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My children are growing up in a world much different than the one I grew up in. When I was a child, a camera used film. That film had to be taken to the store, deposited in its self-sealing envelope, and dropped into the box to be shipped off to a processing center. Days, or even weeks later, you returned to the store to pick up the pictures, fingers crossed that you got some good, not too blurry, not to dark, shots. This fascinating process also allowed you to check a box and pay a little extra to get duplicates so that you could give copies to your besties the next time you saw them.

If you were lucky, you could share these gems with your nearest and dearest in a matter of a week.

Long gone are those days. Now, in a matter of seconds, you can snap a shot and share it with the world. Through the power of digital technologies we can share our photos with hundreds or thousands in the blink of an eye. While this is a great way to stay up-to-date with each others’ lives, it also does not allow the natural buffer against living (and sharing) “in the moment”.

Do we always stop and consider how others might feel about these pictures being posted? Especially our own children?

Maybe right now they are too young to have objections, but what about when they become teenagers? We have all heard about the permanence of content on the internet, but I don’t always consider how a potentially embarrassing picture of child, even if I think it is “cute,” might come back to haunt them in the future.

Did you know that if you post a picture and cover “sensitive” areas with a sticker or some type of emoji that these photos can be downloaded and easily unlayered (stickers removed) using everyday photo editing software?

Yes, let that sink in for a moment.

We generally filter the content that our children have access to, but do we show that same level of scrutiny when it comes to what we post about our children? God entrusted these precious gifts to our care and we are their first line of protection in this world, both the physical and the digital.

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Erin Boelkens

Erin Boelkens is a devoted warrior of Christ, wife to an amazing husband, mother to 3 beautiful children, a leader in the tech industry, and a lover of efficiency.

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