I know that what we see of a lot teenage gals on social media is pictures pictures pictures. Selfies and pics with friends. But what about the other side? You will see a lot of pictures on my blog of my family. Most of whom are eager to see themselves on my blog and hear how proud I am of them and their accomplishments. But it will be almost as if one doesn’t exist.
My 16 year old daughter Hannah is “picture shy” and at first it bothered me a bit and I felt a almost hurt by it. Why wouldn’t she want to be in family pictures? Especially if I say that it won’t be posted on social media? I love showing off my gorgeous family and I want her to be a part of it. Then I started thinking about it more closely.
This is a different world than I grew up in. From the time children are young their lives are documented for the world to see. For some this is all part of the fun, but for others it is an invasion of privacy and an invitation for judgement. This can be especially difficult in the teen years where they see cyber bullying and the damage it can do. Every picture taken and shared is seen by all of their peers and commented on, liked, and shared. She gets a lot of grief from teachers and peers who try to take pictures of her and post them but she stands by her convictions and I am so proud of her for that. She also knows that she has a choice and sometimes chooses to post pictures or allow pictures of herself to be taken and even posted. I think she makes good decisions and is more capable than I would have been at that age to stand up for her right to privacy.
So when you see my posts and notice that a part of my family seems to be missing, remember that it is not for lack of love… but for lack of permission and out of respect for their privacy. And if you have a little gal or guy who is camera shy, try not to take it personal. The world is very big and very small at the same time thanks to this wonderful internet.