Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Child's Right To Privacy

In the most recent episode of Spark (CBC's radio show, blog and podcast of ongoing conversations regarding technology and culture), host Nora Young talks to two different parents about the rights of their children's privacy in today's social media/connected world.

It made me pause and wonder about the way in which I have exposed my son to the world through my blog -- which, for the most part, has been, since I started it in 2005, a pretty unfiltered view into my day to day life, including embarassing pictures, moments and memories of my personal experiences, most particularly in my role as a writer, bookseller, husband and father.

I determined, a long time ago, that many details about my life weren't all that secret anyways. And, given I don't believe I have anything substantial to hide, I wanted to blog honestly and have it be about the real me rather than about a particular scripted persona I was trying to push out into the world.

We already wear too many masks, and besides, I figured anyone with half a mind could see right through any sort of fake representation of who Mark Leslie Lefebvre was.

(Okay, perhaps the one thing I purposely modified was my full name, given that I originally was seeking to push out the nom de plume or psyeudonym that I use and have used "Mark Leslie" as my handle through blogging and most of my social media profiles -- not that it's any secret, since, from day one, I've always included my full name in my blogger profile and "Mark Leslie" is part of my actual name.)

But what Nora's recent interviews on Spark did was made me wonder about the inadvertent violation of my son's privacy.

Sure, my wife can speak for herself and understands the repercussions when I relay a cute anecdote about something she said or that we did. But my son is only 5 years old, and, for most of his life, I have blogged about my experiences of fatherhood as well as posts specifically about him and how much joy and wonder he brings to my life.

And yes, in his way he is aware that Daddio is blogging about him and including various pictures of him on his blog. He has even had fun participating in some of the silly "stories" I have told through words and pictures online -- like the original "Spud Wars" HNT series I posted in which father and son team up to take on Darth Tater and his group of clones.

Sure, he finds them fun and neat now, but what is he going to say when he turns 13 and every little thing, every cute little anecdote, every silly picture I have posted of him is an opportunity for embarassment?

What about that sensitive time in his life when every single thing his goofy old man does is embarassing to him in front of his friends?

How is he going to react when all those private moments, all those cute stories from when he was a tiny infant (such as this post about the "Streak of the Naked Baby") are discovered?

It makes me wonder.

1 comment:

lime said...

hhmm, food for thought definitely.