Musings | Do Kids Have a Right to Internet Privacy

(TL;DR - I Recognized a Kid in Public that I Don't Know and it Freaked Me Out)

I used to think that January was the longest month. Turns out it's definitely February - at least this year. But I am grateful that hitting my winter wall came so late in the season. March is just around the corner and with it usually comes some springlike weather. I'm looking forward to not being cold all the time and also not constantly hear the hum of the heater. It's white noise, but like, not the nice kind. 

Musings | Do Kids Have a Right to Internet Privacy

Last weekend, Duke and I went to an indoor water park with my sister and her family. It was very fun, very tiring, and I frankly cannot wait to go back. However, I had - and this is dramatic - a life changing experience. Hang with me, because I'm about to word vomit. 

When I was a kid, maybe 11 or 12, I was friends with a girl at church. We didn't go to school together, so we were very casually one-day-a-week friends to begin with, and eventually we drifted apart as we got older. Mostly I just stopped going to church. I don't really know where she went, but I know that, in the advent of Facebook around 2006, we became facebook friends. And because of facebook, I know that at some point in our early 20's, she had a baby. 

To be clear - I have not seen this woman since we were children. I vaguely know that things didn't work out with her baby's father and that they're not together. And the extent of my relationship at this point is seeing the pictures she posts that appear on my facebook feed. Sometimes her baby's dad shows up in the "people you might know". He must have a wife now, because there is another woman in his profile picture. 

You guys, here's where I got freaked out. I have never met any of these people, aside from the girl at church 20+ years ago, and over the weekend, I saw her baby (now an early teen) with her dad and his family. And I recognized them simply from pictures on social media that have wound up on my feed over the years. 100%, was not mistaken, knew who they were, their names, etc. All because I'm facebook friends with this one girl from my childhood. 

It felt uncomfortable because it made me immediately aware of what I provide in terms of information on the internet. I could have called that girl's name, said I knew her parents, by name, and earned trust I don't deserve. I would never do that, but I have provided that same information for someone to do to my son. I came home on Sunday night and began deleting every recent picture of Duke from my Facebook and Instagram immediately. 

I'm not important. I don't have delusions of grandeur, but you know, nobody that I'm friends with on Facebook is famous or well known either, and yet, even people I casually knew decades ago, people I don't actively follow or talk to or even really know anymore, and most questionably, their children, are recognizable to me. I was jarred by the experience, I guess. It felt intrusive, even though I wasn't actively seeking anyone out. 


I think there's a really good conversation to be had as a society about why we treat our children like content. I don't mean to sound righteous - this blog has pages and pages of Duke as content - but it's so accepted that our children don't deserve any privacy. They're an extension of us and if we have something to share online, they get shared with it. That as their parents, we decide their online life and frankly with an entire industry of "mommy bloggers", we know that  some people exploit their children online. I'm curious how this becomes a louder conversation, specifically as those children grow up and start to share their opinions. Social media didn't exist when I was a kid, yet I certainly had thoughts about my mom showing polaroids to her friends - or worse, my friends - that showed me in an embarrassing way. The first round of Facebook babies are well into their teen years and I have a feeling they'll have some thoughts about their entire lives being available for perfect strangers to find. 

And speaking of the mom blog phenomena, if I had uncomfortable feelings about recognizing a child who's parents are as normal as I am and not public figures, can you imagine the kiddos who do have influencer parents? Now there's a memoir I'll be anxiously awaiting. 

What do you think?


Target Run

Okay, let's really shift gears. I'm in the mood to shop, maybe because I've hit that winter wall. Maybe because my job is stressful and spending money frivolously is my primary coping mechanism. And maybe it's because the changing of the seasons means sales. Whatever it is, my wallet is open. 

Let's start at Target, because after some weird years, they are finally bringing the suburban mom style this spring

First, let me direct your attention to 30% off swim wear. Just in time for those spring break plans, no? 

I grabbed this and this in the brown color. 

Do you have a conservative job where you have to hide your personality? Yeah, me either, but if I did, I'd wear these socks on St. Pat's Day. 

Are pink on pink stripes too VS-ish? IDK but I'm willing to risk it. I love this two piece top and shorts getup. 


Galison is my go-to for puzzles and I am a sucker for anything seasonal. As we approach Easter, I will be putting this beauty together on my kitchen table. 

Meanwhile, is running a warehouse sale this week. I have this "mega" desk calendar in my cart. It's obviously the "mega" that wooed me. 


Happy Friday! 

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