27 October, 2010

Musings after a long day...

As i've recently been struck with an alarming bout of what i like to call "babyitis", i often find myself thinking about my (our) future children and what i might/might not like to do regarding their lives. One such pondering was my child's internet presence. 

The internet, especially facebook, is becoming more accessible by more devices - meaning that people stay connected no matter where they are. I've seen updates from cars, churches, bathrooms, nightclubs, dinner parties, movie theaters, bedrooms, schools, grandparents' homes, workplaces, parks, beaches, vacations... and hospitals. The list can go on and on of course but i'd like to focus for a moment on just one. Hospitals.

Over the last year or so, it seems that friends are having babies (which is awesome) but what i particularly mean is the internet presence of a child before they're even born. I see more and more photos of children put on the internet at a seemingly hourly rate! More often than not, Jr's photos are up before they're even home from the hospital, or in one case, before they were even held by their mother for the first time. I'm not sure how i feel about that.

In this, the digital era, where people are storing their photos on their computers and never printing them (even worse are the dummies who store all their photos on their camera and never format it or back it up) i imagine people losing years of their life in a freak power surge. I imagine my generation having little to no photographic history, while my future childrens' generation being able to trace photos of themselves online from conception... and if they can trace photos of themselves that far, who else can too? It may sound cool from a genealogical standpoint (thanks, mom) but it's concerning for someone who grows up and is required not to have an internet presence by their job.

Speaking of jobs... as i type this, hundreds of employers all over the world are probably typing a potential employee's name into a search engine digging to find out what type of person he/she is. I try to be pretty careful of what i put out there because what i do now may or may not be what i'm doing in 20 years and i don't want to have to be ashamed of something i put online when i was younger and dumber. I also don't want my children to be able to Google for mommy and find some random photo of me.
Imagine a future youth fresh out of an internship, applying for a high-paying professional career. Now imagine his/her employer searching for them and being able to re-live their entire life through someone's random, unprotected gallery - or maybe it's protected but it's the type of job that can bypass things like passwords?

Call me paranoid, but i think that it creeps me out to imagine my child growing up in a world where he or she could be so easily researchable. It makes it easy for not only future employers but also for pedophiles, stalkers, and creeps of any sort. I wouldn't like my children not to be able to choose what goes online just like i have the opportunity to. 
Through the blogs i follow, i know childrens' names, their birthdays, the activities they frequent and their mother's hobbies. And these are some people that i have never met! I just found their blog one day and decided i liked it enough to read along every day. Just search the word "Sonogram" and you'll meet hundreds of future leaders of the world... or not.

It really opened my eyes. I believe that i will try to be careful with what photos i share on the internet of my children both for their sake and for my sanity.


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