Are ‘sharents’ – parents who blog, tweet and post pictures about all aspects of their children’s lives – doing their children harm by crossing the boundaries between public and private life? That was the loaded question posed in the family section of last Saturday’s Guardian, and it’s an interesting one.
When I started blogging five months ago I didn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, and the concept of uploading photographs online on a weekly basis was a new concept to me. Now I can’t begin to count the number of pictures of BB that must be floating in around cyberspace.
And therein lies an important point: I have never once used her real name – she has intentionally always been referred to as BB – and having googled her name on its own and alongside both mine and Misery Guts’, I am pleased to see that aged 21 months she has no digital footprint at all.
Of course there are greater issues in question than simply the ethics of uploading pictures of your nearest and dearest. Will I live to regret the fact I told the world I put my own breast milk in my eye to cure an eye infection; and worse, will BB? And how will she feel in 10 years’ time if the post about her shocking first passport photo, which will presumably still be floating about in the ether, comes back to haunt her?
There’s no doubt about it: confessions of a crummy mummy is already the story I never knew I’d written. And we’re less than six months in. I’m quite looking forward to seeing how things unfold – in six years, and even sixteen years’ time.
I just hope BB feels the same.