My kids love playing with my iPhone. Both my husband and myself have photo albums on our iPhones comprised of our own photos of the kids, but also filled with photos taken by our little photogs. It’s really interesting to see the world from their view.
Something happened recently that made me wonder about having phones in the hands of kids in public places. I was at the swimming pool with my three kids. The oldest two were in lessons and I was in the viewing area with my youngest (21 months).
A little boy (about 3 years old) started playing with her the adorable way little kids do, following each other and sitting side by side exchanging a few words. Then his mom handed him her iPhone to play with and the two watched whatever games/characters were on the phone. Then, the little guy started holding up the phone and taking pictures of my daughter. One after the other. Then, he started taking pictures of me.
I nervously laughed and looked at his mom (a total stranger) and she smiled and said, “He just loves taking pictures!”
“I see that!” I said.
“We have so many pictures of strangers on my phone, from him!” she laughed.
The thing is, it’s just not that funny when you stop and think about it. We live in a digital era and iPhones are everywhere. We know this. Still, taking pictures of little kids is a touchy subject. My kids are on my blog a lot. I use their names. So, one would think that having a stranger take pictures of my kids wouldn’t be a big deal.
But the thing is, that’s my kid. And I didn’t say it was ok. While some in my life may judge (gasp, I know!) my choice to display my kid’s faces and names online, that choice is mine. When I put pictures of my kids on my blog, I choose which ones to share. It gives me a small sense of control in an uncontrollable virtual world.
My husband said I should have asked her to delete the photos right in front of me. In hindsight yes, this seems like an ok request (who cares if she thinks I’m a bag, she wouldn’t be the first) but at the time I was so surprised by the little guy’s photo-taking that I wasn’t sure what to do.
So now, my pretty girl’s smiling face (and my confused one) sit on some woman’s phone, who I will no doubt see every week now for awhile at the pool. And I’m not quite sure what to make of it.
Big deal or not, what’s your take?