Since more and more people my age become parents, day after day I see a growing amount of their reproduction outcome fly over my facebook’s news feed. I never held anything against babies. They might be cute and so on. But do tons of pictures of them have to be uploaded to the internet? Let’s think about that.
Emma is 22 and a single parent. She loves Facebook. And she also loves her child, little Kevin. Every day little Kevin grows bigger and learns new things. Yesterday for example, he managed for the first time to hold a spoon in his hand. Wow! Time to take some pictures of him, Emma obviously thought – namely, from every possible point of view.
I know it. Even though I am completely uninterested in it. The reason I know so much about little Kevin’s live is because Emma posts it on her Facebook timeline. As she did yesterday, the day before yesterday and during the past four months. 90 percent of the pictures on her profile show her child in any given situation: Little Kevin crawling on the floor, little Kevin sitting on the table, little Kevin spewing on his bib. It would seem that the short man is something very special the whole internet should pay attention to.
Emma is not the only one disclosing her offspring on the World Wide Web. Just like her, thousands of young mothers share pictures of their children on social networks. The reason for their actions is clear: Firstly, they are proud. Secondly, they have too much time. And in the third place, they don’t reflect over their deeds.
Mothers like Emma are part of the first generation of digital natives tempted to misuse their children as virtual content. This disregarding of personal rights is awful, as the revealed individual is not able to oppose his or her exposure.
Remember: What goes on the internet, stays on the internet.
Imagine one of those embarrassing situations when you had some friends over and your parents started to talk about you when you were a child. “He was so sweet when he ran naked through the apartment, loudly singing ‘la la la’ and dancing around.” Of course, this is nothing you’d like other people to know, especially if they are strangers. I am happy that my mother didn’t have the opportunity to show everything about me to the entire world when I was growing up – I do that myself these days. But the point is this: I do it willingly. And I will not have to suffer from any misused content about me that was posted against my wishes and that is stuck in some server somewhere on the globe.
Kevin probably will. Maybe pictures and videos of his childhood are still able to be found when he is a teenager. They will have the potential to give him an awkward time.
A further reason for avoiding extensive baby picture bombing is this: It plainly and simply annoys people like me. We are expected to regard the flood of pictures day by day. I believe that by now I’ve seen more babies than many a midwife has.
One appropriate picture once in a while should be enough to show a parent’s pride. The remaining files should be kept in private folders on a hard drive. There they are safe and in good hands to make it possible for big Kevin someday to be reminded of his childhood gladly.