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Creating digital footprints for others

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Started by Nathaniel Louwrens 24 Jun 2014 8:18am () Replies (3)

A few years ago I was chatting to a colleague and she mentioned that she doesn't believe it's appropriate for parents to post up lots of pictures/video etc to social media sites of their children. She suggested that the children don't have any say as to what is shared of them.

Ever since then I have been thinking about this a lot. I personally don't share a lot of pics of my own children, however when I do, am I growing their digital footprint? What say do my children have in what is shared online? What if, when they grow up, they choose to want to be anonymous or even totally off the grid? I can't imagine my children doing this, but should they be given the option to be able to choose for themselves?

By sharing photos, videos and stories of them as children on facebook, twitter, in blogs, we could be sharing some of their most intimate (and yes often cute and funny) moments but is this something they want out there? Is it something they would want out there on their 21st birthday for the whole world to see? Or is it something they would want their first possible employer to find before a job interview?

I think many of us would be careful what goes online about ourselves and while we're probably relatively careful what goes online of our children (or students) are we as careful with what we share of them as we are of what we share of ourselves?

I would love to hear what others think of this. Is this something that others consider?


  • Sean Lyons (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2014 9:34am ()

    I think there are two points here. Firstly, in terms of our process of posting, tagging and sharing and the sharing of others personally identifiable information. What permission do we seek, how much do we involve others in that process, how do we keep track of who see's what? And secondly, what sort of example do we set to those in our families and our wider communities with our activity online? How often do we set up a dichotemy between what we share ourselves, and the "advice" that we give young people about how they interact with others online?

    Thanks for the post Nathaniel, great thought stimulus.


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Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship

A group to support schools help their students, staff and whānau become digital citizens