27 Weeks Pregnant: Online Privacy in Blogging

By June 20, 2014 2nd Trimester, Pregnancy

Future Nursery - Kohler Created

I can not believe we are not almost to the home stretch! We really started making progress in her room over the past two weeks. It has long been the haven of things with no home, but we cleared everything out, painted and patched the closet, and are now closing in on the ceiling and four walls that make up the actual room. We picked a really pretty shade of dark teal, and will repaint the ceiling and the trim to begin this part of the project.

Our overall goal is to avoid the easy trap of buying too much. Everyone constantly tells you what you need, what worked for them, and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed making the “what” and “if” decisions. No one wants to be unprepared right?

However as far as her room goes, the major purchases are a crib and small dresser/changing area, and that’s really it. We added some shelves/organization to the closet, but very minimal. She’ll have toys and plenty of books waiting thanks to my parents and childhood hoarding. However, it’s going to be a while before she develops her tastes, so why spend beyond the necessary now?

Future Nursery - Kohler Created

We’re also not going overboard decorating or instilling a “theme” into the room. We want that to evolve with her as she becomes who she wants to be. It’s still going to be a very cute room for her, but I doubt she’s going to be judging our parental commitment based on the state of her room when she comes home for the first time.

While I was taking pictures of her room for this post, I immediately felt the sense that I was already intruding on her privacy. Which of course then spiraled into preoccupation with how we will approach her presence not only in social media, but this blog as well.

blog

Remember the old days…

Having been a blogger for what feels like forever now, I’ve had the benefit of watching a lot of people transition into the parent role publicly. Over time it’s allowed me to kind of sift through my own feelings on parenting and how I’d feel as a kid growing up with the technology that wasn’t available to my own parents. Obviously everyone makes the choices they do for different reasons, but sitting here now, I can definitely say a few things are certain for us:

  •  This blog is a living document of our lives as they evolve and change
  • Our child deserves not only privacy, but to actively determine the course of her public life
  • Our child is not blog content, nor a narrative to entertain, benefit from, or use as a platform before they are old enough to give informed consent. And no, them being able to say “yes” is not informed consent
  • What constitutes “privacy” is highly subjective and variable in application when it comes to technology

It is unavoidable that there will be pictures of her online. It just is, and there already are. And there will be pictures of her here, as well as general updates on how she’s doing and the things we’re doing with her as a family. But that’s about where our feelings of pull-back begin.

Happy last-minute write-off giftmas from the newly enhanced studio. Dual screens plus the TV we still need to fit back in. We are ready to work in 2014.

I don’t know how we’re going to fit another workstation in for her yet, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out…

Once her room is done, the final product shown, and she is in it, it’s hers. That’s her private space and it won’t be online.

Likewise, as we already do with our personal lives, the majority of her life won’t be online. I don’t owe anyone access to anything, and as we’re not full-time bloggers, there really is no pressure to be overly-intimate. She is going to have struggles and ugly moments, and frankly, I cringe when bloggers make children an integral part of their brand, or altogether brand their children.

Finally, and this should be pretty obvious based on the previous paragraph, our kid won’t be a part of sponsored posts. We will not attach her to brands, at all. Likewise, we won’t attach her to causes she can’t consent to. There are obviously some areas this is unavoidable — mainly in how we choose to feed her. We believe really strongly in the way we eat, and it will of course affect how we feed her. She’ll also grow up around both CrossFit and racing, but I feel all of these are different (unpaid/unsolicited) and she’s not being made to do anything other than accompany her parents to their dorky hobbies.

Sorry to get off on a tangent with this week’s post, but like I said, one thing begat another last week, and it was something I couldn’t help but kind of get out here. We’re getting so close to single digit weeks now until she’s here, that my mind is a whirl of constant thoughts on how this will all play out — even if the details seem small.

7 Comments

  • Leah says:

    Good luck with the home stretch. For me, that’s been the longest part! It was much easier to forget about being pregnant when I didn’t have a giant belly.

    • Jessica says:

      At almost 30 weeks now, it’s starting to get physically awkward to do a lot of normal things, and eating has become the biggest bane of my existence. Coupled with the heat and humidity I never want to do it, and the smallest amounts seemingly fill me up to he point of being uncomfortable. It’s just annoying.

  • Chrissy says:

    This sounds like a plan that allows you to share parts of your life, while leaving your daughter the privacy she deserves. And I never even thought about sponsored content in regard to children! The modern parent has so much to consider and weight. I applaud your approach!

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah, I’ve been seeing it more and more like…product testing for children’s products to all out making your kid an ambassador for something. It’s definitely crossed a line.

      For me I just like blogging when I feel like it, when I feel like I have something to say retrospectively and can think it through into this space. I don’t feel compelled or compulsive about documenting every little thing, and I like living things wholly rather than interspersing constant documentation into them. I want to raise her to value putting devices down and living.

  • Megan says:

    I am not a parent, however I want to APPLAUD you for taking a stance on this! Good for you on standing your ground about respecting your child’s privacy and not attaching her to brands. I cringe at what others do, so I fully support your choice! Glad to hear things are going well for you!

    • Jessica says:

      I cringe so hard too. Ironically I still get Clever Girls emails and one of the opportunities in the email that I just got a few minutes ago involves shilling for some frozen vegetables in a vlog. Now, I’m all about teaching my kid skills and doing activities, but never for a brand and never to be published like that. Ever.

  • Kathleen says:

    Oh my god. Let’s grab a beer and talk about this for days.

    I never shared Fox’s nursery on our blog. I don’t think I was explicitly thinking about his privacy … but I had a gut feeling and lack of desire to share his space. I had to reconsider Fox’s privacy when a really nice stranger recognized him and said “That’s the baby from Instagram!” Oh and then there is a forum of haters who have been making fun of my baby since before he was born … so that’s creepy.

    I love sharing my life and it turns out that as much as I want to maintain my own identity, MOM has become my most dominating title these days. I imagine I’ll gain some independence as Fox gains his own but for now I have very little to say or talk about other than my baby. I mean, even if I’m talking about work it’s usually about how I balance it with baby. He’s my best “DIY” yet … so I can’t help but take a million photos of him and Instagram him… but I imagine that will change too as we all evolve.

    Finally… my friends and family made me feel ridiculous when I considered not getting a crib (a hand me down from my sister) and a stroller. Fox is 5 months old and hasn’t been in either his crib or stroller yet. Ha! I know he’ll use them both sooner than later but it still makes me laugh. So yeah, you’ll figure out what you need and don’t need as you go.

    Great post. XO