Things Parents Should Never Post on Social Media
While posting photos of our children on social media may seem harmless, there are a number of things parents should keep in mind.
Not so long ago, sharing a photo or a video of our children meant loading it onto a computer and sending it by email, or putting it onto a CD. That sounds unbearably tedious nowadays, but of course, it used to be even more complicated.
Today, with social media, sharing photos and videos of our children with family and friends has become so much easier… and more dangerous.
In fact, although sharing on social media might seem harmless, in the long run it can lead to multiple problems. This is particularly true if you haven’t paid much attention to privacy settings, or allow strangers to view your profile.
Some photos might seem completely innocuous and not worth a second thought. But this is not always the case.
For example, if you post photos of your children in public places, you are giving away clues to your location and patterns of activity.
What’s more, if the photos are of areas with lots of children, such as a park, other kids may be in your photos, whether or not they know it.
Another example is the kind of photo that shows intimate scenes with children, or in which the child is naked or partially naked.
Not to mention candid snaps that your child could be embarrassed about when they are older, or that could become a trigger for bullying, or even stalking or extortion.
Don’t post potty pics on social media
Potty training is a landmark in a child’s life, and for some, it can be a challenge. It’s great that your little one can pee or poop all by themselves, or that you managed to sit them on the potty just when they were about to go.
If you want to make a song and dance about it, go ahead. But don’t post photos or videos of your child on the potty.
Similarly, you should avoid posting pictures of diaper changes or bath times, or while you are dressing your child. The fact that they are little doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to privacy.
Nude or semi-nude photos are particularly dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands.
Don’t share embarrassing moments
Embarrassment has long been used as a tool by parents and educators to punish children. But laughing at or your children or shaming them in front of others makes you look bad, too.
The problem is that, with social networks, everything you post stays around, forever.
If you are angry about something that your child has done, you won’t make it any better by showing it off to everyone you know.
This is something that should stay within the home. You won’t feel any better after telling the world about what they did.
Don’t post photos which show other children
If you don’t mind publicly sharing images of your children, that’s up to you. As a mother, father or guardian, it’s your responsibility.
But what you must not do is post photos or videos showing other minors.
Nobody is going to stop you from taking photos or making videos in a park, at school events, birthday parties or any other situation where children get together.
But you shouldn’t post photos of other minors without their parents’ permission. Likewise, nobody else should post images of your children.
Don’t share images of your children when they are sick
Children can sometimes be adorable when they are sick. But it’s one thing to send a photo to grandma to show her how cute her grandchild is, even when they’re feeling poorly.
It’s very different to show the whole world your child at their most vulnerable.
You should respect your child’s privacy in these moments of fragility. What might seem cute to you can look pathetic to others.
And you never know where your photos can end up once they are online.
Don’t post photos that contain personal information
A picture can be worth a thousand words. Sharing photos or videos that contain personal information can be very risky.
For example, you might reveal where your child studies, your address and/or telephone number (if it’s written on your child’s backpack or anywhere else), your daily routines, etc.
Putting personal information online can put you and your child in danger. It’s no coincidence that governments in many different countries are bringing in stricter privacy laws.
Don’t forget that, if you reveal personal information, you are exposing yourself and your child to danger.
A final reflection and disclaimer
The fact that many people think nothing of sharing photos of their children on social media doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. It’s up to you to preserve your family’s privacy online.
What about the images used in this article, though? These are all stock photos purchased from a reputable image site, with all the necessary authorizations.