Thoughts on Kids & Online Privacy

To share or not share? That’s the question. I’m a blogger with a child, but I think almost every parent can relate in a world that is increasingly operating online. Thinking about how to be intentional with the way I choose to share and what my boundaries are is something I’ve dedicated a lot of time and mental energy towards, starting even before our daughter was born.

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photo by Laura Metzler Photo for Zestt Organics

You might be wondering why I haven’t posted monthly updates about Sage (or you might not have noticed or cared - cheers!) and the answer is complicated. I’m still figuring out how I feel about parenting and blogging and social media. But I’m taking some time to get my thoughts out because I think this is an important conversation. What happens online matters and it is real life. I want to make it clear that I’m not judging any other parent for how they choose to handle this issue! It’s hard because I don’t think there is a clear right or wrong, but I wanted to make that clear before I move on with my own thoughts and how I’m handling it for the time being.

What’s Working for Me Right Now

In general, I am open to sharing my experience as a mother and the transition to parenthood here on the blog but I am less comfortable with sharing Sage’s life in such a permanent and public way. Partly because I feel that even though she’s only seven months old, it’s still her life and not mine to share. But even more than that, I don’t want to feed into comparison. As a parent, I think that every single thing Sage does it amazing and worth celebrating. Even though her physical development has little to do with me, it’s very rewarding from a personal sense. But I worry that sharing monthly posts about Sage would make me too aware of what she is or isn’t doing and how it stacks up to other babies her age. Babies develop at their own pace and the range of normal is so wide. But somehow it all evens out by the time they are toddlers. So I wonder if it’s really worth worrying if your baby is ahead or behind on milestones anyway? Outside of conversations with your pediatrician, family and close friends at least. I’m documenting these types of things in her baby book and that feels right to me.

As far as social media goes, I have a private Instagram account that I created for Sage and intend to use to make one big photobook after her first birthday. On my personal/business Instagram account, I share some day-to-day stuff with Sage through Instagram Stories and will share about her periodically on my feed but almost never in real time. In general, I choose not to post about Sage on Facebook. I’m using my personal Facebook less these days - outside of Messenger, which I use a ton! Anthony and I each joined Facebook in 2006 so that means there’s already 13 years of our ramblings and photos floating around the internet forever. I’m not a stickler about it. I’ve broken my own rule a few times and I don’t mind if someone else shares a picture that Sage is in. There’s a big gray area between the sharing and not sharing, you guys. But I’ve found it easiest to make general rules for myself so that way I don’t have to make the decision everyday about where my boundaries are with sharing online. As a parent, there are more than enough decisions you have to make everyday already!

Overall, my thinking is if I start sharing real-time updates of Sage now, by the time she’s old enough to Google her name she will have 100+ pages of search results. And that feels a little scary and overwhelming to me. It may not to you, and that’s fine! I guess having a child has shown me even more that I am kind of a private person, despite sharing some of my deepest, most vulnerable thoughts and experiences with you here in this little corner of the internet I’ve made for myself. How I feel about sharing Sage may change and evolve as she gets older - in fact, I’m certain it will! But in this first year of her life especially, I feel very protective over her and her babyhood.

How do you choose to share or not share your children online?

Reminder, I don’t think there’s a wrong answer! The best solution is the one that feels right for you and your family. But that being said, I would be interested to hear your thoughts and how you choose to handle this issue! Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram.