Yesterday Amy Webb wrote a piece for Slate titled We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online.
In the article, Webb explains why she doesn’t allow photos or personally identifiable information about her daughter online – because “it’s the only way to defend her against facial recognition, Facebook profiling, and corporate data mining”.
Knowing what we do about how digital content and data are being cataloged, my husband and I made an important choice before our daughter was born. We decided that we would never post any photos or other personally identifying information about her online.
Andrew Leonard, who says he posts a lot of information and photos about his children online hit back with an article in Salon.
Social media brings people together, he argues. His sister, who was at the birth of one of Leonard’s children, loves keeping up with how her niece and her siblings are doing. And Leonard says he does the same with his brother’s baby.
In a time when we often live so far from each other, maybe it’s a good thing to share photos and updates because “it helps us stitch our exploded communities back together, and keeps us in closer touch with the people we love”.
We are strengthening the ties that bind a larger community of family and friends together, embedding our stories and lives in contexts that are larger than those of the individual nuclear family or neighborhood street. Some anonymity may well be lost through this process, but something valuable is also gained; a sense of togetherness that is often missing or attenuated by modern life.
But what do you think? Is posting pictures of your children online making a choice for them which should really be their own? Are we really “creating a generation of kids born into original digital sin”?
Or is it inevitable today, with everything and everyone seemingly online?
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