Friday, February 28, 2014

Social Media Policy for Parents

My wife and I are in the process of adopting twin boys.

Many questions have popped into my mind over the past few weeks, and one of them is what our social media policy should be.

I am a very public person. You can find out a lot of information about me on the internet. Some, perhaps, I might wish you couldn't. (Some I might attempt to see if I can remove before my sons-to-be are of internet surfing age.) However, almost everything I have put online about myself, I have made a conscious decision to do so. I have a policy on this blog of not sharing photographs of living relatives without being absolutely sure they will approve. The boys are only 1 year old, so they don't have the ability to consent, yet.

This blog is public, and indexed by search engines, which is one reason I refrain from sharing photographs of and stories about living relatives. My Facebook account is visible only to 'friends.' However, those Facebook friends include dozens of people I have never met - mostly fellow genealogists. A lot of them I feel like I know through their blogs, but I don't really know them. And there are a handful of other 'friends' I only know through the internet. Facebook does make it relatively easy to share posts with only a select group of friends, and I could divide my friend list between those people I have met, and those I haven't.

Then there is the question of whether I need to go through the process of removing geotags from photographs that I do choose to upload. This is an easier one for me to answer. The main concerns with geotags is that they can pinpoint the location the photograph was taken. So if you post a photograph when you are on vacation, someone might know you are on vacation. If you post a photograph of your kid at home, someone can figure out where you live. I don't post vacation photos until I am home. It's a common safety precaution whether one has kids or not. And whether or not I post photographs taken at home, it is very easy to find my home address on the internet. (A little more difficult since my wife and I dropped our landline, but still fairly easy.) Posting photographs with geotags will not lead to a decrease in privacy. At least not in my situation.

Lots of my friends post photographs of their children on Facebook, and while the boys haven't yet been placed into our home, that date is only days away, and I already am feeling the 'proud father' cravings to share my naches ('joy') with the world.

Input is welcomed.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

Kids can't consent to a lot of things where you have to make the call. Then again, I find pictures of kids I don't know shared to expansive lists less than engaging anyway. Sharing pictures with people on FB who have indicated a willingness to be in a close "circle" with you does not seem to be either an imposition on them or a violation of the kids' privacy--it's just a more efficient version of showing people your wallet pix.