Our Children’s Digital Footprint
What’s being posted online forever stays there.
This photo just resurfaced on my feed, and it stopped me cold, OMG!!! Kids are definitely not thinking about the undeletable, inexhaustible archive of their best — and possibly worst moments being stored for their kids to bump into generations from now. How will this saucy selfie from their teen be explained when they are grandparents? They say don’t write anything in an email you wouldn’t want your boss to read. Well, kids, an even better rule of thumb — don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandchild to see!
In absence of guidelines for healthy and polite social media etiquette, kids and parents are left to determine their own boundaries for navigating the seemingly endless opportunities available to us. In this post I want to remind parents, not just kids, please think before you post.
Parents Wait Before You Post
Kids digital footprint in this day and age starts sometimes even before they are born. With parents posting images of the sonogram, and later on of every milestone of their children life, right on social media. Those posts will forever be linked to them.
When my daughter crawls into bed with me in the morning and gives me a big kiss, she doesn’t want me to take her picture and share it with the world across Facebook or Instagram. She doesn’t care who else thinks I have a cute kid. She just wants me to hold her, see her, and enjoy this private moment together.
In this post, this boy did the innocent act of undressing to watch TV, and add the cute innocent touch with his mom boots, will he want to have this image haunt him forever?! I am not sure.
I recently read about a teenager from Australia that was very upset with her parents, that decided to hire an attorney and sue them. She was quoted saying: ‘They knew no shame and no limit — and didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot — every stage was photographed and then made public.”
Let’s Set an Example
The rules we ask our kids to follow, are ones we should comply with as well. The posts they post and the posts we post will remain forever in this digital world. People will google and see them — when they start dating, apply for college, and even when they look for a job.
We want to help them and not harm them, our contribution to their digital footprint should not be staining their reputation in any way.
Yes, it is a different generation, a digital generation. And yes, we are now judged by different standards on all levels. Screens are no different. With that in mind, I am sure no one will want the embarrassing image his dad posted on Facebook, haunting them forever online. Please remember our digital footprint is there for the world to see, think twice before posting anything — either as parents or kids.
Tali Orad, Founder & CEO of Screen / Founder of B.E.CPR, Inc
Entrepreneur and engineer, but most importantly, a mom to a son and two daughters, little angels that were spending way too much time on their electronic devices. That’s what inspired Tali to create Screen and reconnect with her family.