Pat, I think at one point you told me that you don’t think it’s fair for parents to post pictures of their kids on the internet since the kids have no say in it. Were you thinking about this with regards to just the ugly kids or all kids in general? Can you elaborate?Pat: Well, ugly kids are easy, ‘cause no one should put someone at risk of ridicule without their permission. And y’know what? While I admit to once falling victim to that disease that makes all parents think their newborn kids are the cutest things EVER, I’ve gotten to a point where, while I respect kids--almost all kids--I have no trouble in acknowledging that many of them are just damn ugly. Or funny looking. Or weird. Or stinky.
And I don’t necessarily think they become that way...I think they always ARE that way, but the exhaustion they impose on us makes us blind to it. As they age, and we regain our strength and vitality, we become able to see them for the freaks they are.
Freaks or not, though, I don’t feel right about posting their pics on Facebook. Seems too likely to tap into a big ole’ keg of creepy!
Penny for your thoughts?
Christian: I’m pretty confident my kids are gorgeous and always have been.
So you don’t ever post pictures of your kids to Facebook or other places on the internet? What do you mean by big ole’ keg of creepy?
Pat: Don’t ask me what I mean, fool!
(Largely because I don’t really know. I mostly write these things after a bit of drinking, and tend not to think too much about the content of my responses, so, really...I’m not so sure what I meant. I bet it was profound, though!)
I try not to post pics of my kids on Facebook. I know, I know...in other ways I am so much the left-wing anti-establishment rabble-rousing fella’, but that’s where I draw the line. When they get their own Facebook page, they can post whatever pictures of themselves they want (WAIT! Scratch that!), but while they’re still my little ugly, weird, stinky cherubs their visages will remain free from internet tainting.
And that tainting, in whatever form it may take, is EXACTLY the kind of creepy I’m talking about! In my contentious line of work, you never know what a disgruntled former student may do to a picture of my offspring. With the magic of Adobe Photoshop™, they can turn my sweet little boy into the poster child for the Aryan Nation. Not on MY watch, says I!
Did you have other kinds of creepy in mind?
Christian: No not really. But I can understand your concern about posting picture of your kids. And I can also see the argument I stated at the beginning that for those kids that are too young to understand something like Facebook, is it really fair to be posting pictures of them that are most likely going to be on the internet for the rest of their lives?
But on the other side of it, what if your kids are absolutely dazzling? Is it fair to deny your friends, family, and weird strangers pictures of your amazingly stunning kids?
For example take this picture of my daughter from last year:
Would it be fair of me to deny the general public from viewing these pictures? I don’t think so.
I just don’t have that kind of hatred towards humanity.
Pat: Is that your daughter? She looks like a perfect spokesmodel or child representative for this organization:
Christian: First off, yes of course that is my daughter. Can’t you tell? She has obviously inherited my wife’s eyes and my stunning-ness?
Secondly, OK I see your point. But who would want to do something like that? Maybe if you had enemies that might be a concern but last I checked I was enemy free (and no cavities!).
So if you don’t post any pictures of your kids on facebook, online etc, aren’t you concerned that when they get older they will be outcasts because all of their peers did have their childhoods documented online via crappy pictures?
Imagine the scene when one of your kids is just beginning college and is meeting some of their fellow college freshman for the first time:
POTENTIAL FRIEND 1: “Hi my name is POTENTIAL FRIEND 1 and this is POTENTIAL FRIEND 2, we’re freshman too”
PAT’S KID: “Hi, nice to meet you guys.”
POTENTIAL FRIEND 2: “We were just looking at pictures of each other’s entire lives via our parent’s facebook pages. We just met, but now we feel like we have been best friends forever. Can we see your photographically documented life online?”
PAT’S KID: “Oh. Well you see my dad didn’t think it was safe to post pictures of me online so they’re aren’t any.”
POTENTIAL FRIEND 2:”Oh... That’s sort of weird”
PAT’S KID: “Well yeah I guess he...”
POTENTIAL FRIEND 1: “Anyhoo, we should probably get going. There’s a huge party happening later that’s supposed to be a major gathering for cool people to make lifelong friends. I don’t think it’s something you would enjoy so maybe we’ll see you around. Bye.”
PAT’S KID: *runs off to dorm room to take pictures of themselves crying*
Are you happy now Pat?
Pat: Well, yeah. It’s just those kind of tough life situations that test your mettle and show you what kind of person you are. It’ll be good for them.
And if those two potential friends would rather go to some “cool” party with other “cool” people than hang out with my child whittling wooden likenesses of themselves to capture for eternity
using their homemade daguerreotype machines and then sending them back home via their pet carrier pigeon...well, then, they are not the kind of potential friends I want my kids to be hanging out with.
Christian: OK, we’ll mark you down as a ‘NO’ on the whole facebook thing then.