As I scrolled through the most adorable baby pictures I’ve ever seen yesterday, I began to wonder how much damage we are doing to our children before they are even aware of what embarrassment feels like.
Most of these kids are newborn to five or six now, so Facebook doesn’t mean a thing to them, but I wonder how they’ll feel when they are five, ten, fifteen, and they realize that they have pictures of themselves all over the internet?
I feel embarrassed by the pictures I have on Facebook. Most of them I put on there myself, but some were uploaded by others and are un-deletable by me. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and never upload any of those pictures. If my brain had only realized that everything you put on the internet will always be there in some form…. waiting…
So, how will our children feel when they realize what we’ve put online? I know when I was a teenager and my friend got a hold of my baby book, it was bad enough. “Oh, look at you, naked in the bath!” “Is this you with ice cream all over your face?” “Wow, chicken pox really got you, huh?” Now, I find them funny, but as a teenager? Ugh. I wanted my friends to see me in pictures being cute… or sexy (depending on my age).
When our children grow up, and they are in middle or high school (or lets face it, with the way children are with technology now, elementary school), how will they feel when someone can find their naked bathtub pictures and pass them around school? OR…. and holy cow I do not understand why parents do this… the totally, full-frontal, nudity of their birth pictures? Again, as an adult I find these pictures hilarious and shareable, but I can’t imagine getting a picture like this emailed or texted around middle school. Aren’t those years hard enough?
This is a new problem for our children’s generation. We were lucky enough to only embarrass ourselves with the stupid things we chose to put online. The pictures of me drunk could really find their way into a black hole, if they wanted, but I know that in some way, they will always exist out there in internet land. Good thing I don’t plan on being a celebrity or a politician. Imagine the president in 50 years? What kinds of things will the all-knowing internet hold for him/her?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t share your children’s photos…. but be a little more thoughtful in what you put on the internet. And remember, just because you think it’s adorable, doesn’t mean your child will in fifteen years. Oh, and that goes for what you say about them too. The world doesn’t need to know that your little one woke up and played with their poop, or that they barfed all over the cat. Although, those two things are hilarious, maybe only share with select friends and family… over the phone.