I had a message from someone the other day in response to a post on my blog; it was a private message, because as she said, ‘my elder two don’t need to see their mother’s issues on social media’. Her kids are older than mine, but it struck a chord with me as it’s something that’s been playing on my mind recently – the whole blogging and kids thing – both in terms of their online safety, and their privacy.
I’m aware that I am effectively creating an online footprint for my kids, before they are old enough to do it themselves. For this reason, I am careful with their identities online. I never use their names on the blog, and I use photos that are recognisable to friends and relatives, without being full face, identifiable shots. Occasionally I’ve posted a Silent Sunday which is more recognisable because I love the photo, and in this case I just mark the post as ‘private’ after a week or so.
Thanks to this article from Mediocre Mum, I do a regular google check of all my kids’ names – have a read of it to find out why you should probably do the same if you maintain any sort of online presence. And I also check the inbound links to photos on the blog, suggested by Leslie on this article at Scottish Mum. So I’m reasonably happy that I am behaving sensibly in terms of their online safety.
But their privacy – that’s a much more tricky issue for me to wrestle with. I think I am respectful and sensible in what I share, but will they agree? How will they feel in the future about reading about their milestones online, knowing that some of their friends’ parents may be reading the same thing? And what will it be like for them discovering things they don’t know about me? I mean I think I have done a reasonable job so far of protecting them from the knowledge that I’m a complete muppet, but a few minutes digging around these pages will soon reveal the truth. Poor buggers, how are they going to cope with THAT?
I’ve made a start on giving the blog a bit of a separate identity, by setting up specific Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles that I can use to share blog posts; (really? Would you? Oh how kind! Yes, just click there, and there and there and I’ll love you forevs.) The idea is that I will move away from sharing LearnerMother posts on my ‘me’ accounts. That way when the kids are old enough to set up their own social media they won’t see my witterings in their feed at least. But making the blog less in their faces, does not take away from the fact that it exists.
What do you think? Have you changed the way you blog as your kids get older? If you have older kids, how do they feel about what you write? I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you for reading, as ever!