How much information do you share about your child on your blog?
I posed this question in a few of the blogging communities that I belong to yesterday to get more insight into other mom’s perceptions on their child’s privacy on their websites. The responses were overwhelming, and are still rolling in as I write this. Clearly this is something that blogging mommies are passionate about!
Why are we concerned about privacy?
Safety is obviously the number one priority when it comes to deciding what to share on the a blog. You don’t want to provide a predator with essentially a map on how to find your child. However, our children’s personal privacy is a factor as well. I don’t want my son to be embarrassed by anything I post on here. Currently that is not an issue, because he is an infant and he doesn’t know what it means to be embarrassed! But as he gets older this will be a concern, so I am careful on what I share. As blogging moms was our choice to blog, not our children’s. We definitely don’t want it to affect their life negatively if anything too personal is posted.
Do you include your last name on your blog? Do you include your child’s first name? I personally don’t include either. However, currently most people who follow the blog know me in person and not from the internet. If someone I know comments on the blog with the name of my little cutie, I edit the comment to protect his privacy. I do what I can to ensure that his information remains private from those that I do not know. One mom mentioned that she uses her children’s names and her last name, but because her last name is different from theirs so it makes it harder for people to connect her children to her.
Some moms have a nickname for their children on their blog for simplicities sake. Others use first initials only. I currently don’t have any nicknames on the blog for my little boy, but when we expand our family further I will consider it because it will likely get confusing!
A mom who responded mentioned that her child’s name is purposefully not included in the text of her articles, but if they include a craft that has her child’s name on it, the name is included. One mom mentioned that their last name is common, so it isn’t a concern. Another stated that because her last name is uncommon, she chooses to exclude her children’s first names to protect their privacy.
I personally made the choice to include pictures of my son on the blog. He is a big part of this blog, my inspiration, my life (obviously!) and I love sharing his sweet smile and beautiful eyes with others. For me it fits with the tone that I have created with this blog and also feels more authentic to use personal pictures instead of stock photos. I am comfortable with this choice, especially since neither his first or last name are included in the blog.
Some moms don’t include any pictures of their little cuties. Others include pictures, but only from the side, or of part of their face, or their backs, or from when they were very young where they couldn’t possibly be recognized.
One of the moms who responded informed me that because her blog includes hair tutorials, her children’s faces need to be visible during the videos.
Do you disclose the state that you live in, or the name of your city? Do you disclose anything that could identify your neighborhood or even your home specifically? I have chosen to only disclose Idaho as where we live, and no city is mentioned. It is a large state, and because Idaho is an important part of my life it is included on the blog. However, I never share any pictures of the front of our house or even of us in our front yard. That makes me uncomfortable, so I have chosen not to share those here.
Another thing to keep in mind is if any distinctive landmarks that are present in any photos that you include of your hometown. One mom mentioned that her family is well-known in the community, so she does not mention anything about where they live.
Another mom mentioned that the main topic of her blog is about different activities in their area. Obviously their town of residence would need to be disclosed with this topic) so she is careful to not include any identifying information about her children. No matter what you choose to share, I personally would recommend not sharing anything that reveals what school your children go to, or where you live specifically.
One mother mentioned that some of her children are adopted, and that is one of the reasons why she keeps her children’s pictures off of her blog. Another concern could be if you or your children have escaped an abusive environment. You would want to share little to no identifying information to ensure your safety. Older kids can tell you what they would prefer as far as pictures or even stories they are included in.
All in all…
It is a very personal choice to decide what information to include about your children on your blog. Personal circumstances, blog niches, and preferences all go into the decision. What information do you share on your blog, or on other social media? I would love to hear about your decisions in the comments below. However, I am not interested (at all!) in judgments on others choices.