This is part of a sponsored post series for Domain.ME
Pop quiz: How many kids do I have?
If you thought of Emily and answered one, don’t feel too badly. There’s a reason why you might not have thought of her eight year old younger brother.
Known as Captain Computer, our 8 year old is like Snuffalufagus. He’s an online rarity who prefers to be less present and keeps his true identity a secret for now. And, in the name of online privacy, I’m ok with that. I want the decision to associate his real name with my social media presence to be his decision just as his sister’s was.
When I first started blogging over seven years ago, Emily was a preschooler and her brother was a toddler. I spent my career in the school system teaching others to be mindful of kids’ online identities and the lessons that needed to be taught so students understood the importance of controlling their own data. I urged my teachers to consider the digital footprints of their students while teaching my students to own their personal data by keeping passwords private and at the same time, was thinking of the digital footprint of my own two children.
My husband and I had many conversations about why I might not want to publicly share my young kids’ names with their images. Our kids were young. They had their whole lives ahead of them. Even though I worked to carve out my niche in the blog world, I wondered how much of my online life they would want to be a part of when they got older.
I didn’t want to make any assumptions or decisions for them so I gave them aliases. Doing so was my way of preserving their digital footprint to ensure that what they wanted to share would be reflective of the individuals they had become. Who was I to make this decision for my very young kids?
For years, our oldest daughter was known as Little Miss Techie and her younger brother has been known as Captain Computer. After much consideration, this past fall Little Miss Techie decided she wanted to be known as Emily on my blog and through my social media channels.
Emily had a great time at #KidzVuzHoliday and is happy to share she raised $328 to benefit the #CysticFibrosis Foundation that is being matched by @kidzvuz! Huge thanks to everyone who came by and bought barrettes!! Ribbon Barrettes for Research has now raised over $1700 since June!!! #kidswhocare #fundraising #ribbonbarrettes #Ribbons4Research #craftykids
Our 11-year-old-about-to-go-to-middle-school daughter, Emily, is a ribbon barrette making fundraising rock star for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In her efforts to fundraise, she decided that she wanted to put her name face behind her Ribbon Barrettes for Research and in doing so, has received lots of press about her efforts. Emily’s online identity is reflective of who she is as an individual. She’s established her digital footprint as a young philanthropist tied to a cause that she’s passionate about while her brother is thinking about what this means for him.
How much do you know about our son? Not much and that’s how he wants it.
He knows that taking control of your personal data is key to building your personal brand but at 8, he doesn’t know what his brand might be yet. As my son grows, I know that it’s my job as a parent to protect his digital footprint. I’ll maintain his alias and respect his desire with the occasional mention until he’s ready to be his own content publisher, sharing what he wants with the world in his own voice and taking charge of his online personality.
Until then, he’s totally happy being my online Snuffalufagus.
This post was inspired by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal URLs that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world.