Posting Pictures of Your Child Online: Is It Safe?

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Depending on your age, you probably did not grow up with your parents posting pictures of you all over social media…

In fact, it wasn’t until you were an early teen or a young adult that social media was even a thing.

Why do we post on social media?

But now, Facebook and other social media platforms have become our online scrapbook where we share everything from the birth of our baby to their first steps to their cute little butt in the bathtub.

Social media is a way to share your new little one with family and friends. But, thanks to apps and features such as Time Hop or Facebook’s On This Day, you will be reminded of that post a year, or even years from now and can get a glimpse back at when your child was a younger.

What are the dangers?

Of course, you say that you know all your friends on Facebook…

Most people don’t accept or add someone they don’t know from Adam, right?

And, if someone had really done you that wrong or you had some major confliction with them, you would block them. In addition, there are privacy settings you can easily access.

So, when we pose the question of “Is posting pictures of your child online (social media) safe?” most people backfire with:

“Well, why wouldn’t it be?”

Personally, this is a gray area for me…

When I scroll through my newsfeed and see several parents posting a picture of their three-year old daughter running around with no shirt on or their two-year-old son peeing off the front porch as he is learning to potty train…

Honestly, I think twice.

Would I post that of my child?

While you might be certain that you know all of your friends, what about your friend’s friends, or even the people that follow you…

A little food for thought:

People can follow you.

That’s right – Facebook now has a follow feature. If you don’t want to add someone as a friend – for example, they have reached their friend limit – you can simply follow them and still see and interact with their posts the same way.

Who could be following you that you don’t know? Who could be following you that has a troubled past and might be lurking in the dark?

Unless you have blocked that person, they can follow you…

While you will receive a notification that they have followed you, you are not required to “accept” the follow like is necessary for a friend request.

People can share your post.

We’ve all done it:

You see something just adorable or meaningful and you have to share it. It could be as simple as sharing the newborn picture of your best friend’s child to let everyone know how excited you are to be the unofficial aunt or uncle.

But, how many friends does your friend have who shared the post of your child?

Are they as picky about who they allow on their Facebook as you are?

Once they have shared your post, it is visible to those many more people that you might not even know.

People can see what their friends like.

Did you know when you “like” a post, it pops up on your friend’s newsfeeds:

“Jane Doe liked this post” (with the post included).

So, even something as simple as a friend “liking” your post could cause it to be shared with hundreds or thousands.

What you CAN do.

There are several security features in place such as:

  • Disabling the ability for people to share your post.
  • Set your profile and photos to where only friends can see.
  • Make yourself unsearchable on Facebook – you have to search for people you want to add, they can’t find you.

In Summary

Ultimately, nobody can make the choice but you…

And for most, myself included, it is a gray area.

We live in a world where social media is at the center of our social lives, but what things should we still keep private?

Just how safe is everything we post on social media?

The best advice I can give is:

Beware of the dangers, monitor your account settings, be selective with what you post.

Let us hear from you: Do you have a strong opinion on why you should or should not post your children on social media? Let us know what you think and why.

Olivia is a full-time freelancer with a degree in communication studies. She is passionate about life, food, and just about everything in between. In her spare time, she enjoys crime investigation series, the beach, and traveling with her husband. They recently embarked on their journey to see the world, moving from Arkansas to California.
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