We’re oversharing our kids online, but is it safe?

According to a UK study, by the time our kids reach their teens, 1,300 images of them will exist online. The minds behind the data blame us. And fair enough. Anyone for a 38-month status update?



My parent’s house is dotted with images I’d rather forget. The triple denim years, the coke-bottle glasses years, the cocktail of acne and asthma. Fortunately, I grew prior to the age of Facebook, so the pieces of unfortunate curio are few. Those born after me, are not so lucky. A new report by the U.K.’s Children’s Commissioner’s Office (CCO) has measured the extent of our culture of documentation, and promotion.

According to the report, by the time a modern child reaches its teens, nearly 1,300 photos and videos of them will exist online. Figure in the amount the children themselves post, and we’re pushing 70,000 by the time they can legally drink. Speaking as a parent (which I am, yay), I can unequivocally state that we’re a paranoid, impulse bunch. We fear the faceless antagonist of who/whatever, and we’re trying not to kill them, so a library of data on Junior could represent a fairly questionable pickle.

The COO believes we’re at fault, as we parents need to give consideration to the type and quantity of information we share about children online. Subtext: Put your camera away.

The report’s authors also suggest that we establish government agencies and policies focused on protecting children’s data privacy. Anne Longfield (Children’s Commissioner) notes in the study, the issue “is only going to get bigger — so let’s take action now to understand and control who knows what about our children.”

As a parent (remember), may I put forth the idea that we should stop the building block posts, where our beloved speaks in the second person, regaling strangers with the tales of the time that they shat on the floor? It might be cute, and naw, it is, but maybe it’s for their safety.

You know, speaking as a parent.


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