It fascinates me how different Matilda and Henry’s childhoods are with regards to technology compared to mine and how they will no doubt live much more digital lives. Matilda like many toddlers is well adept at unlocking my iPhone, scrolling the screen side to side and most recently knowing how to type on the keyboard.
She may not know exactly what it means but I’m sure that won’t be long. That use of touch also translates to laptops and TV’s where she can’t quite understand why she’s not able to do things by touching the screen. Amazing how to her generation touch is just a given, something logical and expected.
But it’s not just the use of technology that is different for her, like it or not your children will feature somewhere in a photo on the internet already. Their lives have been captured in words and photo’s in multiple locations and they aren’t even 2 years old yet. Can you imagine how much will have built up by the time they are officially allowed a Facebook account?
It feels like we are in a time of feasting, gorging ourselves on the rapid expansion in ways to communicate and share with each other. Even on a normal day you might write a blog post featuring your children, tweet about them, upload a photo to Streamzoo or Instagram, mention them on Facebook, share photos with family via Google+, email colleagues or friends photos or stories about them, add a photo of them on a shared photo stream on your iOS device, the list goes on.
And that’s just a standard day.
How many other ways are you creating a digital footprint for them? Photos uploaded to Photobucket to be printed? Backing up photos to cloud storage? Guest post on someone else’s blog and include a photo? I’m sure there’s more.
How many of these places do we really have control and fully understand what happens to the data we share? Once it’s ‘out there’ and someone has looked at your Streamzoo feed on their phone there is a little imprint of your data on their phone and bang control is gone.
It feels to me that we are somewhere near the peak in this explosion of data sharing, there will be a point in the not too distant future when we start reducing how freely we share. The recent stories with the Instagram terms and people getting sued for sharing on Twitter are the first signs of this in my opinion. We may even look back on this time with regret.
But do you care? I for one have always made sure not to put surnames when I mention my children so you can’t search for them. But beyond that I’m as guilty as the next person. Are you conscious of sharing data through all these places? Or just accept that is the digital world we now live in? Do you think we’re fast approaching a time when people will start to pull back from sharing?
As I wrote this it also occurred to me that perhaps there is a business opportunity here. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a service that would compile the photos and writing about your children from all these locations into some sort of ebook? A modern day baby book if you like that captures truly everything that happens to your child. The day they wee’d on your leg, how they smiled on 7th February 2012, the day they did the smelliest nappy. You know, the important things.