I recently discovered that reading news is fun. It’s even more fun to find a search engine like Yahoo and scroll through the random posts. Some lately, are posts that have gone viral on facebook of parents posting pictures their children. The cute, cuddly, and sometimes ones that break your heart. A few weeks ago one such mother posted a picture of her daughter now sporting a baldhead because her hair became tangled badly and her mother thought the best way to teach the lesson was to shave her head. If that wasn’t enough, she posted it on Facebook bragging to her friends, with her sweet broken hearted daughter’s face sadly staring at the camera and I have to ask, what was the point of that? So you teach her a lesson? Was not enough that her head was shorn? Not enough that she was going to have to go to school and face that humiliation? Not enough now, the entire world knows her face, and for ages to come is going to recognize her as the girl who’s head was shaved at five and posted online.
In the past I’ve blown up about my in laws online, I’ve looked for help for my children, and even bragged about my husband. A few months ago I started thinking about the long term ramifications, what if I posted every picture online? What if someone shared it? Proof this can happen, a few months ago I got nearly 600 hits on my stroller blog alone, (http://thenewlywedsite.blogspot.com/2012/03/strollers-and-other-such-baby-supplies.html) 600…I never expected randomly for that post to get as much attention as it has, and to be passed around as much as it was. But that's the power of the internet these days.
But what about my kids? What if one day, in the not too distant future, I am looking for a shidduch for my sons, and nothing is secret, because all the videos, moments and pictures are posted online? What if my sons at almost 4 and 18 months could tell me that they never wanted those pictures posted, those stories shared, that it was lashon hora and all I could say is sorry because I posted it years ago I cannot erase the damage that was caused by it?
So forgive me, going forward on facebook and on my blog, I will no longer be posting stories of my children or pictures. I want them to enjoy a childhood with dignity and privacy. I don’t understand all the laws of Lashon Hora yet, but I know a good place to start is within my own family.
Of course if I can turn it into a lesson than I would be more than happy to share it online, because who wouldn’t want their stories to be used for something holy? I just went to the most amazing women’s even, the Mid-Winter Convention, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I once thought Rabbi Lew was a little over the top when he gave a speech on the dangers of blogs and facebook and very slowly, I am seeing he was right, he is on to something that thank God I’m beginning to see.
Have a great week everyone, I plan to write about what I learned at Convention soon! School is out and thank God, things seem to be relaxing a little bit!