We live in a strange age, with questions and concerns that are new for all of us to navigate. When I was growing up, my parents could take as many photos of me as they wanted. Those would then be sent to be developed (yes, this was an age of film) and we would wait with anticipation to see how they turned out. Most pictures ended up in a folder or a box, some occasionally being selected for framing or blowing up to larger size and then displayed or shrunk down to be carried in a wallet.
Now, photos have a different meaning. With our smart phones, it’s so easy to take pictures throughout the day and instantly see how they turned out, send them on to friends and post them online. It’s a normal part of our day to day lives and most of us don’t even think twice about taking a selfie at an event or snapping some quick photos of our food or locale. But when you add in another human life, things get a bit more complicated, at least in my book.
There are a few reasons I’m more careful about sharing images of Harley. First of all, she has no way to consent to the images being taken. How often do any of us say “delete that picture, I don’t like how I look” to friends, telling them not to add photos on Facebook or not to tag us in them. Babies don’t have that kind of say, but their images are just as permanent. Any images of Harley that I post online will shape how people perceive her. Not just now, but in years to come; when she’s old enough to be online, or have friends who are online, any of them will be able to access this blog or check my Instagram and see all the images of when she was a smaller human. She might be fine with the pictures that I post, but she might not. I’ve known plenty of parents who would display embarrassing bath time or toilet pictures of their kids in the home, or show them off at events, but at least that was the extent of their reach – with the internet, the whole world could see any of those images.
This brings me to another concern. I trust my friends. I make an effort to only socialize with people who I think are good humans. However, with social media and blogging, the reach goes beyond that inner circle. Any image posted to social media or on this site could be viewed by any number of people with any kind of intent. There are all sorts of scary people out there, and the idea of them using her image for nefarious activities gets me rather distressed. So, while I can’t control what other people do, I can control how much I choose to share.
I think my little Princess Harley is gorgeous. She has such a beautiful face and is beyond cute. There’s a part of me that wants to show her off every day, and I thought I might use this blog to do just that. However, the more I’ve considered it, the more careful I’ve decided to be. It’s not to say that I will never share photos of her – I fully intend to show her off. However, I might not do it every day on every platform, and certainly I won’t share every photo I snap; that level of sharing is reserved for my mom.
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