Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 1)

Digital Citizenship and Children, part 1

I have a one-year-old son. If you go to my Facebook profile, you will see a few pictures of him from right after he was born and from the first time we brought him to Hoo Doo with us when he was six weeks old. My profile picture has him in it, too, from when he was five months old. But there are no pictures of him since. We aren’t lazy; we have just decided not to post pictures of him.

We are not alone. Other parents share concerns about their children’s digital identity and digital citizenship. How much will be determined for them if the internet already has a record of them when they get to be old enough to be autonomous? These two articles discuss this concern in some detail.

What do we owe our children in terms of anonymity? Is connectedness more important? Perhaps more interestingly for our discussion: will this even matter in ten or twenty years? The internet is evolving at such a rate that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Google might not exist when my son is in high school.

2 thoughts on “Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 1)”

  1. This brings up a good point about parents and their kids. Perhaps it has already happened, but I won’t be surprised when a child sues his or her parents for making choices about the child’s online presence without the child’s permission. I don’t have children to embarrass, but sometimes I’m surprised by the photos friends or acquaintances post of their own children.

  2. This is a question that D’Arcy is also considering (see: http://darcyhutchings.com/what-i-really-want-part-3/) — perhaps you could work together on something on this topic? I think it’s vital to the conversation that people who have children now and who had children as social media was starting to explode, have conversations. It’s a vexing issue about which I have contradictory feelings…but my children are adults now, so it’s more of an abstraction for me.

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