As adults, we make conscious decisions every day to be recorded, wherever we go. And as adults, we are able to make these informed decisions, no matter how much they make us cringe, because we are aware of the ramifications of our choices.
If we didn’t want to be recorded, we simply don’t have to go to that place. Of course that would mean that you likely wouldn’t go anywhere anymore. Nevertheless, I digress.
Where does that leave children?
I ask because I believe that it should be a parent’s choice whether or not they choose to share pictures of their children online. And I don’t believe that anyone should post a picture of someone under the age of eighteen without expressed written or verbal consent from that child’s parent.
A friend of mine works a relatively public job. He’s no Justin Bieber or anything, but let’s just say that he’s ‘google-able’. Because of the nature of his job, he’s aware that he’s in the public eye and that it could be harder for his kids to lead a normal life. He and his wife have a policy that they’re not going to share photos or videos of their children online. They want their kids to be able to make the decision if they want to lead public lives when they’re old enough to do so.
My friend has been to the school, to the baseball association, to the gymnastics studio, and so on and so forth to inform all of these places that he and his wife don’t want photos of their children appearing online. He does this to make sure that the places they’re taking their children are either: okay with this, or if they’re not okay with this they are informed so they can pick an alternative option for their kids.
Last week as my friend was dropping his son off for his first day of Kindergarten, two mom’s took pictures of him and his son in front of the classroom and posted them on facebook.
These weren’t innocent ‘caught in the background’ style photos. These women went out of their way to take photos of my friend and his son to post them to Facebook and brag about who’s child is in their child’s class.
My friend, simply trying to give his kids as normal of lives as he possibly can, was hit with snide remarks and a swift ‘not a chance in hell’ from the mom’s when he asked them to please remove the photos from their Facebook pages. One of the mom’s went so far as to say that if he doesn’t want photos taken of his children then he ought to home-school them.
As I mentioned earlier, I think that the only person who has a right to post a child’s photo is that child’s mother. Clearly, though, not everyone thinks the same way that I do. I can’t lie, I’m having a hard time seeing the other side of this argument. When he told me the responses he got from the women after asking to have the photos removed, I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Does privacy is exist in 2019? Do we forgo any privacy we might have, even for children, if we leave our houses? I don’t have kids, so I’m not seeing this from a parent’s perspective, but to me it’s a little creepy to purposefully take a photo of someone else and their child to post to Facebook and brag to your friends.
I don’t think that my friend was out of line in requesting the photo be taken down. But I’m curious where other’s opinions lie with respect to the subject.
*Please Note – I am all for parents sharing pictures of their children. If you want to share pictures of your own children – go for it! I love pictures and videos of cute kids. It brightens my day. I just don’t think anyone should have their decision to not post pictures taken away from them. Each parents decision should be respected.