Early readers of this blog will remember when I used pseudonyms for the girls. Bridget was known as Boo (my pet name for her) and Abby was Allie (after her then favorite TV character). I was so unsure about this blog world, I wanted to do what I could to protect my children. Then I went “public” to my friends and family with this blog’s existence. People around town (and in her school) began calling Abby by her pseudonym when we were out and about. She was a little confused, and so were they when she gave them an odd look and corrected them.
I came “clean” to the readers, explaining my reasoning and began using the girl’s true names. Abby and David know about the blog, but just that it is a blog. They do not really understand what “blog” is or the change it has generated. The incredible growth in our immediate world and in myself.
Recently some of Abby’s classmates created conflict on Instagram. Abby is not on social media, her IPod is locked down with passwords so she cannot download any app without my inputting the code. I am not on Instagram and had no clue what kind of social media outlet it is. Like any parent I asked my tween. Her reply? “It’s nothing but trouble, mom. A lot of my class got it over February vacation and all it causes is fights.” She went on to tell me, parents (like hers) made Facebook uncool so all the kids use Instagram now.
I explained to her the importance of internet safety. How not to let her friends take her photo with their phones because they could use it on the internet without her knowledge. She didn’t understand. “But Mom, I’m not on Instagram and I don’t want to be!”. I explained (with my limited knowledge) of how social media works, that you do not need to be on it to be on it.
A light bulb went off in this mother’s head. How am I any different than her friends? I share intimate details of her life, post her humorous comments and photos. Both here on this blog and on social media. I rationalize (I’m great at rationalization) that with Facebook it is friends and family who know her and enjoy her. Yet I am conflicted. I am beyond careful with what I share about David, knowing how he feels about social media and the internet (hint: he thinks the internet was invented by Satan and Facebook by Satan’s minions).
Wanting to be fair, I asked Abby what she thought. Proving once again that she is her father’s daughter she told me she would rather I not share anything without permission. Photos, quotes, life events, etc…without her knowledge and approval.
I am going to respect her wishes. It does not apply to old posts (or throw back ones). It will be difficult. I need to write about our life because writing is cathartic for me, but sharing her life isn’t something she is comfortable with and she is allowed to be private. When you are a parent you realize your needs are not nearly as important as their wants.
As much as it sucks for me, since she gives me so much material!
If you do see a future Abby post or photo (here or on Facebook) know that it was shared with permission. Or for example, a post where her comment about me not hurting myself with crochet needles has no implication on her life and therefore is usable under mommy said so.