As new parents, and self-proclaimed techy nerds, my husband and I have had plenty of discussions about how different it will be to raise a child in this digital world versus what we grew up with. We’ve seen many of our friends create Facebook pages for their children as soon as they were born. Now, I understand… there’s also the want and desire to keep family and friends posted with pictures and updates on their development, but does an infant really need to have the ability to ‘check in’?
There’s a few things to consider before you get your little man or lady tangled in the social media net:
- The internet is written in pen, not pencil. What happens in the social networking realm (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) can easily end up in an everyday classroom conversation. Nothing posted on a social network should be considered private, ever.
- You make a lasting impact on all your connections. Consider if your son or daughter applies for a job with someone in your network, but they saw a Facebook post from you complaining what a rotten child they were a few years ago.
- Your kids learn from your behavior. There’s no question, our kids are sponges. They watch us closely and take it all in. They know if you spend all day gossiping on Facebook or if you complain via updates. You are teaching them as a role model how they should behave.
- You might be connected to those that can have influence over their offline success. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. With Facebook’s recent newsfeed modifications, your “friend of a friend” might be a school teacher or future employer to your child, and they can easily see your last update venting about your child.
- You are your child’s first online entry. Don’t take this responsibility lightly. Their online reputation starts with you!
There’s numerous options and methods to keep Grandma and Grandpa updated on the first coos, steps and other developmental milestones, but the thing that we as parents need to consider is how appreciative our son or daughter will be when they can take control over their own online reputation.
Check out the list below for some of our favorite photo and update sharing sites that also have stellar privacy options so that you can guarantee that baby’s pictures and updates only end up with the people that you want to see them (let’s be honest – they really just want top see the pictures anyway, right?).
- Cost: 14 day free trial; Plans range from $40 – $150/yr
- Why We Love It: Simple layout with bonus editing, display and sharing features; Lots of themes and customizations tools; No limit on the amount of photos you can upload
- Privacy: Comprehensive security features, privacy options and download protection
- Who Should Use It: The ultra-easy tools make it prime for both amateur photographers and the true professionals
- Cost: Plans range from Free – $24.95/yr
- Why We Love It: Hundreds of ways to customize, organize and display albums, including adding music for slide shows; Scapbook builder tool allows easy drag and drop organization; One click pocking to most social networking sites
- Grandparent Bonus: Big variety of cards, mugs, posters and other gift items are available
- Privacy: No account needed to view photos, although there are multiple levels of privacy options available
- Who Should Use It: Super easy to use, amateurs to hobbyists will be at home here
- Cost: Plans range from free (up to 1GB of storage) and a graduated scale after that
- Why We Love It: Links up to all of Google’s free photo editing tools; Automatically finds/stores photos stored on your display; Ability to directly upload from Android devices; Dedicated web address allows for users to set up RSS feeds and automatic updates)
- Privacy: Not much, it’s Google after all
- Who Should Use It: Easy to use, but those wanting to do ‘more’ with their photos, will not enjoy this one
- Cost: Plans range from free to $24.95/yr)
- Why We Love It: Users can upload up to 100MB a month; Easy mobile interface allows for instant sharing (both iOS and Android!); vast array of editing tools and special effects; photo tagging and geo-tagging features
- Privacy: Recently enabled social networking features allow you to control how much, or how little people will see
- Who Should Use It: This is one of those easy ones that everyone will know how to use
- Cost: Free, plus 20 free prints when you sign-up (we love free stuff!)
- Why We Love It: Online editing features to enhance photos and fix problems like red eye; Works with any device that can run a web browser
- Bummer: No mobile upload application, so photos on phones have to be emailed to your account
- Privacy: Private “group rooms” available for family and friends to view photos and leave comments
- Who Should Use It: This site places a huge emphasis on ordering prints and personalized gifts – great for grandparents!
- Cost: Free, plus 50 free prints when you sign up (woohoo!)
- Why We Love It: Free, unlimited storage space; tools for creating a customized website to display and share your photos; Allows others to add comments; video sharing also available
- Privacy: Only accessible to those that you want to share it
- Who Should Use It: Features an easy routine for uploading and sharing so those that are constantly updating photos can expect the same process every time – easy-peezy!
We know there are thousands of sites to choose from out there – what are a few of your favorites? Any best practices that you’d be willing to share from your own online reputation management of your child’s development?