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I Don’t Post Pictures Of My Kids Online

Jul 5, 2017

I have really cute kids.

I'm serious. I have really cute kids. Aside from one brief stretch in which my son looked like Benjamin Button (see our 2011 family Christmas card), my son has always been handsome and my daughter has always been beautiful. But you’ll have to take my word for it, because you won’t find any pictures of my kids on social media.

I’ll start by saying that this is a very personal decision. I don’t judge those that do post pictures of their kids. In fact, I love pictures of my friends' kids. They’re adorable. But it’s just not how my wife and I decided to do things.

My wife and I decided that since we can’t honestly ask our kids for their proper consent, it wouldn't be fair to put their pictures on the internet.

When I was a kid, my mom and aunts dressed me up in a circa-1970 women’s perm wig, put a bra over my G.I. Joe shirt, put on a pair of my grandmother's underwear with a picture of a carrot and the words, "what's up, doc?" on the crotch, and took some photos. Those photos have, on occasion, made their way into my office or home via my ever-so-charming mother, and they’ve also made their debut on the internet. But I never consented to any of that.

Sure, if I were to ask my son if he’d like his picture on the internet, he’d probably say yes. But this is a boy who, just this past summer, climbed onto the summit of a large rock formation, dropped trousers, and peed into the wind in front of hundreds of amused and horrified onlookers (including my member of parliament). So I question his judgement. My wife and I decided that since we can’t honestly ask our kids for their proper consent, it wouldn't be fair to put their pictures on the internet.

My wife and I aren't overly concerned about the safety concerns of putting our kids on the web. We’re not saying, “my kid will be at a particular park on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. if you’d like to steal him.” Most of our photos would be of them with us anyways. But there’s a secondary safety component that comes into play for us.

One of the reasons that we don’t put pictures of our kids online is so that no one connects us with them.

A few years back, I was planning to launch a startup. I was looking for a co-founder, so I put out a call on Twitter for a “female coder who would be interested in a co-founding position.” What I didn’t know at the time (and have been sufficiently educated on since) is that “female” and “woman” mean two different things. One is about anatomy and the other is about identification.

I was berated by a number of individuals who said a variety of really horrific things, including the worst thing anyone has ever said to me on the internet: “I feel sorry for your kids that they have you for a father.”


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One of the reasons that we don’t put pictures of our kids online is so that no one connects us with them. I never want someone to associate my children to a thought their dad had using 140 characters on the internet.

Again, this is our choice, and it's a very personal choice, as most parenting decisions probably should be.

Article Author Mike Tanner
Mike Tanner

Mike Tanner is a full-time, stay-at-home father of two and small business owner in Halifax, N.S. He is 37-year-old, married, and the father of a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. When not trying to stop Wrestlemania from breaking out in his living room he builds websites, manages social media accounts and produces content for a variety of organizations.

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