Child theft: Why you posting things about your children ends up damaging them

We’ve all seen it–parents put up a post like this on Facebook:  

February 29, 2016

 Today we welcomed our beautiful daughter Emma Jane Smith. She is 8lbs 4oz and 19″ long. 

These posts are inevitably followed by continuous pictures of cute things children do over the next several years. 

What are these parents really doing? Are they sharing with grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, and friends so they can see the child grow?

That’s certainly what they think. 

Reality is quite different. They are blatantly ignoring their child’s right to privacy. 

Even though the child cannot verbally claim (or understand the implications of) their right to privacy, the child has this right and parents should not abuse their parental role. 

Yes, parents are proud of children. Yes, grandparents want to see pictures. That’s what private photo and video albums are for. Public forums, such as Facebook or blogs, are not the places to post information or images of you child. 

Here’s what you don’t think about when you post you child’s name, birthdate, and cutest actions on the Internet:

  • You give identity thieves everything they need to take you child’s identity. Facebook is a treasure trove of this information, and it’s publicly available in most cases. Your privacy settings are enough of a deterrent. 
  • You’re creating fodder for their middle school friends in 8-10 years. Do you remember how much you hated middle school? Do you remember how much bullying happened? Can you imagine what that would be like today if your child’s friends find the video you posted of them when they were two, running around the backyard naked, eating dirt? You just caused yourself six trips to a child psychologist because you were so selfish about wanting to share that cute moment with everyone. Well, everyone includes you child’s worst enemy 10 years in the future. The Internet is permanent. 

Please join me in not posting about your children. The Internet doesn’t actually need to know your beautiful daughter’s name. Not for a while. It doesn’t need to know her birthdate. Not till she can set up her own social media account. It doesn’t need to show, pin, reblog, or endlessly copy her most embarrassing moments. 

Not posting about your children is a choice you make. It’s a way to protect your child in ways that you always want to. It’s a way to put your child’s future ahead of your present desire for instant gratification. 

If you choose to share, follow this couple’s example and keep your child’s information private.   

Your child may never understand the great blessing you gave them. Please be smart. And if you haven’t been in the past. Now is the best time to start. 

About the author: Lee J

Lee J Hinkle spends his days writing video game code. It was never a job he expected to have. Check out Rogue Invader online. Any search will send you to the right spot. Unless the language is foreign. Then maybe 50% will be right.

He tries to be a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and hopes his Father recognizes his efforts.