my food upon reading this. I’m not sure if professors abroad have a lot of spare time, but I have been a university secretary for over a year. Every year we receive hundreds of applications and only 20 of them are accepted. The entire process takes only around three months, from releasing the official calling for applications to posting admission results. I have to constantly remind professors to go through the applications and that we are running out of time. Under these circumstances, even an idle secretary like me doesn’t have the time to stalk a person on the Internet.

On the other hand, Facebook has only been available to the public for ten years since its launch in 2005. This means the first batch of children who were exposed the second they were born are around eight or nine years old now.

Maybe there are parents who have made a detailed autobiographical documentation for their children that could possibly affect their lives. But like picking out schools for them, whether it is choosing between public or private ones, or even applying for college, doesn’t hinting at certain choices influence their future even more?

Because parents are legal guardians, they can only act first and think later before their minors learn to decide for themselves.

Photo Credit: amrufm @ Flickr CC By 2.0

Refusing to make a documentation of any kind is the ultimate approach to protecting the privacy of your children. But won’t your children ask why their childhood is a blank sheet or only built from scattered memories of their parents?

Social media platforms are also constantly pushing nostalgic features to attract users. Facebook itself has three, “On This Day”, “A Look Back”, and “Year in Review.” Even the most untouched Google+ has launched Google Story. With a click of your mouse, an intricate timeline of anniversaries, a year ago today, or even two years ago, can be created. But how vivid the timeline is depends on how deep you connect your children to the Internet.

We also need to worry if these tools can live to see the day our children are old enough to use them. Ten years ago when I was in college, MSN, Wretch, and My Yahoo were mainstream platforms, but now they belong in museums. All the memories you slaved to save on these websites simply vanished if you didn’t relocate them before the sites shut down.

Finally comes the most disturbing concern of breaking the law. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not; every one needs to understand that not one platform is completely untarnished. Evil thoughts shadow people, and crimes aren’t only committed through the Internet, neither do people solely use the Internet to break the law. This is a scale we need to keep balanced.

Every one holds different standards, and articles that pose as warnings have been multiplying. So before you leave a page, all you need to do is stop and think for an extra second. You’re creating memories for your children, and I don’t believe any parent would wish an unbearable past on their child. It doesn’t matter what others say; comments that hint infatuation are just slander. Like our parents’ faded photo album, in the end we are the only ones left that resonate with it, but it is the most significant piece of evidence that proves our care for each other.

Translated by Olivia Yang