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Why I restrict social media posts about my kids

As a person of the 21st century, I have found that I rely a lot on my social media accounts to both give and receive information.  Add in my role as a mommy, milspouse and travel blogger, I probably use social media more - and across more platforms - than many others adults my age.  Let's face it: social media is a great way to stay connected with family and friends both near and far.  As the military has moved my family all around the country, I've been able to connect - and reconnect - with numerous people who I would have, before social media, lost touch with. 

While I provide quite a bit of information about my personal life online, I have developed a line which I will not cross when it comes to my children.  I will post - limited - pictures of them, but their names, where they go to school, and teachers' names will not be posted online.  I even go so far as to delete comments and tags which include this identifying information.

As an extremely important part of my life, I enjoy posting many of my children's milestones and adventures.  But, just as I practice OPSEC with my military husband's job, I've also chosen to practice OPSEC with my family.  This isn't because I anticipate a threat but, let's face it, threats are out there.  You hardly need to search the news to find examples of children being taken advantage of, bullied, or worse.  I don't want my social media use now to be any part of how my children are able to grow up.

But, let's take a look at things beyond protecting our children's well-being.  And, I have to admit that, one day, my children won't always look at me as their friend.  I am most likely going to become their adversary, especially during their tween and teen years when they will most likely begin using their own social media platforms.  I have to think in the present how my social media use will impact the future of my children.  What will their friends think of my posts?  What information will my children's future employers be able to find online about them through my updates?  Do I really want so much information about my children available to anyone around the world at any given date now and in the future?

Perhaps I'm being a little too overprotective of my children's online presence.  I haven't yet been able to find any research that shows a negative impact of posting those adorable bath time baby pictures.  But, is that something that I would have wanted my parents to post to the world about me?  Probably not.  I enjoy the fact that social media wasn't around until I was old enough to self-regulate what I wanted and did not want online.  My children won't have this advantage.  So, what do I want my grown children to say about all that I am now posting online about them? 

I want my children to say that I have respected their right to privacy - with the understanding that, in today's world, not everything can remain private.  I want to give my children every opportunity to succeed without my actions causing any future ramifications or negative implications.  For these reasons, I will continue to restrict how I - and others - post information online about my children.

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