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Why I don’t post pictures of my daughter to social media and why my partner does.

I’ve wanted to share pictures of my daughter with the world for five years, but before she was born, I decided not to. With social media making up a large portion of our social fabric, I found it important that she sees two different perspectives. Neither of them are right or wrong.

I wanted her to have consent over what images of her were shared online. I hope this conversation later in her life will enable her to better understand and have perspective around consent and digital autonomy.

It was also important to me for my daughter’s safety. There are a lot of articles around this and here are a few. One from NPR and an opinion on the New York Times, So in the future when our family has a bigger conversation around online safety we have this decision of mine among other things for reference.

I want to use my decision to show that self-control is possible and that sharing information is a choice. I want her to understand how easy it is to curate a life online. She makes up such a monumental piece of my life, yet I’ve shared nothing of her. Does that mean she doesn’t mean that much to me? Quite the contrary.

On the flip side, it’s healthy for my wife to share milestones with her family, especially during the pandemic. It’s a digital picture book. A memento of a life well lived. I always appreciate it when my sister asks for my permission to post a photo. It’s something I can point to when I have these large conversations with my daughter in the future.

There is a balancing act with technology and I hope my actions now provide a small stone to stand on or something for her to think about as she navigates the inevitable. I hope we can keep her off social media for as long as possible or at least long enough to have the perspective she needs to navigate it.

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