Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Parents Posted WHAT about me!

A little while ago I looked up my name and guess what I found? Pictures of me when I was 5! While the photos were not particularly embarrassing, I still didn't want the whole world to see them. I am not the only person going through this. A 2010 study reported that 81% of kids world wide have an online presence by the age of two. In America that number increases to 92%. While parents might be proud of Junior and all of his accomplishments, we don’t want to see pictures of him in the bath, and I’m sure that Junior feels the same.

While my dad doesn't post about me to embarrass me, and neither do net icons like BatDad(seen on right), it is still embarrassing to see pictures of yourself when you were younger. I am the daughter of parents that won’t even let me get a Facebook account because they are worried that I will post something that I will be embarrassed or ashamed about later, yet they posted pictures of me without asking.

Most parents actually know less about online safety that their children do. There are parents all over the world that never use privacy settings and yet tell their kids to ‘always use privacy settings’ when they don’t even know how to turn theirs on.

On the other hand, in a concerned effort to preserve privacy, there are parents that post nothing about their children, though this is almost impossible in this day and age. Amy Webb, the author of the article We Post Nothing about Our Daughter Online, found that out the hard way when someone claimed that they had found a picture of her daughter online.

There are many theories about why parents feel the urge to post everything about their kids online. One theory is that parents feel insecure about their parenting, so they seek the comfort of the internet and other people saying the same thing. Another is the common ‘Parent Pride’ idea, sharing your child’s cuteness or accomplishments, such as my parents did in the surprise I found online recently. Another idea is that parents think that they have found a solution to a problem and feel the urge to post about it. This last theory is actually helpful to some parents, “ More people are reading about parenting in order to reduce their anxiety by seeking a ‘recipe’ to follow.” said Pamela Savoy. I have nothing against parents posting about their kids, as long as they don’t mention their kids names or post pictures, and while it may still be embarrassing when mom posts things like how hard it is to deal with a kid going through puberty, it is a lot better if their name is not mentioned.

While the majority of the world is in agreement with keeping a child's anonymity until they can decide for themselves, there are some people who think that it is a good thing that parents share pictures of their children online. Andrew Leonard says that “we are strengthening the ties that bind a larger community of family and friends together.” Some people think that it is a way for people to become more friendly towards each other and become a more tight knit community.

But do you really want to become a more tight knit community by sharing pictures, not of yourselves, but of your kids online with people you don’t know? Personally, I would share more about myself, which I give myself permission to do, rather than share pictures of my children without asking their permission. I am perfectly fine with people embarrassing themselves, but as soon as they bring other people into the picture, especially when the person might have no control over what they were doing(i.e. two-year-olds), it is invasion of privacy.

If you are a kid who has an embarrassing picture of yourself posted on the web and you want your parents to take it down, my advice would be to TELL THEM. Most of the time, your parents will listen. I don't mean to storm to your parents' room and start screaming at them to take the pictures down. Talk to them about it. Explain what about the picture embarrasses you and ask them to get your permission before they post any pictures of you in the future. They might say that they aren't trying to embarrass you, and they probably aren't. This isn't them being insensitive, this is them being too proud of you to see how it might be embarrassing. Stay strong! If you tell them why you want it down, they will listen. I talked to my dad about taking the photos of me down. He told me he would... except he didn't have access to that account anymore, so he couldn't. So I have pictures of me on the web forever, much to my horror. But most people won't lose access to their accounts. So ASK! You will be happy you did.

I perfectly understand the desire to post pictures of your kids, and I am sure that everyone does, but next time you are about to post a picture of your kid, think ‘When my child grows up, will they want this picture online?’. If the answer is no, which it usually will be, then don’t post it. Even net icons like BatDad admitted that if their children were embarrassed by what they posted online, they would feel very bad.  So my advice to parents is think before you post.  Would you want your parents to post embarrassing pictures of you on the web? Always remember the golden rule. If you don’t want someone to do it to you, don’t do it to someone else.

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Conclusion, Updated March 7th

This was my first time writing a blog and I must say that it is a lot different than writing an essay for English class. For one, I can use personal pronouns like “I” without getting docked points. It was also really scary to state my opinion to the entire world and open myself up to criticism. But it wasn't just my opinion that I was offering to the world, it was also a personal story, i.e. the permanent photos, and how I felt and responded to it. After launching my blog, I went back every other day or so and would read the comments. The first day I checked I was scared that people would just criticize me, but there were mostly positive responses. It was great reading that almost everyone agreed with me and the stories that people would share about their own experiences. But I also enjoyed reading the comments that disagreed with me. Those posts challenged me to think differently and see my topic from someone else's view. It made me go out and read more about my topic, and I found a lot of arguments that say that parents shouldn't post pictures of their kids and lots of arguments saying that it was fine. However, I am still of the opinion that parents shouldn't post pictures of their kids. If you are a parent and you do post a picture, just be ready to take the pictures down when you kids want you to.

43 comments:

  1. Wow. This made me think about what photos I've posted of my children, to whom, long they will be online, how they might be shared without my knowledge, and what my children will someday think about my posting of their "cute" photos. Thanks for an insightful post. I think I see some "deleting" in my future.

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  2. This blog was great it helped me understand that I need to watch what I post on the social websites.

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  3. My mom used to post pictures on her Facebook of my brother and I when we were younger and then she realized that they would be there forever and we might not like them when we are older. I used to have a Facebook but I deleted it because I also relized that I was more prone to see pictures when im older of when i was younger and I wouldn't of liked it.

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  4. I think that this writer made a very good point on what pictures you should and shouldn't post on the internet. People need to know that if you post an embarrassing or inappropriate picture online, than it can come back and haunt you when you least expect it. The writer clearly stated the topic and gave very good examples. Very well done!

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  5. I like this this one I would not wont my mom or dad putting something about me on the web

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  6. my mom did that when i was a littler and it was really embarrassing. i never thought of it that way so when you say it like that it makes a lot of sense. and i didn't know that "81% of kids worldwide have an online presence by the age of two. In America that number increases to 92%" Thank you!

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  7. I really like this article. Most of my family has a Facebook and they post pictures of me. Sometimes I am fine with it. If they don't ask or they ask and I said no and they still do it, I don't like it. This would be a great article to show parents.

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  8. This is true because my parents post pictures of me and even when her account is private many different people can see the pictures and that isnt good

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  9. i think this is a very interesting topic and this is so true i think i might have a pic or two of me online

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  10. I liked the website for the good information and the helpful tools it gave for your digital footprint and the good uses and the lovely videos and other informationit could help me in any situation that i was having on the computer.

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  11. I personally don't care what pictures people post of me. If it's recent maybe but baby pictures are cool.

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  12. Good article, and it is a very valid point. Parents need to stop this.

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  13. i think the article has a really good point

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  14. This article is very true. Parents also don't seem to understand that posting something online means that it is there forever. Even if you do take it off the website you posted it on, it is still on the internet somewhere. That is why everyone should remember to think before you post.

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  15. I think this is a topic that most parents don't really think about and more parents should acknowledge. I can relate to this topic because my parents are always posting pictures and not asking for my permission.

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  16. parents find something cute and memorable to them and then they post it thinking that it is funny and that there kids wouldn't care even though they probably will.!

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  17. Parents are just as bad as kids because they post stuff with out thinking too. Even though they are just proud of you doesn't mean you want pictures of you when you were little on the internet.

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  18. I agree with this article to some extent. It's always embarrassing to be browsing through my Facebook feed to find that my father has posted a picture of me with my eyes closed or my hair in every direction. Thus, I had a talk with my father about posting pictures of me without my approval. Even though they're not pictures from my childhood, I think it's even more embarrassing if they're pictures of you not looking good today!
    However, I think it's okay to share pictures of your children on Facebook as long as your privacy settings are set to a high standard. It's helpful for parents to share pictures and get parental advice and compliments from other people. It also gives the parent a sense of pride about their child and their personal accomplishments.
    Overall though, I think the thing we need to be most concerned about is just the safety of the child being exploited in the photo. After all, safety is a higher priority than embarrassment.

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  19. I really think you did a good job explaining this topic, and telling us the solution to this problem.

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  20. I agree with this article. Children should have somewhat of a say in what is being put out on the internet about themselves. Whether it's a photo or a little facebook post if it may embarrass the child in the future then it should be given out or posted.

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  21. I think this is a very true topic. This happens to almost every kid. Their parents take a cute picture of them and they want everyone to see how cute their kid is. But, the parents don't realize that this might come back to make their children very embarrassed when they are older. Parents need to think before they post.

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  22. i agree strongly with this article because parents (and anyone posting pictures of someone else) should consult the person in the picture so they can avoid embarrassment later

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cody~
      Thanks for reading my blog! I have a friend that has done a blog post on people, not just parents, who post pictures of others online. here is the link
      http://cwadc9.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-photo-my-choice.html
      ~Himitsu

      Delete
  23. I agree with you, it is embarrassing to have your parents post things about you online that you aren't necessarily comfortable with. It's ESPECIALLY embarrassing when your mother talks to her clients about your personal hygiene preferences. Anyways, well written, your voice really comes through in the post. Parents do need to be more aware of their children's boundaries.

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  24. I agree with this 100%. My mom would always want to take pictures of me, and then joke about it later because she did it with out me looking. I don't really like it, espically when you are having a bad hair day or maybe a couple pimples on your face. Overall, I think my parents do it just to keep memories of me.

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    1. Hi Morgan~
      I completely agree that one of the reasons is for memories. When I talked to my dad about taking the pictures down, he said that they were good memories that he wanted the family to see, not realizing that it wasn't only the family that could see it. A friend of mine posted about people, not just parents, who post pictures of others online. Here is the link:
      http://cwadc9.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-photo-my-choice.html
      ~Himitsu

      Delete
  25. I like this article I think that parents don't mean to embarrass us in this way (definitely other ways) but we love them anyway! But they do need to ask if they may post pictures of their beautiful offspring's online for the whole world to see.

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  26. My parents did the same to me and it is kind of weird.

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  27. I agree with this article because i feel like no adult should need to post picture of their kids to the whole world. The reason i say this is because when these kids grow up and see the pictures on the world wide internet they are going to be embarrassed because a lot of people have seen this ... And who wants someone to look at their baby picture ??? No one so yeah... but if my daddy did that i would be so scared because i don't what people will think of me.. but yeah

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  28. Hi Himitsu! Great job on your post! I thought this was a very interesting article. I will think of this in the future when I have my own kids. I also thought about how a picture of you when your a child could affect your future. What would you consider the boundary for uploading pictures of your children? Thanks for sharing and again great job!
    - Tennis123

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tennis123~
      Thanks for reading my post and commenting. In answer to your question, I think that is it fine to post pictures of your kids if they say that they want/ are okay with the picture being posted. But I also think that you should be ready to take down that photo as soon as your kid says that they want it down. This is a blog that was posted last year about a man asking parents if they are posting too much about their kids online:http://blogs.avg.com/lifestyle/posting-information-kids/.

      Delete
  29. Hello Himitsu, this is a great post! You supported your thesis with very good supporting facts. I think that this is very interesting and make me think about what pictures my parents posted of me. Do you think that parents should wait to post pictures of their children until the child is able to know what might happen? Very good job! -BeepMeep

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    Replies
    1. Hi BeepMeep~
      Thanks for commenting on my post. To answer your question, I think that a parent should wait and, even if their kid gives consent, they should be ready to take down the picture of their kid at any time. This is an article that goes even deeper into the argument of posting pictures of your kids: http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-revealing-too-much-about-kids-online.html.

      Delete
  30. Himitsu, this post quickly climbed to the top of the stats heap with a lot of pageviews, not surprising since I saw it shared via Twitter in several places. Nicely done! You have shared a strong message and given parents (and their kids) something to really think about. Our digital age has changed the way we think of privacy, and if one were to believe the media-hype, kids your age just don't care about it. NOT TRUE! Thank you for shedding light on this from your unique perspective. It thoughtfully opens to the door to a very necessary conversation between parents and kids.

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  31. Very well written article, and I agree parents shouldn’t post pictures of their children without their knowledge and permission. However, while many kids may know more about online security than their parents, they are also more prone to posting pictures or making statements without thinking about the long term repercussions. As you discovered with the picture posted by your parents, anything posted online lives forever.

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  32. Nice topic!, I do agree with the fact that its wrong to post embarrassing pictures of kids I do think that many parents don't have the intent of embarrassing their kids with the pictures. Of course some pictures are just not okay to post if someone is a teenager or adult, but overall many parents might not even see baby pictures as embarrassing. I also really like the idea of telling your parents to take pictures down if they embarrass you and I think it's a great solution. Overall great article and it was very interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Hi 8buLLdoZer8~
      thanks for reading my post. Thanks for your opinion, it is always nice to hear when people disagree instead of mindlessly agreeing with whatever is said or posted. This article talks about the pros and cons of parents posting
      http://healthland.time.com/2013/09/06/should-parents-post-pictures-of-their-kids-on-facebook/
      ~Himitsu

      Delete
  33. This is a very persuasive, yet respectfully written post. As a parent, I don't feel defensive about your post, but I certainly will ask my daughters before posting photos of them from the past or present. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion.

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  34. Well developed thoughts. I am an adult and still don't like it much when my aunt posts pics of me when I was small. We are all learning how to uese this new age tool called online social media....

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  35. Great article. I'm a biased parent, and while I haven't posted pictures of my kids online, I do have a few baby videos on YouTube....probably time to take them down 7 years later. Two points though Sienna, 1) my 7 and 5 year olds honestly want to be put online, and don't care about online security, so I can honestly say I have their permission... Should I regularly review/renew these verbal licenses? 2) I don't have a Facebook account but I'm in there a bunch, even though I protest. Facebook also thinks other people have the right to post their pictures even though I haven't given permission.... So the solution it seems is to not allow people to take my picture, which seems a bit drastic. Perhaps what is needed here is a reform of online digital rights, where people should have the right to demand content including them to be removed. You should be able to demand your picture is removed.... Even though most of us were pretty cute at 5, though we may not think so...You included. Great post, keep them coming.

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    1. Hi Dan O~
      Thanks for reading my post. I think that you don't necessarily need to renew their agreement, but I do think that you should be ready to take down the picture whenever you kids want them down. I think that if your friends/ family members are posting pictures without your consent, you should just not take pictures with that person. I also think that the idea of a reform in digital rights would be great. My friend wrote a blog post about people posting pictures of you online. Here is the link:
      http://cwadc9.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-photo-my-choice.html
      ~Himitsu

      Delete
  36. Hi Himitsu, I like the way your article turns the tables. Mostly, it's the kids who are posting pictures and messages, and it's the parents who are concerned about releasing personal information. I think you post will keep people talking, and I do not blame you for being concerned when you google your name and find pictures of you when you were little. When reading this I was wondering if parents post pictures of their kids, not just because of insecurity, but to compete with other parents. When parents have friends who have kids there's bound to be competition between the two parents of whose kid is better. By posting pictures of they're kids doing sports, music ect maybe a more gentle way of bragging, and showing off how great their kid is. -Skatergirl.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Skatergirl~
      Thank you for commenting on my post. I think that you made a really good point of it becoming a sort of competition, but do you think that there is a limit to how much a parent should post? This article talks about a woman who writes about her life raising her kids in the first paragraphs. Do you agree with what the author of the article is saying? http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-revealing-too-much-about-kids-online.html

      Delete

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