Autumn is here, and while the kiddos are brimming with excitement for the endless days of holiday fun ahead, I am stoked for all the picture taking opportunities that await me. Just thinking about adorable pictures at pumpkin patches, moments from s’mores roast with friends, and gingerbread house decorating shenanigans puts an instant smile on my face. You see, I am THAT mom – a self-proclaimed “mamarazzi”. My child has had a camera in his face since birth. Especially with the convenience of the smartphone cameras, we never miss an opportunity to seize the moment.
We also live in a day and age where we can instantly share these memories through our social media – avenues like blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re a parent who chooses to share, what do you post and where do you draw the line, if any? Over the years, I have often taken pause to consider these questions. My nature is to be social, but I also want to protect my family.
To maintain our comfort zone, here a few tips that we choose to follow when posting photos to social media:
Turn off ALL location settings on camera phones
Sorry, but there is just no need for others to know exactly where the pic was taken. If you choose to share, that’s fine but it doesn’t need to be ‘geotagged’. Check your phone settings if you are not sure how to do this.
No posting of home address info or child’s school
I am very cautious when taking pics outside of our home to not include our house number, street sign, or any license plate info. If you happen to catch it in a pic you want to post, then be sure to edit out before sharing. Everyone loves to snap pics of the kiddos at special events at school. I am okay with that, but I never include any info about the school’s name or location.
Avoid real time posts
I am a lover of Instagram but if we are out somewhere, on vacation, or just plain not home, I may not choose to publicize that. The internet does not need a micro-blog of our every move. Sometimes it’s better to go with the #latergram.
Is this appropriate?
Unfortunately, predators are everywhere. While we don’t want to think about this, it’s a reality. Before you post that super cute pic of your baby in the bathtub, in just a diaper or on the potty….stop and think. If you feel uneasy at ALL with posting it, then err on the side of caution and keep it just for a family memory.
Not every moment needs to disclosed online. Don’t share it if you feel it will embarrass your child down the road or cause him distress. For example, I choose not to post pics of my little one when he is sick or hurting. I also would never shame him online for something we are disciplining him for at home for. For older children, you also have to think about waiting to share events that they may want to tell friends and family members about themselves, first.
Know what your privacy settings are on each social media site you use and how to adjust them to what parameters you feel comfortable with.
Know who your friends & followers are. I have been blogging for a few years now and it is exciting to gain followers. However, I recommend not getting caught up in just a numbers game. Check up on who is following up and block anyone who you are not comfortable with. Don’t feel bad about not accepting friends request from people you are not comfortable with, either.
If you post pictures on public sites, or if you blog, it is helpful to watermark pictures with your name, blog name, or logo.