What did you find the first time you Googled your own name?
I found a few Amazon reviews for Mary Poppins on VHS and the new Limp Bizkit CD. Embarassing, yes, but I had no one to blame but myself. What will children growing up in the age of social media find about themselves when they first enter their names into a search engine? If their parents have active accounts like most Americans do, they will likely find everything, as will anyone else. Videos of first steps on YouTube, complaints about tantrums as status updates on Facebook, maybe even their mother’s live tweets during labor.
If you discovered that every personal detail was freely available on the internet for anyone to read; including potential dates, employers, college admissions officers, it’s likely you’d feel violated at best and furious at worst. This is the realization a generation of kids growing up in the age of social media can look forward to.
Parents seem to forget their children will not always be children and one day, they will decide what they would have wanted posted about them online. Children are not pets, they do not belong to their parents, they will become individuals and will not always be extensions of their parents. It might surprise parents who they become.
One of the amazing things about having babies is watching them grow up into and form unique personalities, some of which we mold, but some they form themselves. My mother wasn’t successful in her attempts to raise me into a liberal Catholic, pro-choice woman, or a Ralph Nader voter. I am instead, thanks to the beauty of free will, a pro-life, politically conservative Orthodox Jew. My daughter will also choose the road she wants to walk when she grows up, not my husband or I.