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Childhood pictures on social media -- MNHQ needs your thoughts!

(11 Posts)
FinnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Oct-16 10:44:22


We've been asked by the BBC for MNers' thoughts about parents and relations posting pictures of their children online. Does it have any particular effect on children? Does it present a challenge for them when they come to set up their own social media profiles? Are today's children worried by the digital record that exists of their younger selves, or is it now too normal to notice?

How big an issue is this for parents? What do you see as the pros and cons of posting pictures of your children on Facebook or other social networks -- and what precautions do you take? What questions do you ask yourself? How much time do you spend considering what your children will think in future about the photos going online now? And do you see the debate evolving in future?

Any thoughts most welcome.

Clairerandallfraserthe1st Wed 12-Oct-16 11:01:01

As my ds got older I would always ask his permission to post a picture of him to social media. I get upset at seeing people posting 'funny pics of their dc online as they are plain embarrassing for a child. I do wonder how it will turn out...they have their own digital footprint before they are even old enough to have an account.

MrEBear Wed 12-Oct-16 13:34:10

I don't really like putting lots of photos on FB but I imagine that there will come a point when the ones that do exist will need to be deleted.

fusionconfusion Wed 12-Oct-16 13:37:28

My eldest is six, and I ask his permission. My younger two are 4 and 2 and I only share very normal family snaps, the likes of which could be put in a frame. I think if you think you would be willing for this to be a picture of you that was put it in a frame on someone else's mantelpiece, or displayed at work, it is reasonable. I also post only about once a half-term, perhaps 3-4 pictures. This seems like fair sharing, with adequate privacy settings etc - and my general sense is if they sue me for this in years to come, I will be far more concerned about what I did to make that seem like a sensible choice for communicating frustration at my innocent parenting mistakes than the picture sharing itself.

AbbieLexie Wed 12-Oct-16 13:44:08

We leave it to the parents to decide what is to be posted on Social Media about their children. We send any photographs we've taken to the parents. I'll send photos privately to someone like great grandmother.

Pettywoman Wed 12-Oct-16 13:44:24

The pictures I post are usually very bland, walking on the beach type stuff. I don't think they'd be embarrassing for them when they grow up although teens can cringe at anything.

Social media is so mainstream now that as long as you are mindful that you're being respectful and fair towards them then I think it is fine. I am more concerned with the availability of pornography online and pressure from their own social media when they're older. That has the potential to be far more damaging than anything I'm posting.

klassy Wed 12-Oct-16 15:22:30

I don't have kids so only ever see the "other" side of this (parents posting away).

Have to say, I usually see "worse" stuff from the grandparents or relatives who seem keen to emphasise they're part of the kiddies' lives, so put any number of embarrassing or flat-out inappropriate things online. There are quite a few kids I've never met but I've seen photos of them in the bath/on the toilet/etc etc. Not outrageous behaviour as such but certainly no awareness or respect for privacy.

Some of these are from people who barely know me but added me at work years ago and have gone on to retire etc. So I don't think some people "get" how public and long-lived social media really is, or how to limit their profiles. Or maybe they just don't care?

cozietoesie Wed 12-Oct-16 16:28:53

I'm not sure it's that they don't care, more that they just don't see other people's point of view. They know how they interpreted or felt about a picture, they know how they use social media and why they posted something and (largely speaking) that's good enough for them. Just my initial reaction, anyway.

MrEBear Wed 12-Oct-16 18:00:56

Klassy I tend to agree with you. There is a generation who dabble in social media but who don't understand the dangers of it but maybe you are right they just don't care.

Hygellig Sun 16-Oct-16 18:47:57

I post pictures of my children (age 5 and 3) occasionally on Facebook. All of my Facebook friends who have children, with one exception, do so as well (some very regularly, some less often).

They are general photos of them fully clothed on family holidays, for example, hopefully nothing that would embarrass them in the future. When they are older I will ask them before posting a photo. My profile is set so that only friends can see my photos (although one of my friends has sometimes posted photos of my children after visiting me, which are then visible to her 300+ friends).

I am not sure how easy it would be to find a particular person's childhood photos - presumably you'd need to know their parents' names to look them up on Facebook, and what happens if they have a very common name? Then the photos shouldn't be visible to other people if they've got their privacy settings sorted out.

What is less discussed is what parents write about their children, either on Facebook posts or on blogs (some of which get turned into books) - some children must have their entire childhood described and sometimes pictured on parenting blogs and the writers aren't usually anonymous.

katiegg Sun 16-Oct-16 19:32:07

I have posted one picture of ds on Facebookc on the day he was born. I've asked friends and family not to post pictures of him and most have adhered to our wishes. One or two haven't and I have reported the images to FB and had them removed that way.

Our reasons are that it should be his choice how much of his childhood/life should be on social media/the Internet. We are quite private people, husband isn't on social media at all and although I have a Facebook account, I dont post a huge amount and keep my friends to people know reasonably well and I make use of privacy settings/ groups.

I don't judge anyone who does post of their children (apart from those how post 10 updates every day wink), it's just that we've made the choice not to do that. I do wonder if there will be a backlash in 10 years time from those children who have had their entire childhoods documented on Facebook etc, in particular the children of mummy bloggers. But equally I do sometimes wonder if ds will think we didn't love him enough to document his childhood online. All in all, I'm content with our
decision and I think he'll understand we were trying to respect his privacy when he is older.

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