Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do parents put their kids at risk when they post their videos online?

I shoot plenty of video of our kids, but I've not posted a single snippet anywhere online. Photos? Yes. But video? No.

Why not? Call me paranoid, but even if the videos are intended to be seen only by friends and family, I have no way of making sure that a link doesn't get forwarded to someone else.

Over at Child Caring, I've asked parents to weigh in on viral videos, and whether they're fair to the kids who are featured in them. Recently, MomLogic talked to clinical psychologist Dr. Cara Gardenswartz about six of the most popular viral videos out there, and the analysis really makes you see these videos in a different light.

The videos show kids mispronouncing words, acting hyper, or freaking out over innocuous things. They're funny -- sort of. But there's something about them that's unsettling. The viewer is being invited to laugh at these children -- by their parents. It's one thing to embarrass your older kids in front of family and friends; it's another thing to expose your child to the world when he's vulnerable.

The videos of children who are clearly upset about something... those bother me the most. (for the record, they bother me when I see them on mainstream TV shows like American's Funniest Home Videos, too. Why are the parents still taping? Drop your camera and comfort your child.

Do you post videos of your children online? Why or why not?

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