Mummy Confession: Before I had children, I didn’t think too much about social media, the internet and how it may mean being more restrictive on what I share online.
It’s the first day of school and you are SO excited that little Max is setting off on a new adventure! You take a photo in front of the school sign and share it to Facebook so all your friends can see just how grown up he looks with that giant backpack. We all love sharing about our life and our family with friends on social media, but we need to consider that the internet is a public space where people aren’t always who they say they are, and don’t have the best intentions with their spare time. (It’s also important to go over personal safety with children before they venture off to school and internet safety with children who are allowed to access the internet or apps.)
Before you post on social media, you should be sure to check these things and consider how public you are making not only your information, but the information of your child. Some parents choose not to share anything about their children online, and that is another option as well.
Check your privacy settings!
If you don’t want to share so that it is public and openly available, make sure your privacy settings are set so posts are not public, or only available to a select group of people or friends only. This includes your cover photo, profile photo and other information you may not want the public seeing. Take note, if you tag anyone on Facebook when posting, it is possible their friends may be able to see that as well or it may post to their Facebook profile (depending on your settings).
You can view how your page appears to the public by selecting “view as” on your profile
You can limit past posts on your profile by changing the settings, too ( … > timeline settings> privacy > limit past posts )
Consider What information you want to share with friends, with family or not at all. Be sure to let those who are viewing your posts know if you prefer to keep these things on your profile or not shared.
When Posting Your Child’s “First Day of School” Photo
These may be some things to consider if you don’t want some or any of your child’s information to be shown on Facebook. If you are posting publicly, I would highly recommend considering all of these when posting a photo, as you can’t control who sees it.
-Crop the photo to avoid showing any identifying landmark information or school information (like the school sign or similar)
-Make the photo black and white if you don’t want to give any indication of the school, or the uniforms/their colours are particularly unique
-Blur out or cover the badge or emblem on uniforms
-Don’t post names or ages/school years
-Any other information you prefer not to be shared, make sure to remove it or blur/cover
Your School’s Photo Policy
Many schools have Facebook or social media pages these days, and you have the right as a parent to inquire about their policy if it hasn’t already been brought up. Some schools will just post the pictures, but others may include students’ names or other information (school years, locations, etc), so it is important to ask WHAT is being posted and WHERE it would/could be used. Some schools will have you sign a consent form to posting photos of your child (whether anywhere or just on social media/media). Some schools ask for you to sign a consent form to not post photos. Sometimes they will still post photos with your child in them, but obscure their face. So again, this is a question you can ask as well in how they manage with group photos. This is something to consider for yourself and your family. Don’t feel pressured either way and talk it out with other local parents or your family before you decide.
These are just a few helpful things to remember when engaging with social media in general, and something to speak to your children about as they grow and start to use the internet and social media. It’s so different to when we were growing up, and you had to make a trip to develop the pictures you just took.
Wishing you all the best for the school years and may you enjoy all of these moments together!
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