It's hard to resist taking a bazillion pictures of your kids all day, everyday, and since we all live on social networks, it's only natural to want to share them with all your friends. If a picture doesn't get any "likes" is it even really a picture? Yea, that's what I thought. But before hitting that "publish" button, social media-savvy parents should consider safe ways to post about their kids on Instagram, because kids have a right to privacy, too.
What you do with your posts about your kids is a totally personal decision. Some parents decide to not post pictures of their kids at all on their public profile pages and save them just for immediate family. Or at least wait until a kid is old enough to consent to having their picture posted on the internet for everyone to comment on. if you think that's silly, consider this: a recent study asked parents and kids (separately) if they thought having rules about posting to social media were necessary. Of 249 respondents, twice as many children said they thought their should be some guidelines about what goes online than grown-ups did. One of the lead researchers on the study told NPR:
The parents said, "We don't need rules — we're fine," and the children said, "Our parents need rules." The children wanted autonomy about this issue and were worried about their parents sharing information about them.
So whether you have rules with your children or not, here are some ways to make sure you're posting pics of your little ones safely.
Make It Private
Unless you have to keep your account public for work or your business, the easiest way to make sure you know who's looking at pictures of your children is to make your account private so that new followers have to be approved by you. If you share your Instagram posts to Facebook or Twitter, though, the post can still be seen by anyone.
Use Instagram Direct
If you want to keep your account public, you an share pictures of your kids with just some people and not all of your followers. It's basically just sending it like a message, but people can still like and comment on it, so you still get all the love (that's the whole point, admit it). You can choose up to 15 people, too, which is kind of a lot. That way, your main feed is child-free.
Don't Use The Map
Sure, tagging the location can be fun. But it's also a way to share your location with your followers. When you tag places, it shows up on Instagram's photo map. And you probably don't want people knowing where your children are (though it's a good way to track where your kids are when they're old enough to post on their own).
You can always do what some celebs do, which is not post pictures of your kids' faces. You can get their beach feet or hand holding an ice cream cone and still send the message to everyone that you're having a glorious day with your family, but without giving their identity away.
Sharing your family with your friends can be fun. And as long as you're doing it fairly and safely, there shouldn't be much reason to worry.