Some parents are to their children what the NSA and market research corporations are to the rest of us. Myra Hamilton writes at the Conversation:
Children consistently delight and surprise us, and make us hoot with laughter. It’s only natural to want to share these moments with friends and family. But the trend of posting information about our young children on social media sites raises an important issue: don’t children deserve some privacy?
Traditionally, people may have told funny or icky anecdotes about their children to their nearest and dearest when they saw them, or wheeled out embarrassing photos of their naked children at 21st birthday parties.
But social media sites provide the opportunity to share this information far more widely. Parents can place information permanently online where it may come back to haunt them, or their children.
Many parents post photos and videos online of their young children during their most cute, funny, or embarrassing moments. Daily chronicles of the most personal kind are appearing on social media sites around the world. These posts include the most intimate anecdotes about anything from poo and vomit to funny or misguided comments children have made.
This can begin from the child’s earliest moments – from ultrasound images to photos of newborn babies still naked and covered in blood. One parent even posted an image of a toddler on the toilet with his pants around his ankles, peering down with trepidation.
While it’s natural for people to want to share information about their children’s funniest moments, it raises important issues about children’s privacy. A discussion of these issues has been strangely absent and as the trend intensifies, it is a discussion we need to have.
The issue is particularly salient in the context of younger children who are not old enough to speak for themselves. They cannot consent to the information being shared, or understand the possible implications.
Are children not owed some privacy as they learn to navigate the world? Can they not expect their most intimate moments, when they are at their most vulnerable or raw, to be shared only amongst those closest to them?
Should they not have the choice, when they are old enough to exercise it, about which of the moments catalogued by their loved ones are made more public?
Read more here.