Picture Perfect: Drawing the Line when it Comes to Sharing Photos on Social Media

Picture Perfect: Drawing the Line when it Comes to Sharing Photos on Social Media

Today’s society is digital. Parents can easily take and share pictures of their kids with the click of a button. Our phones are full of images of events from our kids’ lives, developmental milestones, and funny moments. But how do we capture more of these perfect everyday moments? How do we preserve these memories? And how much sharing is too much?

Share Safely
The ability to keep in touch with people over the globe is amazing. Grandparents can now view online albums of grandchildren, parents can share pictures with old friends, and teachers are even creating classroom pages that allow parents to view what is going on during the school day.

However, the ability to connect with so many people also creates potential dangers that come from anyone having access to content posted online.
If you choose to share your pictures online, you should strongly consider the privacy concerns of social media.

First, think about those with whom you want to share your photos. There are many online sites which allow you to keep your pictures private while sharing them with specific people you choose. Check your Facebook settings to ensure that photos posted to your profile are not shared publicly, or create a private group full of family and select friends where you can all safely share pictures.  You can also create password-protected photo albums using sites such as Shutterfly, or a password-protected blog.

Should You Post That?
If you don’t keep all of your pictures private, think carefully about the images you choose to post.

Predators are capable of learning personal details about people through online photos, so consider what might be in the picture that could identify your children. Are they standing in front of a school or other building that is easily identifiable? Are they wearing a sports uniform with their school logo on it? Look closely at each photo to make sure the content you’re posting online protects your children–and yourself.

Tess Smith, west side photographer and mom of five, says, “I am pretty careful in what I post to social media. My personal Facebook page is private and the images are only accessible to friends. I share outings, activities, and a few vacation pictures here and there of my older children. I limit what I share as to not embarrass my kids. I also want them to understand what to keep private and what is acceptable to share with the world.”

The memories you make with your family are meant to be cherished, so make sure to use that camera in moments both big and small. You never know what you might capture when you click that button.

Candid Captures
Get creative with your photos by thinking beyond the standard pictures of your child behind a birthday cake or in front of a landmark on vacation.Instead, capture the quiet moments of everyday life. Parents, don’t always be behind the lens. Have someone else snap a few photos so you can become part of the picture.Don’t worry about what you look like; allow yourself to be photographed, however messy and tired-looking you may often be. You’ll find that those are often the pictures you cherish the most.

Rachele Alpine Mielke is a teacher by day, wife and mother by night, and writer during any time she can find in between. She’s an author of five middle grade and YA novels. rachelealpine.com

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