Are You Allowing Your Children to Form Their Own Online Identity?

BlogHer Spotlight

Half a Table has an interesting take on her decision not to post pictures of her children on the Internet, and it has nothing to do with online safety and everything to do with allowing another person to shape someone's public identity.

She writes,

My family had Internet in our home earlier than most of my friends. I began shaping my online identity at the age of 12. But it was always MY identity to shape. My parents didn’t post pictures of me online, nor did they tell stories of me online ... For better or for worse, I created my own capital I Identity.

Even in stating her intentions, she admits that she doesn't know how this act will be processed in the future by her children: will they be thrilled that she gave them a blank Internet slate to create their online life?  Or will they be jealous of all their friends in kindergarten who have pages of comments cooing over their image?

Reading her post made me realize that it's not just parents creating the online identity of their children.  We do this when we write about our partner on our blog, shaping the way people view him or her based on the story.  We do this with our friends when we recount tales from their life.  The whole thing gave me pause as I considered who was shaping my identity online: is it me or my husband who first blogged about me?  Friends on Facebook?

Who shaped your identity online (yourself, a partner, a friend), and are you giving your children the space to do their own pioneering of the Internet landscape?

Photo Credit: No Photos via Shutterstock.

Read more from Privacy on the Wild Web at Half a Table


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