With so much of our lives now online, it is easy to post a photo of our kids to social media without really thinking about it or considering the consequences. Curious to know what our mums felt, we conducted a survey to see what they thought about putting pictures of their children on the internet.
While the results of the survey showed that a staggering 82% of our 350 respondents do post pictures of their children we were surprised to find that just under 18% have never put photos of their kids up.
The main reason mums cited for sharing was to keep family and friends up to date on their little one's development, especially if they lived in a different country. “To let friends and family see how they've grown and changed. Some of my family don't see them for months at a time” wrote one, while another also went on to explain that they live away from their family and like to "post pictures so they can see how my little one is growing.”
However, living away from family and friends wasn’t the only reason: One respondent wanted to “record their development”, another did it “cause they look cute and people can see stuff they would otherwise miss”, one mum wanted to “share fun moments” and another is “proud of their achievements – i.e certificates at school, sports day etc. [sic]”
But it seems we are all a little more cautious now about what we post. Almost 90% of respondents said that photos of children in the bath shouldn’t be shared, followed closely by children in just a nappy or underwear. Surprisingly, while the majority of respondents felt that photos of bathtime were unsuitable, 18% admitted to posting a photo like this.
Pictures which may cause them embarrassment in the future were also deemed inappropriate; however, mums weren’t too concerned with things like when they are in their school uniform, at the beach or swimming pool or playing afterschool games. And just 37% believe it is inappropriate to post photos of their children playing sports with other kids around - 24% admit to having shared photos like this.
With the internet now an easy way to identify and locate people, a surprising 47% said they post pictures of their kids at easily identifiable locations and just under half said they put up pictures of their children in their uniform.
Thankfully, the majority of our respondents have never regretted putting up their photos, but, unfortunately, there are a few who have. While one mum admitted she regretted pictures of her child in the bath, things like not knowing who might see them or too many people viewing the images made mums regret posting them. Frighteningly, one had a bad experience which made her very cautious about posting online: “I had lots of photos of my son online and a stranger got hold of a couple and I found out he shared them. A year later, I have only just put up only a couple of photos of my children.”
While most of us have become more wary towards the internet - which is obvious with over 90% of our respondents having their accounts set to private - just under 3% said they don’t, while a slighter higher number, 4%, say they aren’t sure if they do.
As we become more aware of the dangers of online posting we have become more cautious about who we share pictures with, what we post and how they might affect our child in the future.