Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Privacy vs. Sharing Layouts Online

When I finished a layout about Trevor's first day of kindergarten, I was really excited to share it online.  I love how it turned out, especially the way I used a photo of the School Crossing sign as part of the title.  Then I stopped.  Did I really want to post a layout with a picture of Trevor's school with its name prominently featured?

Deciding how much to share online is an incredibly personal decision.  Some scrapbookers post absolutely everything.  Look through their online galleries and you can learn their children's full names, where they go to school, their daily schedule, their address, and how long their house will be empty as they go on their annual 4th of July vacation.  This scares me a little.  I'm a little more cautious about what I post online.

I made the decision to post the kindergarten layout, but first I blurred out the name of Trevor's school.  

When I posted the layout about my frequently misspelled name, I blurred out my address on each of the labels.  I even blurred out the ones from a house where I no longer live and a school where I no longer work.  It's not that hard to find out where I live, but I figure that I shouldn't make it any easier for someone who might have nefarious intentions. 

For the first 3 years of Trevor's life, I did not post any layouts that included his full name.  I did not use my real last name for anything online.  For that reason, I never posted this layout about Trevor appearing in the newspaper at age 2.  As I've become involved with Design Teams and my real name was linked to my work, I realized it was futile to hide Trevor's last name.  So here's a layout from 2008, which is appearing online for the first time:

So what don't I post?  I don't post my address or phone number.  I don't show the last names of other people's children unless they've told me it's ok.  I don't post anything specific about our daily schedule.  We don't take annual trips over a specific date, but if we did, I certainly wouldn't post anything that references when our house would be empty each year.  (For that matter, I never talk online about an upcoming vacation.  I only mention it once we've returned.)

What are your thought about privacy vs. sharing layouts online?


  1. hi.. yes i am with you... i am unsure about posting too much info.. i wont put layouts up that include photos of children i am not closely associated with, so i mainly show my own children.. privacy is such an important thing as you really have no idea of who is looking and what they will do with any information they may glean from your blog.. a sad fact about our world.. while we enjoy the ability to make new friends, there is the possibility there are enemy's out there too..

  2. this is GREAT!!! Thank you for posting this, I know I once posted too much info .. thanks for reminder!

  3. This is a real difficult and intimate question. I found it not useful to "cover" eyes of people on my blog (especially of children). But I do not put my full name and address. But I love my crative-web-friends can see my layouts and other works with my wonderful family. I didn't think about wrintg about holidays... I will do as you do. Mention them, after our return at home.

  4. I'm with you about publicising upcoming trips and I too only talk about them after the fact. I had a very nasty experience with my husband's ex-wife who turned up at a court date with reams of printed pages from my blog and twitter. Very innocent conversational posts had been twisted into something very negative. I'm now very wary about posting and even think carefully about which layouts I upload - tricky when my business is scrapbooking!
    Thanks for raising this important issue.

  5. Great topic Cindy! I take loads of photos of my sons sports. I am certain to blur the name of schools and the names of any children on their uniforms that are in the photos on my layouts. I too never discuss times that we will be away from home. I see so much of this on Facebook. It's so dangerous! Thanks for bringing focus to this topic!

  6. That makes complete sense!It sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I totally agree Cindy. I try to blur out as many details as I can. I try to remember to use my kids' nicknames instead of their real names. It's a small world and there's just too much information out there at times!