ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2015
On Halloween, I posted a message that seemed to annoy many social-media-addicted parents so I thought I would share it with you.
This is what I wrote: “Attn: Parents- Remember to continue exploiting your kids without their permission on social media today and give perverts like Jared Fogle something to jerk to.”
Of course I was referring to the thousands of costumed kids for Halloween and former Subway spokes-pervert Fogle.
Previously I had gone on the record in this column about my lack of enthusiasm for blasting personal lives to an internet full of strangers. Taking it one step further I have taken shots at parents who broadcast every milestone in their kid’s life.
I’m not saying don’t be proud of your kid’s accomplishments. I’m just saying not to use social media like a giant fridge to hang up every bloody picture and moment.
Parents have been quick to attack me and say such postings are often within their own network of “friends” and that their child is in no danger. But the picture might be available to me and I “like” or “share” or comment on the thing, I am opening that up to a world of strangers. Worse yet, I also have the ability to take that private image and do whatever I want with it.
Fortunately for my social media audience I really don’t care for kids so I would never do something like that, but there is nothing stopping unscrupulous people from taking things to a dangerous level.
How well do you know your “friends”? I think most people have added a friend of a friend of a friend and not thought twice about it.
What is interesting is that I only heard from parents who justified such posts (read that as: attacked me, not politely disagreed) and none who saw their social media blabbery as intrusive. I did not get any replies from parents who said, “Yeah, you know what, now that you mention it, it sort of is an invasion of an innocent child’s privacy.”
I was chatting with my childless cousin about this topic and I wondered how many teenagers might feel betrayed by parents for posting private details about their life to social media. Have there been any lawsuits from a kid saying, “I found out my mom posted that embarrassing moment when I was six years old and now I want to sue her for emotional damages”?
We’re on a slippery slope here, folks. It’s only a matter of time before rebellious kids lawyer up and go for blood — and not that fake Halloween blood they looked so cute wearing that we all went “awwww” but predators like Fogle went “oh yeah, more, more, more.”