Nudity NOT Allowed

Just ate breakfast! – Facebook

[Picture of said breakfast] – Instagram

#mostimportantmealoftheday – Twitter

Naked pictures of my kid on all of the above… wait, what?

This is a conversation that has been coming up a lot lately and to me the answer is a vehement NO!

Every other month there is some exaggerated warning about Facebook’s intrusive privacy policy but it comes from the actual fact that when it comes to Facebook, we don’t actually know just how much privacy we do or don’t have but what we do know is that it’s insufficient and yet most of us are far too addicted or have too much FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to delete our accounts and take a stand (myself included). So at the very least, we should be respectful of the fact that our children haven’t made these decisions yet.

Personally (and somewhat hypocritically), I feel that we shouldn’t share ANY pictures of our kids on social media. To do so is a violation of their privacy for the above reasons.

However, my kids are the accomplishment in my life I am most proud of. If I never do another thing of value in this world at least I can say “Hey! Look at these two… I got something right!” then there’s also the fact that I have special people all over the world demanding to see my beautiful babes so I do post pics of them… A LOT but I try to do regular deletes (which are probably useless due to Facebook’s privacy “rules”) and I would never post anything I believe they would take out of the family photo album (remember those?) at age 16.

I have friends who never post pics of their kids and others who only post pics where their kids’ faces are obscured by shadows or objects, both of which I think are the best options but I know some of us just can’t help ourselves.

Nude pictures are just a full stop no, though. When we think “dangers of the internet” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Pedophiles. These sickos are getting more and more clever and so we have to do our bit. I honestly don’t see why we need to share nudie pics in the first place (these I remember moving from the photo album) but particularly when we know that creeps are out in force. There was a Facebook group that myself and other Mums in a Mum’s group had to petition (way too hard) to have Facebook remove. It was dedicated to pictures of young boys in swimwear stolen from Nippers photos, etc.

This topic of kids on Facebook has mainly come about when people have had someone else share without their permission, so that’s another issue that needs to be addressed. I don’t even take a picture of someone’s child without asking and if I do take one, I always ask if I can share it on FB if I plan to. I think this should be standard protocol. We used to do Gymbaroo and if a parent wanted to take a picture, they had to get every parents permission first and I think that’s how it should be everywhere.

With the invention of social media we have become a culture of sharers and it is what it is but there are still (highly intelligent) people who don’t want to “update” every aspect of their lives and don’t need our “likes” to validate their thought processes. How do we know our kids aren’t one of those? How do we know whether this culture will continue? Maybe (hopefully) in 5 to 10 years time society will have dismissed this phase and gone back to keeping their basic movements to themselves. Who knows?

All we DO know is that our kids can’t always speak up for themselves or know exactly how they feel about the idea of their pictures being shared so my advice is to limit it, be respectful of other people and their choices, make sure friends and family know how you feel and ask before sharing and NO NUDITY/RASHES/TANTRUMS or anything else that may embarrass or shame them later in life.

We’re their best spokespeople, let’s remember that!

NB: This article by Chantal Harrison aka Aunty Ask has previously been published elsewhere.