Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's in a name?

Wow, it's been just over four weeks since our little one was born. Time really has flown and we're amazed at how much she has already grown and changed. Just this last week or so she has learned how to smile and I could sit there for hours just watching her when she does. Not that she smiles for hours, but if only I could freeze those moments...

It's been four weeks, and I still haven't come up with an online name for her. We had her real name picked out long before she was born, but as for an online moniker, I'm stuck.

Initially, we confused a few close friends and family members, they weren't sure where we were and weren't using her real name. I use her name on my Facebook page, but my husband doesn't and has asked people not to do so when commenting on there. Why?

We're trying to be conscious of her safety, especially as I use my real name online. As a baby she'll never be alone and her face won't be that recognisable, so it's when she's older that we are concerned about. With the internet, I think there is a whole new dimension to "Stranger Danger" teaching. We also want to model safe online posting practices for when she's older and posting things herself.

For those reasons, on any space open to the public such as blogs and Flickr, we won't use her real name. We also won't use her online name as a nickname. My Facebook page is set on the "Friends Only" setting, whereas my husband's is more open - hense the difference in what we do in that space. We've asked friends and family to be careful about using her name as well, and if in doubt just ask.

We're not sure if we'll post photos of her at all once she's older and grown into a face that will be more recognisable.

This is all stuff that I've been thinking of long before she was born. I've been watching what other people do and it really ranges from full disclosure of pictures and names to no mention of children at all.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts. Do you have an online policy relating to your children or even yourself? What are your concerns about posting personal information online?


27 comments:

K and S said...

sounds like a great idea :)

Selina said...

I totally agree with you on this one. My daughter is 12, so I just say Miss 12, not very original I know. I don't post pictures of her either. It's my blog, she didn't sign up for it, I did. I've even gone so far as to blur out a photo of her in the background of a photo I put in a post! If I'm still doing this blogging thing when she's at a more mature age, I may change my mind on this, but for now, she's off limits. And I agree in what you say about modeling safe online practices for them too. Sorry to waffle on so much!

Oh, and your little miss is very cute!

Selina.

Semsavblanc said...

I don't think you can be too careful where this kind of thing is concerned. Having just begun our blog, I have kind of worried about who reads it and what information they can glean and what the information might lead to in the wrong hands. I think you're doing the right thing, totally. I do like what Fuji Mama does on her blog with the kids names. It would be hard to come up with something though, because you don't want to give her another name altogether but you wouldn't want to call her something completely silly either. I think you called her the "babe" once. That's not bad..

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

I use my daughters cut down name online, I tend not to do much more than show a picture or two and her name from time to time. I know that she will have a digital footprint and when she reaches 12 or so I won't have much control over what type of footprint she has. I also have a locked livejournal where I do speak about her in more depth. She is so much part of my life that I can't help but talk about her from time to time. But being an IT teacher in my other life I know the dangers and when she is old enough the only way that she will get access to the internet at home will be the computer in the family room.

CurlyPops said...

I think along the same lines as you. Although I don't have my own kiddies, I do include my nephews on my blog and only use their nicknames. I've included photos and first names of the three littlest boys (with permission from their parents), but I won't post photos of the older boys (unless I chop their heads off in photoshop first), as they would be too recognisable.
In my case, they all have different surnames to me as well so it would be much harder for anyone to actually work it out.
A nickname that is only used on the blog is a great idea.

Michelle said...

I totally get where you're coming from. I don't have any kids, but I get permission from my brother to post photos of my nephew (I think I've posted two photos in total). Once he's older (he's 3 now) I won't post them though. As for me, I very rarely (if ever) post photos of myself online. I am just too much of a privacy freak.

Aussie-waffler said...

I sought the advise of a long-time blogging friend before I decided to use the odd photo of my children on my blog. I don't use any of our real names and it is my intention not to place too many pictures of the children online. It does make me a little nervous, but I am trying to take a sensible approach whilst still sharing two of the most important parts of my life.

kellie said...

It's funny that this is coming up ~ with an interesting discussion over at Meet Me at Mike's about warts and all.
I'm with everyone here ~ I am going for anonymity, because of my job and our town mainly, but I don't put my kids out there either. For all sorts of reasons. Stranger danger being one of them.

thornberry said...

Your little one is so beautiful! As you know, I do use my kids first names and post their photos. To me, it's about being sensible without being paranoid (but it's important that everyone does what they are individually comfortable doing). I figure that my kids are a huge part of my life, so they are part of my blog as well. I don't use my last name anywhere on my blog, my kids have a different last name to me, I don't give out my address, I don't say where I work or what I do, I don't include my husband's name either. And definitely no school details. So I figure that all our details aren't out there (of course, if someone really wanted to track us down, I'm sure that they could - with or without a blog). So I am comfy with using my kids names and photos, but understand that not everyone feels that way. And I never post photos of anyone else's kids on my blog.

Nyssa - Surreal Design said...

I must be in a bit of a minority.

I post dozens of pictures of my Daughter. I have named my business after her and therefore use her name a lot. Her name is distinctive aswell. My Surname is on display aswell, as a business contact.

I agree with thornberry, you have to do what you are comfortable with. But for me, I don't have an issue with it, I want to share how beautiful my daughter is, and what is going on with her. I get her to model all of my creations as she's very photogenic and makes my products look even more wonderful.

My whole life revolves around her, I think I'd be very boring if I tried not to mention her at all heh.

Cute as Buttons said...

We put a lot of thought into this topic before I started the blog and have fairly firm ideas. Our blog is often personal reflections on life and family and the little buttons are an enormous part of that. It would seem strange to leave them out. I usually call the children the little buttons and mention their ages to differentiate. We never post their faces on any photos we use. I've started using their names at times but try not to as a general rule. I don't want their photos out their and able to be misused. Good luck deciding. Lisa.

Cindy said...

I obviously do it and I don't know - perhaps I shouldn't. I don't have my name in my email address at all so there isn't really a link to our last names. I think it is just whatever the internal mummy voice says is all you need to worry about. I will have to join up with your facebook though, I so want to keep seeing that cutiepie face

Nikki said...

I don't use my daughter's name or face on my blog. Some people have mentioned her name in comments and I never know whether to say anything to them or not.... eventually people realise that it's not the done thing. Safety issues concern me a lot - especially since people have so much access to details about me.

Little Munchkins said...

As you probably already noticed, I don't use my children's names nor mine in my blog. There aren't any pictures of them either. I am a very private person by nature, I guess I didn't really need to think too much about it.

Having said that, I think you should do what you are comfortable with...and your little girl is such a cutie!

Allie said...

As everybody else said, do what you're comfortable with. But do keep posting baby pics - Little Miss is adorable! *G*

I have done a couple of posts with my boys' pics. And I use their real names. But they're teens now and online quite a bit themselves - although they NEVER link their friends to my blog, lol. My last name is nowhere on my blog. My blog is mostly quilty stuff, so whoever would be trolling would probably get pretty bored!

Christie said...

I think it is all about what you are personally comfortable with as many people have already said.

I do use my children's names on my blog & post pictures of them.At this stage I feel comfortable with that, mainly because (as Lara mentioned) I believe if someone really wanted to find out my personal details, they would probably have the means to do so. My basic censorship rule is 'am I happy for ANYONE to read this post?' because once it is on the internet anyone can. Things may change as the kids get older but right now this is where we are at!

Jennie said...

I use Little Jack's real name and post his photos, but I have a different surname to Jack and my husband so you couldn't track him down that way. I don't think I've got my own surname on my blog anyway.

flossy-p said...

I think your caution is wise. We all know exactly who you mean when you refer to "Little one" anyway :)

little red hen said...

As you know my two are chicky babe and Bantam boy to go with my online pseudonym. Partly this was to protect them and on line safety and all but mostly it was to protect their privacy- It is not obvious who they are and they can deny all association from that strange embarrassing red hen woman. They did not choose to blog about themselves. I am a little cautious about being a teacher and posting on line because I share some personal thoughts and feelings in my blog, hence the pseudonym and no internet dating for me! But now that I have used the net I'm not as scared of it as I once was but I am still cautious not to give out detailed information willy nilly.
What is the Japanese word for beloved or cutie pie seeing as she was made in japan?

Brenda said...

I agree with everyone else that it's all about your own comfort level, that's all that matters. I post everything, and agree w/ posters who mentioned that if anyone really wanted to find us, they would.

My daughters at 12 and 15 have learned to say "Don't blog about this!" and I respect those requests, although they're few and far between. And my husband is in the military, so I'm careful about what I post about him in that regard, but those things are all that's off limits.

I don't know how free I'll be w/ our info once we leave Japan, things just feel so much.....safer here, I guess. Once we're back in the U.S. among all the creeps and freaks I think I might be a bit more cautious! LOL

Ayala Levinger said...

I refer to my son in my blog using his first name but I don't write a lot about him and his lastname is not the same as mine... I don't post photo's of him usually and if I do then you don't see much his face. for the same reason you mentioned.
my facebook is also only open to friends and family and I don't post many photo's there either.

upsidebackwards said...

Hi,
I've given my children pseudonyms for my blog, and I'm careful not to reveal exactly where we live, or our last name. But you will want to change the file name of the beautiful pic you posted with this - we can see her name as part of the filename when the mouse is over the picture.

Tinniegirl said...

It's an interesting topic. It's made me more conscious of people I know in blogland and in real life. I've never thought to be careful with my comments before but I will now.

Péitseoga said...

as my daughter's name begins with the letter 'M' i refer to her as M or Emm in my posts... I don't use my real name in my blog, but people that know me might recognise me if they came across the blog. I try and separate 'real life' and 'blog life', as I can write more freely that way. I posted some baby photos, don't think I will for long. I mostly crop photos so they don't show her face!

I have a private blog where I post pictures and news for my family and friends, there I use 1st names, but I don't disclose last names or street names.

Karin said...

Always an interesting question to ponder. I've had a very visible online presence since 1999 but have only come to blog in the last year or two. With blogging, I tend to stick to a pseudonym for our son.

I post photos of him because I think he is the most gorgeous lad in the world LOL, but as he gets older, the frequency has changed - the photos are trending towards being more obtuse, more about the image supporting something I'm writing.

I think it's an ongoing process for us bloggers to learn how to weave together the different parts of our lives we wish to share. I tend to not worry too much about what I disclose but at times I sometimes consider being less open. At the moment, I am open because originally my main reason for coming online in '99 was to connect with a bereaved community. My M.O. hasn't really changed. In 10 years, I've rarely encountered a problem and never have from the crafting community. The crafting community is just awesome.

Cyber stalking does exist, yet so does real life stalking. In some ways, I feel more exposed by the details about myself that I find daily in the post box out on my driveway.

Alexis Jacobs said...

She is a beauty! You need to do whatever you feel the most comfortable with. ((hugs))

Kathleen said...

I am careful and my son is an adult!!! I recently saw where a blogger on Australia's top 100 bloggers list was talking about her teenage son's illness or diagnosis...and i cringed as prospective employers can do searches etc

What I do as the parent of an adult son...who had many health issues when he was younger is disclose things in comments on people's posts if he has already disclosed these things online himself.

I do have a policy though on my flickr groups of no photos of children as I do feel they can be exploited by parents in home businesses etc...and then there is the perverted side of things too...who knows what perverts are "enjoying" the images of one's children?

Congratulations on your little girl's birth!

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