In honor of all the graduations going on this month, I thought I would share with you what one recent college graduate (I happen to know) said to me the other day. Unprompted, she said, "I think it is awful how parents post so many pictures of their kids on Facebook. Kids are growing up with their entire lives documented. It's creepy! They don't even get a say in it. All these pictures floating around of them. . . I hope Facebook is not around by the time I have kids."
Jaw dropped. Shocked.
This was the same girl who told me only four years earlier that her roommate had a "serious problem." Her roommate was posting things on Facebook about her personal life - boys she was dating, places she was going - and her evil stepmother was keeping tabs on her through the Facebook account. Duh-dah-duuuuh! Freshman Horror!
I did not have a Facebook account back then. I barely had a personal blog. I certainly did not have A Work in Progress or spend 1/10 of the the time online that I do now. So my response was quick and to the point, "Why don't you tell your roommate to get off Facebook? That would solve the problem."
Jaw dropped. Shocked.
Get off Facebook?! She might as well not breathe.
And now, four years later, a complete 180. What happened?
I don't know, but I've got to tell you, I found it all extremely refreshing. I thought this young lady was part of THAT generation. The generation that cannot remember life before cell phones, the one that texts while sleeping and posts pictures online without a second thought. I thought they were wearing technology like a second skin.
Maybe it is not just that Facebook (which I enjoy, by the way) has become so popular that it is now uncool among a certain crowd; maybe it is that this certain crowd is growing up. Maybe they have had half of their lives documented online, and they don't particularly like it.
I'm not sure how to explain her 180, but I can tell you this: I have personal guidelines for when and where I will share photos of my children. I thought they were strict, but thanks to a certain young lady, they just got stricter.
What do you think? How can we put parameters around online exposure of our kids? Do we have a moral obligation to do so? Do our children have a right to privacy that we must protect?