Obviously I have not lived by this standard. I have been very open about my family since forever. I have listened to people caution about the sharing of personal photos etc. online I have made attempts to use pseudonyms and keep the every day comings and goings of my children private to protect them. I have insisted their images not be used on school websites and turned down many offers of that in order to keep them safe.
Ever since I read that article I have been thinking a lot about it. My older girls know I post plenty to social media and they will ask that I not use certain images or videos of them. Of course I respect that. I check in with them and we have conversations about it. I feel like we are all on the same page about it, so I feel I am respecting their wishes. I hope they don't go to therapy some day and discuss their mother posting things that were embarrassing or inappropriate or concerning to them.
The irrational fear/anxiety part of my personality is starting to talk to me, telling me that it's time to shut it all down. I have a small fear of strangers, stalkers, cyber predators...and I am feeling a nudge about it right now. It could be that I am watching too much dateline or listening to crazy rape stories on This American Life influencing my thoughts. It could be a gut feeling or a mother's instinct. Whatever it is, I am trying to leave space to let it filter through so that I can make some decisions about my online behavior.
More than that, however, is a new awareness that has come to my attention. The other day in class, O's teacher brought up her computer on the smart board. Youtube was the homepage and a glass posse video was on the suggested video page. I don't think O was embarrassed, but she was a little surprised. I think it was one of the first times she realized that anyone can watch these videos on the internet, including her teacher, her classmates. I know her music teacher watches youtube and has seen ours and Samika videos among others.
I have received comments on my instagram feed from D's classmates and seen them make fun of me on group chats. I, of course, could care less what virtually anyone thinks of me and my activity online. However, I don't want my daughters to feel alienated or embarrassed because I have an online presence, even though I don't think there is anything to be embarrassed about.
Of course I have thought about all of this before, but for some reason I am feeling exposed right now. I don't feel regret for my transparency. I know it has helped me to be open and to share about my life with the world. I know it has helped others. The letters and comments and emails I have received have meant a lot to me, and in some ways are a big motivator to keep sharing the ups and downs of my life.
I haven't posted a video in several days. I am just sitting on this feeling, these thoughts, trying to work out how to take the next step. Last week I never would have predicted that this week I would feel this way. Being a Mom is the hardest job I have ever had. I make mistakes all the time. Suddenly I have this feeling that I am at a fork in the road, that I need to take a different path in the name of being a good Mom.