I am not, in general, a sharer. By that I don’t mean I don’t like to share chocolate or crisps (although I admit that I’m probably not as generous in that regard as I should be), but that I don’t like to live my life in full view. I’ve never been one to post everything I think or do on social media, not least because I suspect that most people really don’t care what I had for lunch.
It might seem slightly odd, then, that I decided to start a blog where I plan to share a lot of details about my life. But while I won’t go into the details of why I made that decision – partly because they’re predictable but also because they sound incredibly self-important – there was one area that I struggled with.
It goes without saying that if I am writing a blog about my life, my family will feature quite heavily. This isn’t so bad for my partner as I can ask her whether she’s happy for me to include particular details. But my son has no choice; total strangers could be reading quite embarrassing or intimate details about him, and he has no say over it. We hear a lot now about the size of children’s digital footprints and how much of themselves they put on public view, so I wasn’t sure it was fair of me to start that process for him.
The fact that you’re reading this shows that I decided to go ahead, but I think it’s important that as parents we think about this. How much you decide to share is of course up to you, but I don’t believe we should do it unthinkingly. Our children have a right to privacy just as much as we do and we are the guardians of it, so we owe it to them to handle it carefully.
After some thought, I decided on a compromise. While I will include photos of my son I won’t be showing his face, and I’ll also be referring to him as D rather than using his full name. It isn’t much, but it felt like a way of preserving some of his privacy and, perhaps selfishly, keeping some of him back for those of us who know him, while still being able to say the things I want to say.
I don’t really have any big point to make at the end of this post as its main purpose was simply to explain a few stylistic points that might otherwise seem odd. I will, however, make a suggestion. Regardless of much of your life you decide to share, be conscious of how much you’re also sharing of others’.
Do you have a blog? Do you worry about how much you share, and if so how do you protect your privacy? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts – you can submit a comment using the form at the bottom of the page.