You may have realised that while I speak about my son quite often I have never posted a picture of him where his full face has been to the camera. The reason? Well, my husband and I decided (sometime around the time L was born) that we were not going to expose him to the world via the internet until he can make that decision himself.
Yes, we value his opinions on this. Yes, he is stinkin’ cute and totes adorbs and super smart and we take copious amounts of videos and pictures practically every day but we have only shared them with our inner circle (after explaining our stance). Our friends and family understand and are happy to facilitate (one time even hilariously photoshopping a cloud over his face in a family photo).
While we have never bashed anyone who decides to post their children on social media and the World Wide Web, we have however been the object of ridicule and confusion by a few people. In fact, we received a serious backlash when L was born. Hubby posted about it on Facebook and when we responded to calls for a picture with, ‘pay us a visit and you can see him face to face,’ we were told we were being selfish. Maybe it was for the best. I did not have that many visitors in the first few months and those who did visit were the ones who understood our stance.
Why the stance you may ask? Well, we have seen how an innocent ‘cutesy’ photo can be easily downloaded and either made into a meme or posted on someone else’s social media page. The hubby actually knows at least two people personally who have discovered photos of their children on someone else’s Facebook page who was neither friend nor family to the parents. This (or worse) is what can happen. I am not saying it will; I am far from a fearmonger, but just the thought that it can happen concerned us enough to make this decision. Also, we did pay mind to the idea that nothing is ever deleted from the internet and we do not want L to have to explain a random photo that popped up when his future boss/ university dean/girlfriend does a simple google search of his name. We want him to have as clean a slate as possible.
Five years into it, we don’t have any real regrets aside from the fact that our son is the ultimate Youtube kid’s channel mascot; but Trinidad and Tobago is not part of the Youtube partner programme so it makes no sense – if we are going to exploit him, might as well make some money right? (I kid! I kid!)
In any case, the precocious L will still be a star on my blog, just more of an invisible one…or maybe an alter ego/superhero secret identity star (haha!). As soon as we believe he has the wherewithal to make a decision about his identity, then we will pose the question. By that time, he would have true power over how he is viewed online as well.