Will Your Kids Hate You For What You’re Sharing Online?
I share a lot of information about my kids online. Of course I think my kids are awesome, funny and adorable and being their mom is so much a part of who I've become that, naturally, I love talking about them. I post status updates, photos and funny quotes to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I blog about my kids on The Bump. I also started a Tumblr to both archive and showcase my son Cooper's amazing writing projects. And last week, I shared his first love note with all 480 of my Facebook friends.
His kindergarten classmate Janie (name changed to protect the child whose mother may not be an over-sharer) wrote him THE MOST AMAZING love note, ever. She told him everything she loved him more than. She drew pictures of them holding hands. She was so excited to give it to him. It was delightful, delicious and memorable and my knee-jerk reaction was, "OMG I totally have to post about this amazing thing on Facebook!" So, I did.
The love note post got about 35 "likes" and the subsequent post I made showing the drawing of them together got another 31 "likes" plus comments. Everyone loved it! Who wouldn't?! It was so. damn. cute. A few days later, people were asking if Janie had given him a Valentine. Only then did it dawn on me that this moment was now etched into Cooper's online presence for all to see — and would I want someone posting about MY six-year-old love life on social media?!
My Facebook page is set to be private, but suddenly I fast-forwarded in my mind to his college applications, job interviews and future girlfriend Googles which could result in the discovery of all of this history — history that I made the choice to post about, not him. Would he think it was as endearing and cute as I do? Or would he want to disown me due to embarrassment?
In the 1970s, my mom stored photos of me in a faux woodgrain spiral-bound photo album that was kept in a drawer. Now, we all inadvertently create a digital, searchable childhood legacy for our kids before they even have any say in it. It's done out of love and pride, of course — but is it OK?
What do you think? Do you share stuff about your kids online?