Flickr Me Something…

Several bloggers that I read have, of late, grappled with the decision to remove their family’s pictures from the web. The discussions were quite interesting, and the reasons for posting ranged from a decision to live openly on the web, to simply desiring to share with family and friends.I have to admit, I was surprised that so many people did put these photos online. I have been rather jealously guarding the privacy of the family for years. Admittedly, back in the mid-to-late 90s I did have a family website, with family news and updates, but that was “back in the day” when a very few folks actually knew how to use the web.I am sure some would call it paranoia, but it seemed to me that keeping the family off the “public” domain seemed the most prudent course of action. One never knows just who is lurking, and looking.

I understand the compulsion to keep the family updated. Lately I have chosen to do that through phone calls and emails (with attachments.) Again, back in the day, I remember rationing long distance calls because of the extortionist rates charged. But now we have all you can talk rates. I also hated to send attachments to emails, since everyone was on a VERY slow dial-up (yes, I remember acoustic couplers, and 300 baud… not kbaud, BAUD…) So many folks of late have high speed connections that it appears attachments are no longer a problem. So… private communications it is!

Now, I will say, I have chosen to not give my kids a say in how much exposure they have on the web (until recently). But for me the discussion was 180 out of phase with most of the discussions here. I told my kids that I actually would not allow them to post photos or personal information on the web (or other various manifestations of “the net.”)

As I say, that has changed recently, since they are now older. One is now an adult. Another is quite close… and the third.. well he can take care of himself. I still exercise veto authority over those that are minors, but have allowed more freedom for them to make such decisions as they transition to adult-hood, and the assumption of the responsibility for their actions.

I hope my thoughts here in some way contribute to the discussion.