Navigating the complex world of parenting can be daunting for parents of all levels of experience, making sure you're doing the best you can for your tiny one while managing myriad expectations and hurdles thrown at you every day can seem at times, like a Sisyphean effort.
One challenge that I can confidently say parents now must deal with that older generations haven't is the question about the online privacy of your child. That is, what do you upload online and what is your responsibility as a parent?
I have to preface this to say that there is no right answer either, every single parent makes their own choices and as long as they're in the best interests of your child you're good.
Once upon a time you would put a birth notice in the paper, maybe with a nice photo and send photographs to relatives in the mail. Or maybe you were the type of person to have one of those fold out wallet albums, ready to whip out at a moment's notice.
We've gone with a shared photo album that our iPhone-adjacent relatives can join to receive photos of our son right onto their phones. Testing the limits of iCloud, it's simple and painless and lets us get photos to everyone - that is unless you have an Android phone then we have to remember to text them to you, sorry about that.
At the moment, we have chosen not to post any photos of our son online but I suppose we could change our mind. What if we take a photo that is SO cute that we can't help but share it with the world, is there anything wrong with that? Of course not, but once you've rung that bell, it's hard to unring.
Generally speaking, once that photo is online it's up there forever. Even deleted it lives archived in a server farm somewhere.
The question is about whether you as the parent makes the choice to post those photos online where they are accessible to everyone in the world suddenly is a dicey proposition for some but a non-issue for others.
Your child obviously cannot consent to having their photo posted online but as their parent or carer you can on their behalf. In the same way that we might consider the online legacy we leave behind, what too of the legacy you create for someone who hasn't decided yet if they want to participate in the collective maelstrom of social media and online identity?
Some parents I know prefer the ephemerality of Snapchat or Instagram stories. As a father this is what I generally choose, there is something a little more comforting about being able to share your experiences as a parent - and really cute photos - with the world and know that it will be largely inaccessible to the public within 24 hours.
It largely comes down to a question that's impossible to answer. What will the internet look like in 10-15 years and how much of what we do today will matter by then?
In case you are interested in filtering all the latest down to just one late afternoon read, why not sign up for The Informer newsletter?
MORE STUFF HAPPENING AROUND AUSTRALIA:
- $1bn boost for green bank, power to invest in carbon capture and storage
- Education department protected paedophile teachers, report finds
- NT chief sorry for COVID-19 Facebook slur
- ACM supports Kindness Factory to expand school program
- Australia ranks last for climate policy among world's biggest emitters
- Australia's a top destination for money laundering, experts say
- The amazing story behind a global kindness movement
- WHO warns of looming syringe shortage