Recently I got into a minor Facebook scuffle over my honest discomfort with people sharing their children's photos on the social network.
My issue is not that people want to share their children, their love, etc. with people that should get to see these pictures.
My issue is that I also get to see these pictures. That these pictures are on Facebook, Instagram, whatever, servers. Most likely for a long time (forever). My issue is that putting these photos on these sites allows your life, your property, your children to have parts of themselves controlled by large corporations.
What happens when Instagram shuts off its servers? What if Facebook decides to utilize the weird parts of its user policy that states they own your content? What happens when that baby is a teenager, an adult looking for work, or a parent themselves ans these photos are still floating around?
People got upset with me and told me to just ignore the posts. To 'silence' them on my feed. But that wasn't the point of my post. I was genuinely asking why we decide to place ourselves and then our children out there like this.
Some said that the privacy setting means only friends can see the photos. But why do I get to see baby photos of people I don't know? Is it because they didn't understand the privacy settings? Is it because they aren't really private? I'm not a creeper, but there certainly are people out there who are. If I can see the photo without wanting to, I'm sure others can too.
Some said it was easier than e-mail. Which...just...no. It isn't. Yes, you can post 100 photos of your week old on Facebook and tell everyone to go look. But we don't need 100 photos. Put a few good ones in an e-mail and hit send to the handful that should see them. When we had cameras and film, we didn't send 100 photos to grandma. We sent the best we could take.
I am in no way an anti internet presence type person. I have Twitter, Facebook, I blog regularly, and I write online reviews. I am firmly online.
I believe we all should get to make that choice though. And I also think we should be protecting our children better. Why do we allow babies to have internet footprints but don't allow children to trick-or-treat in neighborhoods any more? I understand that the two have little to do with each other but I bet the answer is that trick-or-treating is 'not safe'.
Yet internet footprints are...
I'm genuinely not sold on the arguments on the pro side of this.
I know this has zero to do with writing, publishing, or anything like that. But it's been bothering me lately. So there it is.