Monday, May 20, 2013

Thoughts about the little face in this blog.

Henry's 2 year photos

I think a lot about a lot, often to the point where I need to really step away from my thoughts, because I feel crazy that my mind just won't stop. And because blogging is a part of my life, I think about that a lot too. And lately I've had Henry's role in this blog on my mind. I wonder what it would be like, to grow up and to be able to look back and see one million photos of yourself in one online place, stories and thoughts, and every little bit of every little thing.

I've always tried to be very aware about what I post in regards to him. Never anything embarrassing, no weird stories he may one day hate, never an inappropriate photo, never a potty-training snap or even a bare-bum picture. No judgment for anyone who may have different boundaries than I, but for me it's a firm no. And lately I've just been thinking about all of this, and the fact that Henry really doesn't get a say. It's not his choice whether or not to be displayed in this space. He doesn't get a say in regards to whether or not he'd want a photo of him posted here every week, or letters I wrote to him while pregnant shared with the world. And although I feel like I'm careful with what I put out there, how do I really know that his older-self won't be upset about his role here? After it's all said and done, Henry's level of what's comfortable and what's not may be completely different than my own.

Sure there have always been writers and more recently, bloggers. As for me, I've been sharing my stories and life with strangers online since the 90s- but regardless, with the shift in social media, this is new territory for everyone. We are the first generation to be so entrenched in online documenting in such a way...and there's no guidebook to this Facebooking, Instagramming, blogging world. There are no rules to help us navigate, there aren't many people who have been blogging this whole time and now have a 30-year old that can say "it's fine, I don't mind having my entire life documented for the world to see." So we are all figuring it out on our own, yet together. And let me be the first to say, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Sometimes I worry that it's all too much. Sometimes I think it's really, really dumb to be "as online" as I am. Pointless, even. If it's all about documenting, they why don't I get myself a private blog and document my heart out? Why have an audience? But then I receive an email from a reader, telling me how much she connected with something I wrote, or I see a tweet letting me know how my recent post resonated with them, and it makes sense. Even for that minute, it makes sense. And so the see-saw goes back to the other side, and I forget about all of it, and I feel okay.

Every time I sit down to write about these things I tell myself to stop. It's all been said, right? But lately this topic of children on blogs and Instagram keeps popping up in my mind. How do they feel about it when they can't yet tell us? Are we doing a good enough job of protecting our children from not just other people, but from feeling uncomfortable later? Like I said above, no one did this before us to tell us how it all turns out. So we guess. We have no idea what the repercussions are for all of the little ones whose lives are so publicly documented. For me, part of that guessing is being extra-careful and respectful of Henry, and always keeping him in mind when I share things either here, or on Instagram. For other people it means never showing their child's face in a blog post or having a private Instagram, and for some it might not mean a lot, and their filter may have much bigger spaces in it.

I hope one day Henry enjoys looking back at this blog, reading the entries about what his Dad and I were like before him, what it was like during my pregnancy, and looking back on little snapshots of his life when he was a baby. I hope it's a gift. But in the meantime I will respect the little voice that doesn't have a say yet, the best I can (although then my over-thinking mind says, "but are you doing enough?").

So I ask you, have you thought about this? We all have different readerships and audiences, different boundaries and ideas of how to balance it all, and I'd love to hear your input and perspective!


61 comments:

  1. Some of us that have been on the Internet for awhile and have older kids and wrote/seen it all - our kids turn out fine, maybe even better knowing that their parents cared enough to take the time to write about them :) I say just be authentic and don't put much thought about it. And for those people that have something to say, it's not personal to you (they would do it to anyone and everyone) - it's their own issues and one day, it will catch up to them on their own.

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  2. this is sooooooooo so so so so good.

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  3. I always thought the way Rebecca Woolf did things on her blog regarding her children and their privacy, stories, etc is awesome. I have been following her son Archer was a toddler and watched her phase him out as he became aware of his own personhood and need for privacy. I think it's something all mothers who blog should ask themselves.

    I've been blogging since I was a teen, so I have no qualms sharing whatever I feel like sharing. But since having my son in '08, blogging about that and then watching him grow more, I feel less inclined to really go into the minutiae of his life.

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    1. following SINCE her son Archer was a toddler.*

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  4. Blogs can always be deleted. if in fact he hates that he was on your blog so much, it can be deleted right? As of the now, i see nothing wrong with it. Cuz yes, it makes you happy, documenting is good, and connecting/helping others is a very satisfying thing. there is no greater feeling, then making someone else happy. So the here and now... i say keep on keepin' on :))

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  5. @christa you may delete a blog, but it's cached online forever.

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  6. I think about this a lot as well. I went backwards than most and started with Instagram and then a blog. With IG, at first, I tried to make it just me and my photos, but my boys are a part of my life and slowly, and then quickly, became part of my feed. With my blog, I had planned to make it, again, just about me, but how can I share about a local art fair without including them enjoying a popsicle or carrying a balloon?
    I also try to be as respectful as possible and not post things that I feel are too personal. Ultimately, though, what I feel is perfectly fine for the public may embarrass my child later...like you said, we just don't know. We are writing our own rules. My oldest is 10 and I do check with him prior to posting. With a 5 and 10 year old I often feel pulled between posting too much OR not posting enough of the older guy and worry that he will feel neglected!
    I can say, as a child of the early 80's, that I enjoy all of the photos my mother took of me, as opposed to some friends that only have a few snapshots. I can only hope that my posts of superhero costumes and testing out skateboarding will serve as a fond memory for my children and not cause them to cringe or get teased for later.

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  7. Yes. This. I have no answer, but I have twin thoughts to yours. The blog I work for is less personal, so there is naturally a bit more distance, but V still makes her ootd appearances. The part that bugs me is that she's starting to have "fans"... people in the park or shop who recognize her from the blog. I think, "what will that be like for her in school?" That was when I made my facebook & insta private. Well, that and a creepy photo text from an unknown crazy, but I digress. On my bad days, I take this a step further and think. "since blogging about mom/baby style, and indirectly, blogging about V, is how I earn money... am I exploiting her???" I think there is still a ways to go before a Honey Boo Boo type sitch, but I still have guilty shadows around this topic. *sigh*

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  8. I've definitely considered it. For a while, I even kept our real names totally secret. Blogging is fabulous incentive for recording all the special things we may otherwise forget- but it is so public.

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  9. I'm not a mother, so maybe my opinion doesn't count, but don't put too much thought into it. Even without children I wonder "am I doing the right thing?" about generally everything in my life whether it's my career, personal choices, what to feed myself and my husband, how to care for our pets, etc.

    The reality is there are so many options out there on where you can draw the line, how you can raise your child, etc. All you can do is what's best for Henry. Do what makes you feel comfortable and good. If that changes down the line, that's fine. If he gets older and asks to stop being mentioned in your blog, that's fine. In the end, you are in charge of all of his "choices" and you are the only one who can make those decisions for him right now. Honestly, I'm sure our own parents had the same sorts of doubts, questions and worry even if it wasn't about the same topic.

    If I do have children, maybe my point of view will change. But for the most part, I plan on going with my gut. :)

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  10. I'm not a parent myself, but have many many friends who are and their little ones are a big part of my life. I make sure to never blog, instagram, or Facebook about other people's kids, but I most likely wouldn't be so guarded about my own kids. My own mother died when I was 7 and if she'd had a blog I could read? That would be so so amazing to me!! And, it would actually be very meaningful that it was something public, something I could point to and say: That is my mother: she existed, she loved me, and what she had to say was important. Just my thoughts! I sure am appreciative of your wonderful blog!

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    1. Sorry for your loss, but your cooment totally pus things in a different perspective. :-)

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  11. This is such a great post. I feel that way in general when writing about family. Sure they have say, but being yourself, your authentic self is what makes this whole blogging thing great right? And if I tried to not talk about them, I would feel like I'm leaving a huge part of who I am out and it shows.

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  12. This is so so good! And really does make me think. My son loves looking at his pictures now on my blog and Instagram but he might not love it later. Once again, you said it perfectly and got me thinking about how I can be a better mother.

    And the part about "documenting but then why an audience" thing? I think about that every.day.of.my.{blogging}.life. Such a rollercoaster!!

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  13. I've actually been thinking about this a lot recently as well. My older daughter Symphony is eleven and hates having her picture taken/hates when I tell people stories about things she's done that I think are cute or funny. She never asked me to stop writing about her on my blog, but I mostly have- I might sometimes mention her or post a pic (with her permission) but that's it. Of course I still blog about my 6 month old Gwen, but my husband and I discussed what kind of pictures we share of her online. I have friends who I've seen post pictures of their daughters on Instagram recently that have really given me pause- fully nude or with underwear showing, and I really don't think that's appropriate for the internet.

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    1. I think that's the way to do it, you've got it right! It's not embarrassing until it is, and it's awesome that you're respecting her privacy like that.

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  14. This is always on my mind. Last year, I posted a picture of my son on Instagram, which automatically feeds my Flickr. Almost instantly, it was favourited by someone who only had pictures of cute kids in his favourites. It freaked me out for ages, to the point where I made my Flickr (mainly) private. But there's a hypocrisy as I continue to blog and instagram publicly.

    This article is really interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/18/pros-cons-of-sharenting

    I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guess I take some comfort in knowing there are millions of families who blog/instagram, thus diluting some of the focus. Maybe?

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  15. Some of the reasons that I stopped blogging off and on between 2005 and 2007 was because of how I felt on this issue. I made my blog private for a while and then just stopped blogging because I was afraid. Now I just share becausae its a part of our life. I cannot compare my childhood to theres because in my childhood my parents didnt have cellphones or the internet at the ages they are now. Its a whole new world. As a photographer myself I have always had the camera lens of some sort in their face since they were born and its become a a part of whats normal for us and we take time to sit down and go back through old photos together. I really like it because I wish there were a lot more photos of myself growing up in Europe when my parents lived overseas. It will be interesting to see what life is like when our kids have kids and how strange and different it will be from what we are used to now. But everyone is different. I have a friend who doesnt want a single photo of her kids online anywhere, not even on her own private facebook page. I think you just have to do whats right for you. I dont think my kids will regret the photos that I post of them because I dont like to even post unflattering images of myself, let alone them online. I just think they will look back and be like 'wow thanks mum, its so cool to see all the things I would not have remembered if you had not blogged about it.'

    Bonnie Rose | a Compass Rose

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  16. You can always delete your blog if it starts to feel too wrong and private. I think that's what's so great about it.

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    1. Not exactly. Creeps can still save your pictures and have them, and only to realize that it's too late to delete your blog when they find your corner of the internet as a source for their sick minds.

      Also, the internet never forgets. As a commenter mentioned above, it's always cached. Everyone, never ever be comforted by the thought that if you do something stupid or things get out of control or you feel violated, that you can delete your blog. There you always be people saving your pictures and uploading them on different servers, and your audience will never forget.

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  17. I think as long as you have reasonable boundaries, and you really do, then there is no harm. I agree, no bare bums, embarrassing pics or stories, no poking fun. This is something you enjoy, your son is someone you are proud of, and 6000+ followers agree with you.

    As he grows older he will change in looks and if, when he's older, he decides he doesn't want his face online, it's not like anyone would recognise him anyway. But he is a beautiful boy, everything you write is respectful and fun and I am sure he will see it as an amazing tribute and will be so pleased these wonderful moments have been shared and enjoyed by so many xxx

    Visit The Other Side Of Cool
    Tweet me! @othersideofcool

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  18. I just had a baby boy and have been contemplating this very topic. It's hard to know how much to share, but I do love documenting and looking back on things later. Nice to hear someone else's perspective on it

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  19. It's such a tough one. I honestly don't think I'd mind if I found an online collection of photos of myself as a child, but then what age is too old? I'd probably care about photos of me as an awkward tweenager. You seem to have a lot of respect for your child and it shows, I think he'd be proud!

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  20. like kate above me said, i don't think i would care if my mom had posted photos of me as a child. i think i would actually enjoy going back and reading how she felt when she was younger. i don't even think i would care if she posted butt shots or pictures of me on the toilet. i doubt as a grown woman i would be embarrassed by my naked baby pictures. (although if friends stumbled upon them in middle school that would be a different story.)

    what would bother is what i have no control over. internet creeps getting their jollies off to (innocent) pictures of babies.

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  21. I go back and forth with my sharing constantly in my head and I don't even have a child yet. I've always been an incredibly private person, so when I do blog it's not very intimate details of my life, though I do get intimate with my thoughts at times. I want to be able to connect with people around the country/world, but I always have a wall up and I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. I think that we can share personal things, but in a vague way (that doesn't seem vague) and I'm just trying to find that blalance. There are just certain things I will not share with the internet based solely on the fact that there are a lot of really awful people out there who use the internet for whatever their creepy goal is.

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  22. A few months ago, I was taking a picture of my 9 year old and she said, "Are you going to post this picture online? If so, let me do something with my hair first". WHOA. Reality check. I had to take a moment and think about that for a second. First of all, our children are growing up in a whole new digital age than any of us had to. The fact that she even has to ask if someone is going to post her picture, the fact that she was a little self conscious about how she would look in it. My blog has changed since that day, my Facebook has changed. My blog is a glimpse into my life, just a glimpse. I find myself really considering what I post before actually doing it, asking my daughter for permission before taking certain pictures. I find myself drawing boundaries and being more intentional. Because you can never really delete things from the internet, there's always a way to recover them. And I don't want my kids to ever look back and feel ashamed or embarrassed or resentful because I posted things about them that they don't feel comfortable with.

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  23. Hi there.

    Long time reader here.

    After someone stole 1300+ pictures of my daughter and posed as her mother on Facebook, that was enough for us. Her father said, she isn't even two, and she has no privacy. I have followed all your personal rules, but it wasn't enough.

    Directly following the incident, I password protected my blog, tried to remove my name from the grid as much as possible, and made my IG private. I would hate to see other bloggers do what I did, because I love reading blogs. And I do miss blogging and the connections.

    Luckily there were two of us making the decision, so I hit the button to make the changes and didn't look back. Sometimes the hardest things are relatively easy. Good luck.

    Xo

    P.S. So much value had been added to my life. You really don't realize how time consuming just a little blogging is. I love not having those commitments. And IG, and I have become closer buds. Lol.

    In the last week I have started blogging under a more personal blog, one that leaves baby out of the picture. I am excited to embark on new journeys. Byjordanmarie.blogspot.com

    You can read my post about why I stopped blogging at holdingontothelittlethings.typepad.com/jordanmarie/

    :)

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    1. Yikes, that is so scary to me. It's one of the reasons I started watermarking my photos, even though I know that wouldn't completely stop someone from doing something like this. It's definitely frightening to me that someone would do something like this.

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    2. Yikes. I, too, struggle with deciding on boundaries when it comes to blogging about my kiddo. Your story has got me wondering if perhaps I should listen a bit more closely to that feeling in my gut that leans towards don't do it?? Then again, I can't imagine blogging without making it personal. Definitely something to consider! Thanks for sharing your story, Jordan Marie.
      Andrea | http://www.andreajennisoninteriors.com/blog

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  24. This is a great post, and it's great to think about the cause of effect blogging/instagraming/facebooking/twittering can have on kids, and in our personal lie.
    I'm not a mother, but sometimes reading blogs that have their kids shown all the time, I do wonder how it might be for the kids themselves. Sure, you can ask them, 'Do you mind if I put your picture up online?' And I'm guessing if they're young, they're going to think it's cool and say 'Okay!'.
    So, I think any parent should take their child in consideration, and realize the content they're putting out there, for all the world to see.
    But it's a personal choice. I mean, I admit I love reading about little kids, and their lives, and seeing what they look like makes it better sometimes, because you can put a face to a name.
    On the other hand, sometimes I wonder if it's too much.
    So, I guess I'm torn on this issue. But I think that everyone has a right to do what they want with their own family, and as long as it's pretty safe, then that's all we can hope for.
    But huge kudos to you Danielle, for bringing this topic out in the open. I think it's important for the Moms out there to read this, and maybe it'll make them think.

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  25. My blog is mostly just read by friends and family so that way they can keep up on what's going on in our lives, so I do share a lot about our son and us, but try to keep private many things as well. I do try and think about what might embarrass our son when he's older and usually focus on writing about his milestones and interests and what we're up to as a family bearing in mind that one day he may read it, and I want him to find it interesting and not feel as though I shared too much. Right now, he's only 1, but as he gets older (and if I continue blogging), I'll try and be more aware of what stories I share and most likely my posts will be less and less just about him to give him some privacy.

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  26. I appreciate this post. I am a new blogger exploring my voice and self expression. I have a son the same age as your Henry and I've been struggling with what boundaries to put in place for his privacy. I've seen many bloggers that go beyond what I would personally find appropriate and I feel that overshare with children's lives online is a real issue in our society. This new super-tech hyper-documented world we live in has me somewhat skeptical, though I feel that there is value in being connected with like minded or inspiring people.

    Your blog has hit a nice balance of privacy and honesty which gives me confidence and inspiration for my own blog. Parents' instincts are our best weapon for protecting our children. Thank you for sharing!

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  27. Yes, I do the same. I've tried starting up a few blogs, but they all fizzled. I have a hard time keeping up with the demand of writing, because frankly, I just don't feel like it most of the time. I also have a hard time with facebook. Now that I'm a mom, (my kiddo just turned 1 this month) more and more so. The idea of putting myself out there to people just seems kind of strange sometimes. I've literally wiped out hundreds of "friends" on my fb. I believe I have a total of 60 people on there, and to be honest, at least 20 are family members. The close knit people (I'm still weeding it out) make it feel more "real". Less superficial, "look at me and my kid!" and more like an update of whats going on with the people I love. I stopped worrying about what people would think of me if I deleted them from my friends group and more about what I wanted. Less drama, less annoying daily posts about who's having what for breakfast and more REALity.

    I want to be able to run into people at the grocery store and not know their entire story. I want to actually catch up. You know, that thing we used to do. I want to be able to show my baby girl to someone who might not have actually seen 300 candids of her face and actually see her for the first time!

    I dont' know, the more and more I spend online with the social media concept, the more and more I realize we're not social people anymore. Just a bunch of strange moments in each others lives that feel disconnected and out of context.

    I vote keep it simple. If you want to blog and you feel comfortable doing so, then by all means, go for it. (I mean, we are reading afterall!) And if you don't, well don't. But the pressure we sometimes put upon ourselves to have the most friends, the coolest updates, and the best blog pictures is just silly.

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  28. Sometimes I think about my own blog and all the time put into documenting memories and photos.. And then I think "is this going to be an obsolete part of our ever-changing world of technology? Will the kiddos even have the opportunity to look at the blog?

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  29. My step-daughter's privacy was never my decision - my partner asked that he and his daughter not be named or photographed on my blog, and I respected his wishes. That was that. Now that we have a son, of course my partner's feelings hadn't changed but I had to decide what MY feelings were. If I strongly felt that I wanted him featured, it would need to be something that we talked about and set some ground rules so that we were both happy. But in the end, I decided against sharing his identity because he hadn't made the choice to be shared, and because I might want to cover a topic that I wouldn't want his future friends to be able to see by Googling his/my name, and I didn't want to set myself limitations. I actually blogged about this only a couple of months ago, right before my son was born.

    I have a happy medium: my family have online personas. I don't even use my own real name. I post photographs of myself, snippets of my son (never front-on face shots, and even the side of his head will be eliminated as he gets older - he still looks pretty much like every other newborn right now!) and no pictures of my partner and his daughter. I'm able to continue to share my life openly and honestly without feeling the need to hold back, yet still respecting my family's privacy. I'm really happy with my choice and feel like it's a win-win situation. I'd say the only down side is that many don't want to read a blog when they feel they can't relate to the content completely, and maybe a character isn't totally relateable. But I'm okay with that. :)

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  30. When I was a teenager my mom and I found a journal she kept when I was a baby. It had her sappiest feelings in it, as well as some funny things I said and did between the ages of 1 and 3. We read it together and laughed our heads off at the sentimentality. But really, it felt so special that she had a record of that time that I could look upon from her perspective.

    I think that the things you write are always tasteful and I really think it'll be the norm for kids Henry's age to have their entire lives online, be it on Facebook or blogs or whatever. I think you're doing a great job.

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  31. I struggle with this very thing often. How much is too much? And at what point do you stand back and say okay, no more? I currently have a regular blog as well as a private one. On my regular blog I hardly ever post pictures of my daughters face. No nakey or potty time ones either. I have a pretty firm "no" when it comes to those. The same rules apply for my instagram account. But, my daughter is definitely a BIG part of my life. Rarely will you see us do anything without her. So you definitely get a glimpse into her adventures. On Facebook, I only allow people I know in person (with the exception of a few bloggers I've grown to trust) have me as a friend. And even then, pictures of my daughter are usually only shared with family and close friends.

    Still, I am selective about how much I share because some things are meant to be just for us. There are hundreds of pictures and stories that I take or write down in a physical journal that the public will never see. :) And I believe that's a good thing. For now, I'm comfortable with the amount I share. Though that could change tomorrow. And I'm sure this is something that varies from person to person. In the long run I'm sure I will eventually phase out the stories of my daughter, and have those exclusively over on my private blog.

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  32. I have certainly thought about this. I know people who post a lot of naked or half naked pictures of their children and I have known of pedophilia and that pretty much freaks me out so I am always careful about the photos that I post of my boys, but they are also old enough to know of my blog an know that my photos are being posted of them out there. They don't necessarily understand the concept. They have had a lot of offers for modelling since they were born and there are a lot of agencies around where we live and I always say, "no." A lot of people say how foolish I am for saying that, but I don't like the idea of exploiting them so much. They have enough action on my blog but the idea of them being on ads and such. . .is pretty freaky! They constantly ask me to take videos and photos so they can see what people think and because they like seeing photos of other kids and ask often about blogs that I look at saying, "She's silly! I want to be her friend." and other things. They are so interested in learning about other people who are on blogs like them. It is kinda cute. Anyway, I think it is really good to ponder. This week someone found my blog by searching for "cute boys in pajamas". . .That made me a little awkward inside. Why are they looking for cute boys in pajamas? Does this person simply want ideas of different pajamas to get for their own cute sons or are they looking because they have a secret fascination with them in a sexual way? These are just my own thoughts.
    +Victoria+

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  33. I was thinking recently about how when I was 12 years old and just starting on this thing called the internet, I was told not to share personal information. No last names, no photos, and no locations. Don't even share your school mascot because some pervert could track you somehow! This has lead me to be quite paranoid about what I share. I feel a little creeped out when friends "check in" at a restaurant on a networking site or when I get e-mails (more than one) from complete strangers asking me to send them my used ballet flats when I'm done with them. It isn't just people relating to my life experiences that are reading and lurking.
    So the idea of asking the child if it is okay to post their photo or a story is interesting to me. When that child starts using the internet on their own will they have the freedom to post whatever pictures they deem appropriate and whatever information they feel comfortable sharing? What will the rules be in the future?
    This comment is coming out a lot more negative sounding than I mean it to be. Just questions on questions! I like blogging and reading blogs and finding a little online community to be a part of. But you are right, where are the lines in this technological world?
    Also, can I add that paranoid preteen me dealt with chat rooms by making up characters? Instead of sharing ANY of my own information I just made it up. As a writer it helped me work through characters by seeing how others responded to them. Sometimes I think that was weird of me, but whatever.

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  34. I think about this issue a lot but even a step further. What troubles me is when a blogger is obviously using her (or maybe his) children as the primary subject for the blog, and the blog is providing the families sole income. This to me essentially means that the children in part are financing their families. I'm not even saying there is anything necessarily wrong with that but it does open up a lot of questions. Child actors are paid and have money put away for them as they come of age. To me this is very similar. The kids are part of the "theme" of the blog and deserve to be acknowledge as such. I appreciate that you don't over share your son's every personal movement. I also sometimes think about how much time it must take to always be documenting the activities that you are taking part of with your son and if that time might be better spent actually enjoying the activity. I am not suggesting you can't do both but some bloggers seem to post their every move via instagram. It sometimes makes me think, damn, put the camera down and live in the moment! I'm thinking of one blogger in particular not necessarily referring to you. I also know that when my son was say 3 (Henry's age) he was a big cheeser always smiling for the camera. Now that's he almost 6 he isn't really that into it. I would feel very strange forcing him to take pictures so mommy can put it on her blog. That's just weird to me. I also have a real pet peeve when a blogger describes how shy, quiet and reserved their child is and then conversely plasters her image all over the internet. Shy, introverted children are more likely (IMO) to grow up and be a bit resentful of this sort of stuff. I'm rambling. Not enough coffee today. I don't think you cross the line over over sharing but it's certainly great to see that you are taking notice that it could happen.

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  35. Hello as a blogger since 2007, with 15 and 14 year old boys, I hope this will put your mind at ease. My young son doesn't care either way and never reads the blog, even though his picture is everywhere. He trusts me to do the right thing where he is concerned, and ask him how he feels if I'm unsure. My 15 year old reads the blog more and thinks it is all quite hilarious. They do have "semi-veto" on photos, but know I will never do as you have said - even when they were younger.
    My sons are actually quite proud that their mom has taken the time (1497 posts) to talk/brag/boast/bemoan them. It is a true act of love. I am just working to put it into a book as a keepsake for them and their grandparents. what you are doing is a good thing. What's the alternative? A paper journal and printing out photos and gluing them in? Nothing wrong with that but it will be a real bitch to reproduce. ;)

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  36. Such a great post and something that I started thinking about myself. I'm currently pregnant and share updates and details on my blog so that friends and family back East can stay up to date with everything I'm going through. Once baby girl arrives I plan to take your approach - share photos of her, stories, etc. as to keep those back home again up to date with her life. I think the way you are approaching it is perfectly fine and love that you share Henry's life with us (he's a cutie btw!). You are kinda my example for when I start to blog about my child:)

    xo, Joanne
    www.fabulouslyaverage.tumblr.com

    P.S. keep up the great work!

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  37. This is something I've struggled with. Not knowing what I want to share, or what will bless/disrespect my daughter as she grows up. Thanks for constantly putting what I'm feeling into words.

    <3

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  38. This is your blog...you can do whatever you want...you share stories of your life and if Henry grows up and sees that he got to go on an awesome trip to Hawaii or Disneyland or that his mom thought he was cute enough to post about then so what? Is that really going to scar him for life? Is this blog going to make him that much of a celebrity that people will be following him around the grocery store when he was 18 yelling at him how they know he likes to wear hats and cute long blonde hair? No, so do what you want...write what you want, live your love girl, who cares about the damn Internet!!!!!!!

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  39. What's the difference if you post it online or write it in a paper book? The difference that in a public forum (the Internet), there will be sad, miserable people who will try to convince you that you're doing it all wrong.

    Do you enjoy blogging? Then do it.

    Do you hate it? Then don't do it.

    There isn't a person on this planet who knows what YOU need as well as YOU do, and anyone who thinks they do is WRONG. There isn't a soul on the planet who will ever know, better than you do, what is right for you.

    I blogged when my children were little, and when I pondered the same questions you're pondering, I simply put it on hold for a while. Years later I've returned to it, have explained it to my kids and they love the idea of it. They WANT me to write about them and get excited when I do.

    For those who have nothing better to do than bitch about number of pictures being taken, I love taking pictures of my kids. I'm never going to stop. There's going to come a day when I'm going to wish I'd taken more pictures. Taking pictures doesn't prevent me from enjoying the moment or living life to the fullest. One does not void the other. The amount of time you spend looking at and bitching about other people's pictures is probably greater than the few seconds it took to click the camera button.

    Who has warped priorities? Not the photographer.
    Who likes bitching for the sake of bitching? Not the photographer.

    Take as many pictures as you like. Write about these moments. They're over far too quickly and you're going to be glad that you have the memories preserved for the future.

    Women who think they have any right to tell others how to live their lives: Shame on them. I walked away from that behavior when I graduated high school and have no interest in ever going back to it. Ignore the angry, bitter and empty women who try to drag you down to their level of misery. They won't go away, but you can ignore them until they cross the line where you're able to file a restraining order. ;-)

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  40. It's MUCH easier for a local creeper to hunt down a child who has their picture published in the local paper for a school award (creeper can learn: child's name, teacher, age, school district, what they look like, etc.)

    Nobody thinks twice about having their child's picture published in the paper. Yet, to me, it seems like a far greater risk. You're putting the information out to LOCAL creepers. If what these complainers are saying is true (if you put pictures of your kids out there, the creeps will come after them!), then every parent who has their child's picture printed in the local paper is in danger.

    Makes no sense to me.

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  41. Personally, I don't have any pictures of my children out there in the public domain. I want them to create their own digital footprint, not have one haunt them until their 20s. But it's up to each individual family where they set their boundaries.

    I have email addresses set up for each of my children and email them from time to time or send amusing photos that we took that day. If you decide one day that blogging is too much, too out there, then this is a good option, and fun too!

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  42. Children and social media is such a tricky balance! You seem to be such a thoughtful and caring mother and your posts always seem like little love notes to your son. I think I'd like to have been able to read my own mother's posts, but who really knows. Thanks for bringing this up, and it sounds like you're on the right path as you've so carefully considered it!

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  43. Oh gosh, this is such a great discussion. Thanks for opening it up Danielle. :)

    xo

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  44. I have created a blog FOR my son, Georgie. it's my way of keeping up with all the little things that go on in our lives. I hope he will appreciate my effort as I plan to make it into a book and give it to him when he's older.

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  45. I don't think you really need to worry all that much about this. Just focus on raising your child right. Most of what parents need to do to raise good adults is easy - pay attention, take care, let them make mistakes, teach them to learn from their mistakes, teach them to take care of themselves as you take care of them, teach them to take care of others - and the rest will all work out.

    I work with children with severe mental health issues daily, and some of the stories of neglect and abuse horrify me to this day - you would think I would be desensitized by now, but sometimes I think if I read one more psychosocial about a child born addicted to crack I will lose my mind. There are so many ways we fail our children - taking too many photos of them is not one of them. If you were posting the pictures for attention, I would question your decision, or if your child was bare naked in the pictures, that would be odd. But if you are doing it out of love to document that love, there's no harm, no foul as far as I can see. I have never worked with a child who was damaged because his mother took so many photos.

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  46. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However
    I am going through issues with your RSS. I don't know why I can't subscribe to it.

    Is there anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!

    my web site: travel

    ReplyDelete
  47. Face Wish that you reach great heights in life...luv you n miss you....take care waiting to hear from you soon....

    ReplyDelete
  48. I feel that the presence of a mother's child on her blog is a really special thing - as someone who lost her parents at a very young age and was tossed back and forth between homes thereafter, it means a lot for a child, whether they're 10 years old or it's 25 years down the road, to be able to look at all the ways his parents loved him individually. I once read a journal entry that my mother wrote when I was 2. All she talked about was how much she loved me and how much joy I brought to her life. Not having any memories of my mother whatsoever, it was an incredible feeling for me to read those words and be reassured that even though things transpired as they did, I was my mother's world, and that would still be the same today.
    I work with children regularly now, many of them from tragic family situations, and everyday I make certain to let each child know how much they are valued and how inspiring their little hearts and minds are. I think it's important to foster a child in that way, as if you were the only person in that child's life willing to do so. Henry seems like such a special boy with such a tender heart, and I think that one day, he'd be able to see this little corner of the web as a testament to just how much he means to his incredible parents. I especially think it would be cool as a twenty-something to be able to virtually travel back in time to a vacation or a particular wonderful day and revisit the memory in pictures and words. I find all too often that little pieces of my childhood slip away to make room for more information stored up in my mind - and then I catch a glimpse of something in the background of some photo... the knobs on the cabinets, the stack of mail on the table behind me, or necklace my aunt wore, and I am so thankful to be able to capture it all into the little capsule of my mind again.
    This blog is like Henry's capsule. The certainty of your unshakeable presence in his life and the way it inspired others will mean a lot to him one day.

    ReplyDelete
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  51. I don't do moms or family related blog but I have my personal thought.

    I've been blogging since I was in highschool, so it has been almost 7 years I blog. Blogging that day with blogging these days has a HUGE difference. 16 y.o me blog because I just blog for fun, I love to share my everyday story (until now), but I don't care about who reads my blog or how many comments I get. I can totally being myself that time. Laters by blogging world these days is like competiton. This is my own struggle being a blogger right now, I miss that time when I just being myself and totally confident with my blog contents. I know some bloggers also keep their personal life like you said, because I believe everyone has own boundaries. Well I just want to say, I want to blog because my love for it. I don't want to blog because I want to join the "competiton" or for money.

    Sorry for my messy thoughts haha. And my thought about little Henry, I hope someday he found this blog and see how awesome his mom and dad when he was a little child. How his parents show the world how much they love him through this blog. You are awesome, Dan! Send my warm greetings to your little family. <3

    JANE FROM THE BLOG

    ReplyDelete

 
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