May 19, 2024

Laney Goff

Social Sesh: Why You'll Never See My Kids on My Social Media Accounts

Kids on social media

In the age of digital oversharing, where people tend to broadcast every life moment to the world, choosing to keep certain aspects of our lives private can feel like an act of rebellion. One of the most significant decisions I've made is to keep my children off social media. Here’s why this choice feels not only right but necessary in today’s digital climate.

Second Thoughts About a Life on Display

Since 2010, I've been sharing my life publicly on social media. Over the years, as my following grew, so did my willingness to share every facet of my existence. By 2019, I was inviting people to get a full view of my world, sharing everything—my kids, other family members, and even the city I lived in. It felt natural because everyone around me was doing the same. However, as my following continued to grow, I began to have mixed feelings about this level of exposure.

In 2021, my TikTok following started to skyrocket. It was exhilarating to see my videos go viral and to start making money from the platform. However, an incident in 2022 shifted my perspective dramatically. After attending a local "music in the park" event with my parents and kids, I received several comments on TikTok from someone who had recognized me there. They mentioned the location by name and made it clear they had been watching me and my family from afar. This unsettling experience was a wake-up call. It’s one thing to put myself at risk, but it’s entirely different to put my kids and other family members in possible danger because I decided to be on public platforms.

The situation escalated in 2023 when I discovered that an acquaintance of my ex-husband was posting TikTok videos of my children on their account. My research revealed that the majority of this person's followers were men, which raised significant concerns about my kids’ safety and privacy. This individual might not have intended any harm, but the realization that strangers, particularly men, had access to videos of my children was terrifying and a stark reminder of the potential threats lurking online.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this journey is the legal landscape. You should know that current laws about social media and privacy don’t offer much protection when someone else posts videos or images of your children. In many places, there are no legal grounds to force someone to remove content featuring your kids. This lack of control is a sobering reality, underscoring the importance of being vigilant about what we share and with whom.

My Decisive Action to Help Protect My Children Online

Following these incidents, I made the difficult decision to purge all images and content containing my kids from my social media accounts. I also reached out to friends and family, asking them to remove any posts featuring my children and to refrain from posting anything about them in the future.

Don’t get me wrong. Some days, I take a picture of my kids and think, “Oh, how I wish I could share this with the world!” The love I have for them is overwhelming, and sharing that joy feels natural. But then I remember the reasons behind my decision—the safety, the privacy, and my kids’ right to choose what they want to share about themselves when they’re older. The good that has come from keeping them private far outweighs the fleeting joy of sharing those moments online.

In a world where sharing has become second nature, choosing to keep my children off social media is a conscious, deliberate act of protection and respect. It’s about safeguarding their innocence, respecting their autonomy, and ensuring their safety. It’s about fostering genuine connections and living fully in the present. Above all, it’s about giving them the freedom to write their own digital stories when they’re ready.

Every parent navigates the digital age differently, but for me, my decision brings peace of mind and aligns with my values. Here’s to cherishing the moments we share offline and protecting the ones we love the most.

Have you experienced a similar unease about sharing photos and content that showcases your children online? What concerns you most about the privacy, safety, and security risks of the digital world we live in? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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