Is it okay to put your kids online?

Amy Webb wrote this thought-provoking article in Slate called “We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online.”

What do you think about this? Most of you know I’m a mom.  When my kids were babies, I put their pics on Facebook. However, after they were toddlers, I removed those pictures and haven’t posted my kids’ pictures or names online.

It’s hard for me not to talk about them or put their pictures on Facebook because my primary role in life is Mom and of course I’m proud of my kids the same way any other parent is. I also like looking at my faraway friends’ and relatives’ pics of their kids to see them growing and changing.

For me, this decision was more because of my public role as a teacher: the closer my kids get to the age of my students, the more I realize their privacy is compromised by what I put online.

When I was 12 and older, I would have been mortified at a lot of the pictures and anecdotes my parents could have put on Facebook, if it were available then.

This article goes into a lot bigger reasons to protect your kids’ anonymity, dealing with their future virtual identity.  Webb believes kids who are online will never have a chance for anonymity, and that these pictures and information can be used insidiously for data mining.

Webb and her husband have gone so far as to search for their child’s chosen name online to make sure it wasn’t one with any negative associations.  They’ve also set up social media accounts in their daughter’s name that they are keeping on hold until they feel she’s old enough to create her own online identity.

I’m not sure if I’m paranoid, and I’ve mostly given in to the idea that none of us will ever have a chance for privacy anymore, but I’m doing what feels comfortable for me.

Do you put your kids’ pictures online?  If you do, do you have any second thoughts or concerns about it?