Blogging and Children

My mommy mind wanders around a lot. One of the things I keep coming back to is the balance of the Internet and life. What’s over-sharing and what’s ok. We live in a social world. Social networking is everywhere. Facebook here. Twitter there. YouTube over there. And blogging over here. I’ve mentioned my career a little bit, but try not to divulge too much. Much like I try to do with my family, my career is kind of kept on the quiet. I work in a marketing environment. I promote products and create literature for a living. I don’t need my personal name associated with our products; they have nothing to do with each other. I don’t promote consumer goods, so there’s no correlation. It’s what I get paid to do. {Point in case: my mommy mind wanders around a lot.}

My blog started as a place for me to write. It wasn’t creative writing, which is my life-long goal, but rather the stuff floating around my mind. Then, we found out we were expecting. Let’s be honest, blogs become much more focused and direct when you have a giant elephant in the room. Enter: baby. A baby is all-consuming and you would be hard pressed not to let it leak onto your blog. Before Maximus, I had my blogging life pretty much figured out. I had an outline mapped out. I had a purpose statement and a goal in mind. Then pregnancy hit and my focus changed. I began walking people through my pregnancy. THEN, he was born. I had these wonderful goals of continuing my blogging and having this amazing blog. Reality hit and I spent my free time showering or sleeping. And then I went back to work.

{I do have a purpose in this rambling, I promise.}

After Maximus was born, I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to share and what I didn’t want to share. I didn’t have much experience with a readership. I knew my audience, it was all people I knew. Once he was born, my numbers started going up and my comments were from people I didn’t know. The first change I made was to put my blog watermark on my pictures so people didn’t start copying them and using them. I didn’t do this because I thought people would, I just did it as a precaution. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to my family. No longer was a I just posting pictures of my dog or my growing belly, a child was involved.

I haven’t come up with hard and firm “guidelines” for myself on the Internet. Like I said, I work in a world of marketing and promotions. I don’t make myself private on Twitter because then I can’t network. I don’t have a private blog because maybe something I say will help someone else. I do have a private Facebook account because I’m only friends with people I know in real life and I only want those people to see my pictures.

When I think about my child and blogging, I have a different opinion than when I think of my child and someone else blogging. Thinking down the road, {today} I don’t want my son’s teacher to have a public blog with pictures and activities that he is doing. I don’t want other people writing about my son and giving out information about him. I am his mother and I want control of the information about him on the Internet. I would love a private classroom blog so I could stay up-to-date on the activities and things the kids were doing. I would love following along with his day-to-day activities! To me, that is a very appropriate use of a blog. There’s a great purpose statement in there: to keep parents’ updated on the daily activities. These opinions are the same for a daycare. I would love to “watch” my son’s day and see what the kids are up to, but I would want it to be private.

I live a very “social” life. My iPhone doesn’t leave my side. I have access to everything on it – email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, text messaging,  camera, video, and the phone. I’d be ok if I received notes from the teacher via email or a blog. {I got a reminder text from my hair stylist last night and I LOVED it!}

When the time comes, I don’t want to sign a release letter at the beginning of the year stating that my child’s picture can be used wherever and have that include the Internet. In my mind, the Internet is completely different from a school newspaper or newsletter. In my line of work, we can’t have someone sign a release letter and have it cover everything under the sun. If we can’t do that for adults, I don’t think we should be doing that for children. Innocent children should not be covered under a “wherever” clause. {Disclosure: I have no idea if this actually happens, I’m just thinking outloud.} With the increase and push of various new technology forms, I hope school districts spend a lot of time discusing the pros and cons. Much like my company does when we discuss social networking, I hope they consider each case and make the best decision for everyone involved. By no means do I think school districts shouldn’t embrace the new age, I just want them to consider the children. Their purpose is to consider the children and I think they can come up with a great way to embrace while protecting.  

Blogs are the “in” thing in both personal and professional lives. I live in this world every day and I still haven’t figured out the rules of the land. Everyone is different and every situation is different. At the end of the day, there are bad people on the Internet and you can either be scared of them or live your life. But, when children come into play, we all have to think a second longer and do what’s best for the children. Today’s decision may be completely different from tomorrow’s.

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