I’m now at 10 months blogging. I would by no means call myself an expert, but I do have a few pet peeves (or bugbears) that I write about from time to time. The bugbear this week is family privacy.
I know, I know, who am I throw to throw stones? A good deal of my blog is about my family. And even with all the pseudonyms, I know that if people dug hard enough they could figure out who my kids are. But Boo and Bud are 20 and 17, plenty old enough to have their own Facebook page (or maybe even blog?) and to decide what they are willing or not for me to reveal about them.
Over my few months blogging I have noticed many mom blogs start out as personal blogs – a way to share Jon-Jon’s first steps with close friends and family. But then these moms get bitten by the same writing bug I did and decide to expand their blog to include reviews, recipes, giveaways, etc.
The problem is that as these blogs grow their audience, they are still sharing intimate details of their children’s lives, including their birthdays, ages, occasionally real names, personal quirks, etc. This information is now available for the whole world to read about. Setting stalking concerns aside (although to me that is a big concern), what happens to these kids when they’re adults? Here’s a question posed by a reader of the NY Times Parenting Blog way back in 2009:
What’s going to happen in 5 or 10 years (depending on the age of the kids) when they learn how to use Google and find what their parents have been posting about them for the entire world to read?
…, once you post something online, you can’t take it back. My friends and I joke how back when we were in school, the teachers always threatened to put things on our “permanent record”, and the web has now become everyone’s permanent record. How are kids going to react when they see what their parents have written about them and posted it for public consumption? Should parents use more judgment in what they write? Should they use pseudonyms? - New York Times, August 31, 2009
So, I’m curious what my readers have to say on this topic. Even with my children’s permission, have I revealed too much about them? How do we protect our children from the “permanent record” of the Internet? Please leave your comments!!