I Want To Share But I Don’t Want To Overshare: Respecting Children’s Privacy in the Age of Social Media

 

This blog post was inspired by an online article titled Perils of Facebook Parenting: Exploring Danger of Oversharing Children Online. Please read it if you blog or are sharing about your children online.

I saw a little girl in a preschool I had visited one time. I have never met her but I knew who she was. I have never met her but I knew when her birthday was. I have never met her but I knew where she went on her last vacation. I have never met her but I have seen her with just her swimsuit on.

I knew her from Facebook, only in Facebook, and it freaked me out. She was the daughter of an old schoolmate I have not seen nor talked to in over a decade. It freaked me out so much that I no longer post pictures of my children on my personal account and made my old albums available to just a handful of people.

It also shaped how I blog and share about my children.

Respecting My Children

I created this blog as a creative outlet and as a way to journal our homeschooling adventure. I thought it would be nice too if some parents would be inspired by what I have to share.  I agonized though about how I would write about my children without making it all about them. I wanted this blog to be about us but not really about us.

Creating my personal blogging rules helped me get over my indecision. I based it all on one word: respect. I respect my children and would never want to compromise their privacy, especially when they don’t know yet what the word means.

My rules are simple, and I try to stick to each one every time I compose a blog post.

Never show their faces completely or clearly
My photos of my children may seem strange sometimes – weird angles, blurry faces, faces with eyes missing, heads cut off – but I won’t have it any other way. I am tempted once in a while to share more anecdotes and to show their dear, beautiful faces, but I always remember that little girl and I stop myself.

Never reveal their names
I admit that the noms de guerre I chose a year ago are not creative at all. I never thought I would last more than a year blogging! But here I still am, and quite attached to the silly names I picked. Bear with me.

Never write about their personalities
I avoid writing too much, if at all, about my children’s habits, what they like, their accomplishments, or latest fascinations. Perhaps when I was just starting, I indulged a bit in motherly pride. But as I grew more comfortable in my writing and our homeschooling, I found a “blogging formula” that I like: talk about books, ideas, and activities, don’t focus on the children, BUT still somehow create a blog post that will serve to keep our memories. 

 

I realize that these rules may sometimes make my blog very impersonal and vague.  But I would rather be impersonal and vague, as long as I am being respectful of my children while keeping myself happy with my writing and preserving our family memories.

I want to share but I don’t want to “overshare.”
How do you feel about sharing in Facebook, and your blog if you have one?
Make magic!
  • http://www.thelearningbasket.com/ Mariel @ The Learning Basket

    Thanks Tina Haha I think it’s really also about what we are comfortable with as parents, but we do need to think about what we’re putting out there :)

  • http://trulyrichmom.com/ TrulyRichMom/TeacherMamaTina

    OK, reading this just made me feel so like I am such a bad mother! :P Hehe! For being too open about so many things in my blogs and on Facebook and Twitter. Hahahaha! Thanks for the reminders, though, about RESPECTING our kids. When I am not overloaded anymore, I think I’ll sift through all my social media stuff (blogs, FB, etc.) and “correct” what needs to be “corrected.” :D Welcome back!

  • Robin

    I think you have made a very wise choice! Love your blog! Thanks for keeping it simple!

  • http://www.thelearningbasket.com/ Mariel @ The Learning Basket

    Thank you for your kind words Robin! Glad to have you here :)

  • notjustyum

    I like this post! I used to post a lot of photos also but I deleted more than half of what I uploaded. Those who can see my kids photos are the ones I have allowed to see my kids.

    I prefer to post photos that will encourage families to explore with their kids more – cooking, camping, being in the outdoors! :) thanks for the reminders mama Mariel!

    • http://www.thelearningbasket.com/ Mariel @ The Learning Basket

      Thanks for dropping by Mama Cheryl! It was so hard at first to stop posting pictures because i’m as proud of my kids as any mom out there! BUT BUT BUT! :D