Monday, July 17, 2006

Paranoia Strikes Deep in the Heartland

"Strangers are strangers whether online or in the real world"
It's something I read in an article about internet safety. It was written as a reminder to your kids that, when online, they are talking to strangers. It made me think, though, that we encounter strangers with our kids everyday...well, everyday we can get out of the house anyway! We don't think that someone we see at the grocery store or library might obsess about our children or follow us home...because we can't live that way and really, it would be ridiculous. For me, encountering people in the real world is harder because my pedophile radar is set so high. I see people around who I am relatively certain are pedophiles. But I don't leave my kids alone with anyone I don't trust. For us, that means leaving them with, well, almost no one.
My concern over who is looking at my children online is really low. You might find this odd if you know what a paranoid freak I am in "real life."
I have some friends who have recently become more concerned about who is looking at their kids. For them, and for me, what do the rest of you think?


  1. We obviously do not portray ourselves as ones with qualms about having our kid's pictures on the internet, but I will say its something we've discussed several times. Pat has even moved E's site to his server with the intentions of making it password protected, although that's obviously a project still in progress.

    I have had lots of people ask me if I worried about it, to which I have always replied "no"! But then I read a post on another blog written by a woman who kept an open flickr account with pictures of her kids. On flickr, you can see what other flickr members look at your pictures. (Or something like that. I don't use flickr.) Anyway, she found out that some man (who had a picture of himself up on flickr) had not only pictures of her daughter but also pictures of other little girls in his "favorites" or whatever. That kind of alarmed me.

    I still go back and forth. Seems innocent enough, but there are obviously a lot of weirdos out there. I don't like the idea of them looking at our daughter's pictures much more than I like the thought of them looking at her in the grocery store. And there's also the part where I'm not that bright, and do things like take a funny picture of my kid and her doll's faces covered in address labels...OUR address labels. I don't realize how close-up the shot is until I post it on her site, and realize that our mailing address is clear as day on those stickers. Doh!

  2. I've thought about some of the things we've posted about local parks or the zoo. Don't feel too bad about the address labels. Jedd used to have our street name as blog subtitle!
    If I could find a way to do a password system I would feel better I think. That flicker story WAS really creepy. I also look at people like the Armstrongs (dooce) and she seems to have no qualms about posting Leta...and everyone knows who they are and all. Kinda wish I could get them in on this conversation.

  3. I'm definitely, probably, over-cautious. I only post pictures of The Bambina (whose name I don't share either) if her face is obscured by a hat or if it is too far away or something like that. Partly it's because she may grow up and be p*ssed that I wrote about her, on the theory that her story is HERS to tell. But mostly it's because of wingnuts, known or unknown. I have a good friend who posts photos of his sons, and it seems to work out fine. Maybe my hangup is the girl thing, that maybe pedos are more into girls than boys. I don't know...