Babies on Facebook and cats on Instagram?

It’s a funny phenomenon that you see more and more often. Human beings that have been alive for only 2 months that aren’t even able to read or write yet with full blown social media accounts with pictures and posts included. The same goes for cats or other pets that have their own social media profiles with pictures profile and descriptions etc. Of course, the ones that created and manage these accounts are grown up human beings and often the guardians of those babies and pets. For them it is a fun way of sharing photos of their cats or newborns. I can imagine that a cat, dog or lizard would not care a bit if their photos, videos or bloopers are shared with friends of their owners or even with the whole world. Babies also wouldn’t care that much I think. However, the thing with babies is that they grow up to be autonomous human beings …

Facebook actually has a policy that says that children are allowed to have a facebook profile from the age of 13. However, it often goes unnoticed when children under the age of 13 make an account or when their parents do. In my opinion, creating a social media account for someone else, even if that someone is your own child, is not such a good idea. The most important reason is that you take a part of someone’s autonomy regarding what parts of someone’s life is put of the internet. I think there are many people that would prefer not to have baby pictures and information of them circling around on the internet without them having decided on that.

A second reason is that photos and videos of your child might fall in the wrong hands. Internet bullies can use the (embarrassing) photos or videos to bully your kid later on when he or she is a little older. Internet bullying is a serious thing and can be hard to stop. By posting certain content of you children, whether it is on your own account or on the one you’ve made for your child you might be making it easier for bullies to bully your kid. Even more dangerous, kidnappers or paedophiles might use photos of your children to share of sketchy sites. This of course is a doom scenario and sounds really scary, but it can happen and it is something to think about when you are planning on posting pictures of your children on the internet.

It’s actually always a good idea to think through what you’re going to post on social media. But especially when you are doing it on behalf of someone else. You are managing the worlds access to another human being and you should therefore be careful. Making an account for your cat would be a safer option. Unless it’s really rare and expensive of course!