Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Aliases and blurry pictures

That's how I put my kids on the internet. I use funny names, blurry pictures, pictures without faces, or pictures of the back of them. I keep it real without being reality tv online.


Well, it started when I was ranting about the asinine behavior of my oldest child, who has become dubbed with the alias of Evil Genius. He's an adult now, but when he was a kid, I didn't use real names, and still don't. I didn't want something I posted online about him to come up in a search by potential employers and it prevent him from getting a job. I followed suit with the other kids. Plus, I live in a city that isn't entirely Stepford and Mayberry. I have a public presence online, and my kids deserve some modicum of privacy where it can be afforded. And on my blog and crackbook feed, it absolutely CAN be afforded. I do not note relationship connections in my profile, and I don't accept the ones others attach to me. Why am I going to just GIVE people that detail? If they know me personally, they know this information. I have nothing to hide, but everything to protect from unscrupulous folks.

So, if you see pictures on my blog or crackbook, they do not include the faces of my children, and they won't be tagged with my kids, nor will their real names be used. The exception might be the grownup adult children, but even that is a rarity. Why? For the same reasons I did that when they were kids.

There's also a matter of other relatives who live in places that still carry some Mayberry to it, who forget that we don't live in Mayberry. We have to lock doors, use aliases for the kids, and I don't just blurt out where we live either. Handy internet searches come up with information really easily. I've found pictures of my children posted with faces shown, full names, our city, and that just makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I can't be everywhere all the time with my kids, and I shouldn't have to be either. They need to learn how to function independently of me, and not be in fear of their safety because mommy made someone mad on the internet and that someone happens to be a sociopath.  Quite honestly it isn't difficult to do some minor sleuthing that even my tween can manage, and begin a stalking campaign. No, I am not paranoid. But I absolutely AM careful. And while you may be ok with posting all the details of your life online, *I* am NOT. If you have people in your life who do the same things I do, please respect their wish for any privacy still left in this world. If you do not uphold their privacy, you are going to find yourself prevented from seeing your loved ones from afar via the social network connection. You're going to wonder why nobody sends you pictures, when the fact remains they don't trust that you're going to respect their privacy.

There is a group of women in a mommy board group I belong to, who after almost 6 years of connecting online, STILL do not know what my kids look like, or their real names. There are a handful I've met in person, and they finally learn the kids' names that way. A couple of them who I've connected with via the private message aspect know the kids' names or have seen pictures. But I absolutely trust that they'll uphold our privacy, and they have.

So, you'll have to suffice with names like Devildog, Evil Genius, Hot Sauce, Clone, Blur, Speedy or Devilpup. And if you don't like that, tough noogies. It's not your blog, your household, your family, or your privacy. Enjoy your Mayberry and your Stepford. I'm in Big Fish and have to act accordingly.