Vox Day has repeatedly warned people that posting photos of your children on the internet is obnoxious at best and dangerous at worst, (particularly if you leave the metadata on the pictures so that people can find the location as one wag noted.) Now a 16 year old Italian boy has successfully obtained a court order that prohibits his mother from posting pictures of him online without his permission.
Vox calls it photo-preening.
It’s natural to be proud of your children. But they do not exist to serve your ego, and as a parent, you should be far more concerned about protecting their privacy and their futures than in trying to demonstrate to everyone what a wonderful father or mother you are, or how fabulous your genetic legacy happens to be, or showing the distant relatives they barely know what they look like. That’s what Christmas cards are for.
I don’t take photos, I don’t own a camera, and I haven’t bothered to learn how to use the camera on my phone. I hardly take my phone with me anyway. If the bad guys ever try to track me then most of the time they’ll think I’m at home.
One of my first ever posts on this blog was about how traveling without a camera is a liberating experience.
I realized quite early that the more photos a tourist took the less they were actually seeing and experiencing. It is the quest for the perfect photo that they can proudly display to their friends, whether in real life or on Instagram or Facebook. ‘Look at me,’ the photo says. ‘Look at where I have been and the good times I’ve had.’ ‘I am important and special and lucky and you should be envious of me.’
Of course, if everyone who travels does the same thing, who can be envious of whom?
Photos were once about documentation but now they exist primarily for self-validation. The thought of taking a photo of a restaurant meal and then posting it on social media is complete anathema to me. It’s not that I can’t understand the mentality of someone who does this; I simply have no desire to do so.
I have a Facebook page which I primarily use to keep in contact with people all around the world, as well as to post videos of cats eating squirrels. The correlation is noticeable between people whose lives are a never ending series of disasters and their proclivity to post photos of themselves and their poor children.
People who know me also know that I don’t like having my photo taken. I have no desire to be an unwilling participant in your internet photo-preening. I don’t take photos of you, so do me the courtesy of not taking photos of me.
I just shake my head when I see film footage of modern music concerts with thousands of morons all holding up their phones to record their “unique” version of whatever concert it is that they’re paying hundreds of dollars to experience through their phones.
The day this post goes up I’ll be skiing somewhere in Italy. I hear the snow is good this year. I’d show you some photos of it but I won’t be taking any.