A FEW THOUGHTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

June 24, 2014

So here's the thing. After a friend's account was recently disabled for posting an 'inappropriate' photo of her toddler daughter, (a photo of her sweet little girl in rain boots lifting up her shirt to look at her belly. NOT INAPPROPRIATE. the scary thing is that this happened because someone reported this photo as inappropriate. The thought is sickening.) My heart has not rested easy knowing that so many eyes have access to photo's of my daughter. It's my fault - my account is not set to private and in just a short amount of time my followers have nearly doubled to now over 4,000. It's not a ton by social media standards, but I probably only know maybe 100 of these followers in real life. I could set my account to private now, but that still allows all 4,405 current followers to still have access to my feed. 

These are my concerns. 1. Someone is reporting these harmless, innocent, sweet photo's of children as inappropriate, which means someone's sick mind looks at a photo of a child and is able to somehow sexualize it. NOT OKAY. 2. I do not want anyone using a photo of my child without my knowledge for any sort of reason. Promotion, marketing, etc. Keeping track of over 4,000 followers is impossible, therefore I have no idea if my girl's pictures are being used elsewhere, even though legally they should not be. 3. I have met so many wonderful people through Instagram and the community aspect of it has been so amazing. I would hate to loose that but with that said, what's more important? Clearly the safety, privacy and protection of my child. I have loved being able to share moments of motherhood, Ruthie's milestones and our little life with you all, but I'm at a point where I get a knot in my stomach thinking about what could happen. I would never forgive myself if something horrible happened to my child all because I was too selfish to stop using something as silly as Instagram. It sounds stupid, but I'm really really struggling with this. Does anyone have any advice or stories to share? I'd love to get some perspective on this.

12 COMMENTS:

  1. Linds, I know, I think about this too. One option would be to start a new private account and only add people you know if real life.

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    1. i don't want to do anything drastic but i'm thinking about deleting all the photos i have posted that clearly show Ru's face and start being more discrete with what I post of her. business wise, i don't want to delete my entire account but again, that seems so silly when we are talking about the safety of our children!

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    2. Sam (Montessoribaby)June 26, 2014 at 4:07 AM

      Hi Lindsay! Sam here, I emailed you about this exact concern a while back. I too tried to post discreet pictures of my daughter. You can still capture many sweet moments without having the focus of the picture be your kid's face.

      Good luck wrestling with this...I just gave up on having a public online profile. I want to be able to enjoy instagram and feel safe, and for me the only way to do that was to have a private account and follow people I knew in real life (or at least through a non sketchy internet way).

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  2. The whole business with courtneybabyccino was horrible! I have seen the photo, and to think someone reported it is infathomable. It was such a sweet photo! It disgust me that some of the accounts on ig posts near to nude photos, and the ones getting put down are the beautiful innocent ones. People are hard to understand sometimes.
    I get your worries, and I would have thought the same if I were a mother. Thought I love seeing your sweet Ruth grow up, I fully support your choice. I hope this whole deal get sorted out! Stay strong Lindsay!

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  3. I actually struggle with this daily. My IG account is private, but there are times where I feel like it's okay to make it public... and I do for a brief moment then almost immediately return it to a private status because, like you, I worry who exactly is seeing pictures of my daughter and what their thoughts are concerning the details of the photograph.

    I'd hate to delete my account entirely as I've been able to capture so many wonderful moments and memories through this outlet. That being said, there's a not a day that goes by where I don't worry if I'm subjecting her to some sort of social media vulnerability that we as parents haven't come to realize yet. I worry the same about my blog. There's a thin line between sharing the joy they bring us and protecting it at the same time.

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    1. I totally agree with you, Brad. I think there is a shift happening where us parents who live somewhat of a public life online are starting to understand and realize that at a certain point, sharing too much could potentially become harmful. It's scary and gut wrenching and sad. But, I'm glad this conversation is happening and that I've come to realize all of this before something did happen.

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  4. I'm sorry Lindsay. I saw that picture of the little girl who was looking at her belly and thought it was so insane that someone would find that "inappropriate" compared to what is on allowed on Instagram.

    I personally do not know you and would find it totally understandable if you were to keep your account private for only those who you know in "real life".

    As for what you have shared, it has been so inspiring to me. The way you raise your little one and the stories you've shared of being a wife have been awesome.


    This is an issue that seems to really be weighing on you, and maybe thats a sign right there.

    xxxoo

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I don't think I am going to make my account private for one thing, there are over 4,000 people that I don't know who's access to my feed would not change. I have decided to just post in a more intentional way when it comes to Ruthie and I have gone through and deleted a lot of up close photo's of her. It sort of broke my heart doing so (even though I saved all of my photos) but the fact that I feel like I have to "just to be safe" makes my heart sad. At the end of the day, I'd rather have zero followers if I knew it meant I had a safe and protected child.

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  5. I completely understand where your coming from. I know a lot of people do two things, they create a business and a personal instagram account and basically separate the two. The 2nd is to completely clean your main account. Making it private and blocking people who you do not know who are spam etc. I ended up making my account private and basically spring cleaning my followers because of another issue a few months ago with another blogger/instagramer who had her photo's of her daughter stolen. Since then yeah, I get a lot less likes and am extremely picky with my followers but hey, you do what you have to. I think you need to go with your gut and go from there.

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    1. I have thought about two accounts but honestly just don't want to deal with the hassle. I already have a separate account for our small business and while I don't post anything personal there it can still feel like a burden having to switch between the two. (first world problem, huh?) Anyways, from here on out, at least for now, I'm comfortable still posting publicly but in a much more protected manner. I so appreciate your comment and contribution to this important conversation.

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  6. Thank you for posting this. I go back and forth on it all the time and often have the same knot in my stomach about it. This year I made the decision to not participate in The 52 Project this year with photos of my child, but rather of my studio space. In the past I have gone through my instagram feed and deleted a bulk of photos of my son and I am also careful of the types of photos I post. On the other hand, my son is obviously a big part of my life and my everyday and I want to share that from time to time. That coupled with the fact that I refuse to live my life focused on "what could happen" (something I struggle with ALOT). At the end of the day I post occasional photos of my son and am very careful/mindful about it. It's totally a fine line and I'm still up in the air about it all too. I personally love the posts about your daughter because she's adorable and I love hearing about what other like minded mothers are doing out there in the world in terms of parenting and also from a "relatable" level. Have a good night and thanks again for opening up this discussion. I've enjoyed your post and the other comments as well.

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    1. I think your approach is great. This whole 'modern day concern' has really struck a chord with me and I'm really looking to explore this more and hopefully help others understand the concern and learn more about what we can all do to protect our kids. Thanks for your input.

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