to feel sorry for the dc of parents who post daily pictures and 'anecdotes' about them on Facebook

(69 Posts)
VioletBrogues Thu 24-Apr-14 19:29:16

I know I would have been mortified to discover that a significant part of my childhood had been shared with hundreds of 'friends'.

The odd picture and newsy stuff every so often is okay, but I have friends who post pictures almost daily of potty training, sick children, tantrums, conversations their children have, funny little mistakes they make and well every tiny detail really.

Its your choice if you choose to share your life in this way. But the lack of respect of the privacy of a child who is too young to choose makes me feel very uncomfortable.

Ruushii Thu 24-Apr-14 19:31:03

Why would anyone care? What effect does it have on life now if our parents had shared all that rubbish? Genuine question.

ICanSmellSummerComing Thu 24-Apr-14 19:33:03

I think you have raised a good point op, its a bit like Katie Price sellling her DC lives on TV.

facebook is open to lots of acquaintances and so on.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 24-Apr-14 19:33:51

Do you not think that parents shared this info with their friend's before?

HaroldLloyd Thu 24-Apr-14 19:33:52

Really? I wouldn't care a bit.

Why would you? People have been sharing baby snaps for generations. My mother had billions of embarrassing ones. I was a baby, I don't care at all.

When they are old enough to look will they be able to trawl that far back? Will FB even exist by then-I think the novelty is wearing off even now.

yesnoyesnoyesno Thu 24-Apr-14 19:34:53

I agree, I very rarely post dc on Facebook, only with faces obscured. (Looking other way etc not blurred out!)
And I wouldn't want people to know my toilet habits so why would I post someone else's.

feathermucker Thu 24-Apr-14 19:35:06

Yes, YABU.

I can't see what harm it could possibly cause the children involved, other than some mild embarrassment in years to come. In a way, it's like building a memory bank.

It's entirely up to people what they post on their own Facebook profiles.

VioletBrogues Thu 24-Apr-14 19:35:06

Rushii I guess I just value privacy and think everyone is entitled to it, unless they choose not to, children included.

RabbitSaysWoof Thu 24-Apr-14 19:36:08

Agreed. I'm not on fb anymore but when I was I didn't even put pics of ds on my rl friends i would send nice pics from time to time, but I can't genuinely say fb 'friends' are friends.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 24-Apr-14 19:36:34

Personally, my mum died when I was little. If there was an online repository of my life as a baby or toddler/small child, with her thoughts and comments - well I would be overcome with joy, tbh.

VioletBrogues Thu 24-Apr-14 19:36:42

My parents may have shared a few baby snaps with a few friends. Not hundreds with hundreds of people.

HaroldLloyd Thu 24-Apr-14 19:37:34

I share pictures. Baby pictures. Can't see the problem at all.

googoodolly Thu 24-Apr-14 19:37:44

I quite like it. Unless your Facebook privacy settings are so lax that everyone and their dog can see your pictures, it's not really any different to a photo album you share around.

Gottleogear Thu 24-Apr-14 19:39:04

I used to think this. But realised the majority of my friends do it for family members who live quite a distance from them i.e. overseas or a least a 2 day camel ride away. So it's lovely that they get to see the children's achievements. OK so maybe potty training in minute detail is a bit OTT smile

PortofinoRevisited Thu 24-Apr-14 19:40:02

Yet again, this comes down to WHO you have as FB friends. I don't have hundreds of acquaintances. I have my family and RL friends. Ones who like to share updates on what we are all getting up to.


I recently went to a talk at our DC school about helping them keep safe online. Later at home, DD (7) pointed out that we put photos of them on our FB without getting their permission (they're too young to be on FB themselves) and that we shouldn't be doing that. She was right, so now I run photos by them first.

I've always been conscious not to put up photos that they wouldn't want to be tagged in, but now they're getting older they are entitled to a say in what goes public about them so I respect that.

wanttoseethebollickle Thu 24-Apr-14 19:40:53

Portofino, a lovely sentiment.

usualsuspectt Thu 24-Apr-14 19:41:03

When the are teenagers they will be quick happy to share their own pictures with their 100s of FB friends.

Ruushii Thu 24-Apr-14 19:41:05

Well, I hope you don't ever show anyone pictures of your children or talk about them EVER, OP. That would be totally taking away their privacy.

ApocalypseNowt Thu 24-Apr-14 19:41:30

Actually you probably don't know if you would be mortified or not as you have not grown up digitally native i.e. born after the rise of the internet. The fact is that children born now will to a greater or lesser extent live a part of their lives online - it will be 'normal' to them.

I appreciate that some people probably go a bit OTT but i think it looks and feels much worse to older generations who didn't grow up in this kind of environment.

flashnorman Thu 24-Apr-14 19:41:54

YANBU, there is sharing & then there's over sharing.

ApocalypseNowt Thu 24-Apr-14 19:41:56

Oh, and i include myself in the older generations comment! smile

PortofinoRevisited Thu 24-Apr-14 19:44:40

There is a big difference between reporting the tantrum of a 3 year and posting something really personal about a 13 year old.

Lenniepennie Thu 24-Apr-14 19:45:41

Exactly what flash said.

AMillionNameChangesLater Thu 24-Apr-14 19:47:28

I have about number 100 friends on Facebook, they are people i speak to in rl, my family and friends. I'm selective about people on there and what I share. I think people make a big deal about it. If you don't like what you're reading, block or hide the person

LtEveDallas Thu 24-Apr-14 19:48:45

God. I've got a photo of DDs 3 year old bare arse on my FB. She thinks it's funny grin

Oh well, each to their own.

thebodydoestricks Thu 24-Apr-14 19:49:30

Totally agree. Read one today that involved sorting out a bum wind problem for a 6 year old. They has seen a specialist ffs!

LettertoHermioneGranger Thu 24-Apr-14 19:49:45

I totally understand you op, and I agree.

I love baby pictures on fb, and cute anecdotes or updates. I don't see a problem with that, and I think when those children go up, if they can look back that far, it's a lovely memory book.

But I think the line is anything your teenage dc wouldn't want their prom date knowing - potty training, poo stories, tantrums, accidents, etc.

Also imagine if one day the papers could go trawling and find the details of the president's toilet training on the internet. Do we really want that? I can't imagine oversharing mothers ever having their children grow up to any sort of high profile position.

LettertoHermioneGranger Thu 24-Apr-14 19:50:36

*grow up

Ubik1 Thu 24-Apr-14 19:50:47

I sometimes wonder what mumsnet children would think about the stuff their parents post/have posted about them.

VioletBrogues Thu 24-Apr-14 19:53:01

Its not about how I feel seeing them i.e. telling me to block them, or about how you feel i.e. you find it funny. Its about how that child might feel in years to come when they realise that something they said or did in a private family moment has been shared by their parents on a public forum.

surromummy Thu 24-Apr-14 19:54:08

I agree with portfino, I recently lost my bf, her oldest dd loves the fact she can scroll bk through her mums timeline and see what she wrote.

OxfordBags Thu 24-Apr-14 19:54:27

OP, there's something called privacy settings on FB hmm You can choose who sees your photos and comments. Some people don't use them, or think they are doing but have made a mistake, but most people do to some extent. It simply does not follow that posting a pic of a child automatically means that hundreds of people, including strangers, will see that picture, or a comment.

When I was little <MN goes sepia-tinted, Hovis advert music plays> everyone's parents showed loads of pictures and slides, and gossiped and bragged and nattered about what their various DC were up to. With FB, people can ignore or accidentally miss pictures and updates, whereas if Uncle Jimmy was making you watch 500 slides about the family holiday to Bognor, with running commentary, you had no choice to have to hear and see it all (whilst praying for death). I actually think people probably saw more pics and heard more details about kids' lives Back In The Day than they probably do now.

Like Portofino, I only have FB family and friends I know. Some of them I did meet online, but I now know them beyond that scope. Both Dh and I have family and friends all over the UK, and abroad, and FB is a great way for us all to see what's going on with each other's lives, and see how the various DC are doing. FB actively builds familial bonds for many people. DS loves seeing pictures of his little cousins and second cousins, or the Dc of close friends. It's far easier, and more spontaneous to show him pics of FB than dig out some photo albums and sit him down, to remind him of his family.

Some of my cousins have posted old scanned pics of our late grandparents which I've never seen before, and pics of me and my siblings and parents that we've not seen before, and vice versa. That's really great.

ikeaismylocal Thu 24-Apr-14 19:55:57

If the only thing my dc are annoyed with me about is that I posted photos of them on Facebook I think I will have succeeded in being a pretty good mother.

cakeymccakington Thu 24-Apr-14 19:57:10

But it isn't a public forum is it?

VioletBrogues Thu 24-Apr-14 19:58:24

Oxfordbags I too believe that there are some positive elements to FB and provided the privacy settings are appropriate, some pictures and stories of dc is, in my view, fine. I'm talking about the over-sharing, non-filtering parental posting.

TiredFeet Thu 24-Apr-14 19:58:51

Maybe you are lucky to have most family and friends near by. I post a picture/ adecdote about fortnightly. All my good family and friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away. It helps me feel they are part of my childrens lives in between visits. I don't have 100 s of 'friends' though (although my family and close friends makes for quite a lot) and my privacy settings are high.

TiredFeet Thu 24-Apr-14 20:01:42

I do agree though that we should be selective, I would never dream of posting about my children's health/embarrassments etc

smartypants1000 Thu 24-Apr-14 20:07:09

I joined facebook when dc1 was born, and the reason I joined was to share details of my dcs' childhoods with friends and family who wouldn't see them growing up day to day. I wouldn't say anything that might be embarrassing for them, but I do post a lot of pics and little anecdotes about them. What I don't like is when people constantly post about how naughty their children are - one "friend" (quickly de-friended) used to call her ds "devil child" and post pics of him having tantrums because she thought it was funny.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Apr-14 23:00:56

I find it really weird to imagine someone seeing the beautiful photos I post of my children and the frequent (ish) statuses about them
and feel sad.



Because their mother is clearly besotted with them and thinks they are amazing?

There are some people who post inappropriate things about their kids but the tend to over share about themselves and their friends and their family too. Those people are usually (IME) massive oversharers in RL and embarrass their children at the school gates on a daily basis. The don't need FB, its just an added extra.

Our children are growing up with social networking. By the time they are adults they will entirely used to the idea that everyone has a presence on the net.

I don't get the angst.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 24-Apr-14 23:06:24

I love the pics of your dc MrsD. They are so cute and look so mischievous and happy. Mine always seems to put on a miserable expression when the camera is pointed.

BruthasTortoise Thu 24-Apr-14 23:11:34

I hope that my DC will be able to look at my Facebook in years to come and know that they were the most important, most loved, most adored people in my life. I hope Facebook is around for years to come and they will be able to share it with their children. If that makes you sad OP that's fine everyone is entitled to their opinion.

EatShitDerek Thu 24-Apr-14 23:13:26

I share with my FB friends. I am friends with all there or I am related to them.

What id the problem?

Its the modern version of having your parents pull out a photo album at partys or when your friends would visit. They also told embarrassing stories.

If you don't do it then don't do it. FB is for sharing.

ChickenMe Fri 25-Apr-14 01:03:03

We all have different feelings about privacy. I don't even have the cat on Facebook. I've grown to dislike it and am starting to remove pictures. I'm just very an*l about it so the op is nbu afaic. Fb is a public site.

iK8 Fri 25-Apr-14 01:11:36

Sometimes I share what my children are doing in a full technicolor, live action 4D way. I let them out in public.

Privacy settings and healthy relationships on Facebook should sort any problems. Oh and I have never felt sad about parents who obviously love their children even if they we tedious

JapaneseMargaret Fri 25-Apr-14 01:19:14

I tend to agree with you, and so don't post minutiae from my kids' lives in FB.

But you're going to get loads of people on here who do exactly that, and they clearly don't see the tedium problem.

JapaneseMargaret Fri 25-Apr-14 01:22:47

Back in ye olden days, there were two types of people, too.

Those who flashed the family album to all and sundry, and those who smiled politely through it...

MrsDeVere Fri 25-Apr-14 15:29:31

portfino thank you smile
Its hard to get a natural photo of them. As soon as I get the camera out they stand still and pose hmm

TaytoCrisp Fri 25-Apr-14 15:46:26

I wouldn't feel sorry for them; though I wouldn't find constant updates and anecdotes particularly interesting.

roomwithabroom Fri 25-Apr-14 15:58:44

If you put a photo on facebook who owns it? I put the occasional up of dcs (it is easier than explaining how to open attachments or blocking up inboxes) but nothing too embarrassing or private. Keeps the rellies happy and it is nice to see peoples dcs growing and changing especially when friends and family live far away.

However I have a few of friends with legal training and NONE of them put pics of their dcs on facebook. Basically their take is the photo is owned by facebook when you put it up there, you lose all rights to it. They all agree legally it is considered a public, not private, forum.

Just read the Daily Wail or The Sun to consider how well privacy settings work, they are in peoples fb accounts in no time to drag up pictures and titbits about their lives; I can't believe all these people didn't know how to use privacy settings....

BrianButterfield Fri 25-Apr-14 16:04:36

Portofino, if my DH had one facebook post or comment from his early life made by his mum (who died when he was 7) it would be worth a million pounds to him.

autumnsmum Fri 25-Apr-14 16:06:12

I have a dd with autism and I have a few friends from mumsnet who are in the same situation who are my friends on fb . I find it wonderful seeing their Dcs as being
The parent of a child with
A disability can be quite lonely in rl

RinkyTinkTen Fri 25-Apr-14 16:12:33

I totally agree with you which is why I don't post pics of dd on fb. I'd hate for her to be embarrassed when she's older and if course you don't know what their future holds so it could be detrimental in the long run.

Either way, I'm uncomfortable about doing it but some people think it's weird!

ikeaismylocal Fri 25-Apr-14 16:12:48

Portofino, if my DH had one facebook post or comment from his early life made by his mum (who died when he was 7) it would be worth a million pounds to him

When peaches geldof died I thought how precious those photos, videos and comments that she posted daily would be to her children. They probably won't have any memories of her but they will be able to see how truely besotted she was with them and how her world revolved around them for the short time they were together.

MyFeetAreCold Fri 25-Apr-14 16:25:07

I think it's hilarious how people who will discuss everything on a properly public and googlable forum get so weird about FB.

Callani Fri 25-Apr-14 16:28:30

I think it really depends - when I was about 8 or 9, I was MORTIFIED about this naked baby picture that was hung in our house. Every time I had friends round I went and hid it and my Mum used to tell me off for "being silly". I could imagine I'd feel similarly embarrassed if I grew up now and someone rediscovered the same picture in an old facebook folder (which can happen incredibly easily).

People need to be aware that when they talk about their children online, they're breaching someone else's privacy, not their own but so many people just see children as an extension of themselves online.

I've had a number of WTF? moments when parents have posted incredibly personal things about their not-so-young children on facebook such as "Oh Anna's turned into a woman today" or open discussions with other parents about the onset of puberty in their children. Poor kids!

MyFeetAreCold Fri 25-Apr-14 16:31:20

If your friends are announcing periods on FB, they're the same people who announce them in real life. It's not Facebook that's the problem here, it's the people.

I'm going to go and post some random anecdotes on FB now.

Callani Fri 25-Apr-14 16:33:14

FWIW, I don't think discussing these things are bad per se, but putting them somewhere other people can stumble across them AND connect them to your DC is not on.

So, posting anonymously online about specific problems but no-one knows who you / your DC are = fine, chatting with friends where there is no record of the conversation = fine, posting personal information about your children on a website where people can link names and photos = crossing the line.

MyFeetAreCold Fri 25-Apr-14 16:52:28

So telling a friend out loud whilst they can see my child = okay, telling a friend on FB whilst they can look at photo of child = not okay? Weird.

brokenhearted55a Fri 25-Apr-14 19:32:53

My cousin does this.

She slated her 12 yo for breaking her iphone screen.

also videod her 9yo not being able to say a word properly and all the adults laughing and correcting her.

daisychain01 Fri 25-Apr-14 19:45:42

YANBU Violet.

I don't believe in banging on about Human Rights, it can be pretty dull, but actually, for this one, I have always believed it violates a person's (albeit a little person) privacy and right to choose what happens to their image. There is a world of difference passing round the family album to a few people at a time, and another altogether sharing on-line (not everyone is aware of the intricacies of security settings, levels of access etc). Its over-sharing a lot of the time, all about the parents wanting to 'appear' a certain way in their life.

DCs don't understand to that extent, they probably happily 'pose' as their parents take photos not realising that within seconds, what it means that they are instantly visible to people they may not even know. They get used to that as "normal" especially when they have photos posted about 3-4 times a day.

They will know in the future, and they may or may not like it, but they were never asked their opinion.

I really resented being "tagged" without being asked if it was OK and I'm an adult!

PortofinoRevisited Fri 25-Apr-14 19:49:00

You can change your settings so that tags have to be run past you first.

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Fri 25-Apr-14 19:54:03

If you don't have something why would you miss it?

These kids don't know life another way. So it's not even aibu. It just is this way now.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 25-Apr-14 20:02:43

My dd's teacher in P1 and 2 had a blog so all the birthdays/outings etc were there. This is normal now. But it always was - minus the internet. People always showed their holiday/child pics to anyone who would look at them. I am on a local history website where people post photos they have found - "who could this be, where was it taken?" sort of thing. No-one is going round getting special permission.

mylovelyfamily Fri 25-Apr-14 20:12:59

I think some people have missed the point; the OP is not objecting to pictures or status updates but frequency and content.

If I put up that my DD2 has potty trained I would consider that inappropriate for example. I have a much-older DD and she wouldn't like it if I'd put something up about her when she was younger had Facebook existed then (she is 16.) Nor would I put up pictures of her as a naked baby even though I have those pictures, or share "funny" stories about funny things they said even though I find them cute and funny, DS and DD1 find them embarrassing now.

treaclesoda Fri 25-Apr-14 20:16:59

I was going to say similar Portofino. I'm also part of a local history page on fb and I've seen photos of family members taken 50 years ago, and it's been a joy to see them. And I've posted photos of a group of people and people have recognised their mum/dad etc and have been contacted and asked for a copy.

I think the idea of 'owning' your own image in a photo is a very modern thing. (It also leaves a very big question over the whole concept of photojournalism, both professional photographers and the modern thing of bystanders taking a snap then realising they have captured something very relevant. But I realise that is a side issue and not related to facebook).

That said, I'm careful not to share photos or stories that might be embarrassing in later years but if I raise my children to be so super sensitive and easily offended that a little anecdote about something funny they did as a two year old traumatised them, then I'll consider it parenting failure on my part.

KittenCamile Fri 25-Apr-14 20:27:35

I have hidden quite a few friends on fb because of their over sharing. Their your DCS and you love them, great but the whole world doesn't need to know.

We use fb as a photo album but have it set to just DP and myself. I just can't imagine anyone else cares to be honest. Your dcs are interesting to you not necessarily other people.

I also agree it's not really fair on children to post without their consent (once they are older)

QuinionsRainbow Sat 26-Apr-14 13:12:17

Why would anyone care? What effect does it have on life now if our parents had shared all that rubbish? Genuine question.

Quite simply, if our parents has shared personal details it would have been verbally to individuals - and it would most likely have soon been forgotten. Today, it's broadcast to the world, and it's out there for ever.

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