Cole posted something yesterday about rethinking how he handles photos of his family on Flickr. It sparked something (as his posts often do) that I've been rolling around in the back of my head for awhile. I've put a whole schwack of photos of Evan on Flickr. Nothing I'd worry about the Evil Internet People getting their furry little paws on, but lots of photos of him doing all kinds of fun stuff.
But, he never got a vote. He never got to decide if he wanted his photos to be Out There. Janice is rather shy, and so I've not posted photos of her. But Evan has been having fun with it, so I just kept posting photos.
After thinking about it, I think it's only fair to give him the chance to decide. It's not like there's anything there that would come back to haunt him, but it's something that might become an issue as he gets older. I imagine the punks in his Jr. High School Of The Future finding old photos of Evan and making his life more interesting than it needs to be. He won't need to deal with that.
So, as an experiment, I've just moved 308 photos of Evan into the "Friends and Family" privacy setting. I had to leave a couple of the best ones, but may even rethink that.
It was weird – even though the photos are still available to friends and family, it felt like I was deleting a large part of my life. I was actually saddened after hitting the button to commit the change. Like I'd just lost something. Like I'd just carved the most important person in my life out of my online place.
But it's not about me. It's about him, and he needs to be able to control his own online personna without having his old man posting 32 bajillion photos of him throwing snowballs…