Let me ask you a question. What would you do if your son or daughter gets bullied? I'm not talking about pouring milk over your head - steal his/her lunch money type Hollywood crap. I'm talking about real life, 21st-century type cyberbullying that has become increasingly popular among generation Y and Z. You'd probably want to punch the bullies in the balls, and you'd for sure ask yourself why does it have to be my kid that needs to go through all this? Most parents, I'm sure only wish the best for their kids, and probably would agree with me if I say that they would never do anything that could hurt their children right?
Well, you are wrong. Sorry to burst your bubble but most parents these days suck. How on earth do you think an Instagram account for your preadolescent daughter or son could ever be a good idea?! LIKE EVER?! Common guys. In a world were everyone screams "MORE PRIVACY." In a world where people get pissed off, every time a telemarketer calls around dinner time because some asshole sold your personal information to a company. In a world where more protection, tighter encryptions, and more (or less depending on how you look at it) control are in high demand, some parents somehow think it's a good idea to expose their kids online without their consent because it's supposedly a super trendy thing to do.
I'm no grump and don't condone photos of kids online but keep it real folks. Three-year-olds need a fresh pair of diapers, an afternoon nap or a both but they definitely don't need their own Instagram account or Youtube channel talking about first world problems or Why pre-school was exhausting today (Looking at you Kids World). Some countries in Europe can't publish images of kids or reveal their identity in newspapers and mags until they are 18 years old by Law. A law that wasn't just pulled out of thin air, but introduced as a result of a public outcry by celebs and ordinary people alike to ensure more privacy & protection for minors.
I'm going out on a limb here and claim that, if you'd ask around in your social circle, 9/10 people would welcome laws or regulations to protect children but it somehow all goes out the window when it comes to social media. This, in particular, is strange to me because we all been there; sitting on your grandma's couch going through old photo albums and feel nothing but shame. "What the hell am I wearing here"? "What's wrong with my hair?" "Why would mom think it's a good idea to take a photo of me not only naked but crying?”, are the usual kind of questions you ask yourself or people around you. I personally hated looking at old photos. The way I was dressed, the way my mom would cut my hair, or basically everything my parents thought was cool - was nothing but torture for me. I'm sure most of you feel the same and most of you reading this are lucky enough that A, our parents are IT illiterate or B, old enough to have their photo taken the good old way and put in a photo album rather than online.
The bottom line is that for most of us, all these embarrassing memories remain a blast from the past and we never had to worry to get shit for something we weren't able to control and/or was distributed without our consent. Today's kids, however, don't have that luxury and it's often the parents to blame for it. Times might change, but feelings don't. If we feel embarrassed about pretty much everything, our parents made us do or dressed us in then sure as hell kids from today feel the same. We were lucky enough to get showered with shame only years later since Social Media wasn't a thing back then, but kids today will be confronted with actions and reactions almost instantly which is the fundamental problem of cyberbullying. Like I said earlier, there is nothing wrong about being active on social media. There is nothing wrong with having pics of your kids online, but I think parents need to be more aware of the impact an “innocent” image can have - not only on your children but all the ones they interact with too.