If anyone knows how tempting it is to share our kids’ hysterical, adorable, or unreal moments with our entire social networks, it’s us. We get it. Proud parents want to shout their children’s accomplishments — regardless of how big or small — from the (virtual) rooftop. But the Internet is a vast and potentially scary place, and it’s our duty to protect our families. As nice as it would be if those privacy settings were a sufficient barrier, there are still caveats to every safety net that we have to be conscious of. Here are the five times that parents should hold off on sharing their kids’ snaps with the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter-verse.
1) Other People’s Kids — Everyone has their own positions on sharing their children’s faces on social media, so before you go posting and tagging away after a birthday party or field trip, be sure to respect the stances of the other families involved.
2) Where They Go to School — We hate to think of our kids’ schools as being anything other than a safe zone, but the reality is, it’s a scary world out there. If you share photos of your children in the classroom or on school grounds, make sure that the name and/or features that distinguish its location are kept hidden.
3) Nude Photos — The reasons to steer clear of this category are pretty obvious. While your rationale for sharing photos of your tub-time tots is as straightforward as “they’re so cute!” it’s simply not worth the risk of those pictures getting into the wrong hands. Most social networks employ nudity standards, but as parents we should take these a step further. If a photo could be misconstrued as being sexual or suggestive in nature, just don’t post.
4) Photos With Their Full Names Attached — Just as big city dwellers steer clear of personalized backpacks and jackets for their kids, parents who post should refrain from sharing pictures that include their children’s names. Whether it’s a name tag for a school event, a team jersey, or holding up an A+ report card, make sure that your child’s full name is blurred or cropped out of the image before sharing.
5) Anything Your Kids Might Not Want Public — An easy guideline to follow when you’re deciding which snaps of your kids to share is this: if you think that they might not want the picture made public (now or years down the road, if they’re little), then don’t share it. It’s as simple as that. If a photo is embarrassing, unflattering, or seems like it should be private, then respect your child — ask them if they’re old enough — and keep it in the confines of your own photo library.