Two weeks ago today, I had a kid. Well, my wife had a kid. I just watched. And now I have a daughter.
Even before she was born, I started thinking about how I’d write about her online.
Since I sometimes live on social and other digital media as much as I do in meat space, it would be weird to never mention her. It’d be like keeping a huge part of my life secret—something no one should have to do.
At the same time, I don’t want to share too much and take away my child’s sense of agency before she’s even developed one. I definitely don’t want to “over-sharent,” so I’ve come up with some rules to govern content about my child.
I won’t mention her by name
While I may mention my daughter by name on Facebook or other relatively “closed” environments, I’ll generally avoid doing so. When I do, I’ll only mention her first name, not her full name. That’ll make it harder to Google her in the future and find things I’ve shared about her.
On this blog, I will never use her name. I’ll call her by her first initial—D (or, maybe “Dee”)—or by some nickname I decide on at a later date. That way, if someone Googles her full name in the future, or even just her first name and my last name, they’re unlikely to get any results from this blog.
I won’t post without her permission
This one won’t come into effect for a few years. For now, since I’m the boss and she has no sense of self (remember, she’s only two weeks old), I’ll post what I want about her. I will try to be considerate of things she may find embarrassing as she gets older but, ultimately, I’ll make the call (with input from my wife, most likely).
As she gets older, I’ll ask her permission before writing about her. If she doesn’t want me to share a story, I won’t. I don’t yet know the age at which this will kick in, but I suspect it’ll be around the time she starts school.
I’ll be stingy with the photographs
I’ll probably post a few pictures of my kid. She’s cute (so far) and I’m a proud father, so it’s bound to happen. But I’ll try to keep this to a minimum for essentially the same reasons I’m not going to use her name.
Plus, let’s be honest, everybody has that one friend who posts way too many pictures of their kid on Facebook. I don’t want to be that guy.
I’ll ask others to do the same
While I ultimately have no control over what other people post, I’ll ask my family and friends to respect these rules. They’re all excited to share stories and pictures, but hopefully they’ll understand the thinking behind these rules and do their best to follow them.
What are your rules?
Surely, some of my readers are web-savvy parents. What are your rules for posting about your children? Are there any rules I’ve forgotten that I should consider? Let me know in the comments.