. . . and Mommy-Blogging*.

Life is decisions based on factors: Risks, Costs, Benefits, Rewards, Work required.

Parenting is the same thing; you make decisions for what you do as a Father or Mother based on the good and bad you feel might happen as a result of your choices.

And what about blogging parents? Or parents who are on-line in other ways?

My friend Vox Day says that no person should ever put a picture of their child on the internet

. . . Not on Facebook, not on invitation-only Live Journals, and certainly not on public blogs. It’s not only reprehensibly stupid, it is completely disrespectful of a child’s right to make his own decisions about his public profile in the future. True, sometimes this is unavoidable, such as when a child happens to be in the news for one reason or another. But barring that, no responsible parent should ever upload a picture of a child to the Internet, no matter how proud one might happen to be.

I’m actually fairly surprised to see Vox say this. He is not what you would call timid or jumpy.

So I back to the Risk/Reward Analysis aspect of parenting. And let’s consider a different issue: Guns.

Given previous statements of his on the topic of firearms, I assume that he has guns in his home, for purposes of self-protection among other reasons.

Should he ever have children, I assume he will continue this practice.

No one can fault him for that, and millions of people have made similar decisions. But in doing so, he would be running the risk, albeit slight, that one of his children will be injured by his own guns.

Vox, being bright, would be aware of this risk when making the decision. But this risk won’t stop him. Why? Because he believes the potential benefit outweighs the minimal risk.

That’s why I am willing to post specific details about my kids, including pictures. There is risk. But there are benefits:

  • I’m a blogging Dad. Of my two blogs, this one especially is focused on being a dad. My hope is that giving people information about my family makes me more real, more authentic for my readers.
  • There is a certain part of the blog reading population that enjoys a good kid story. This helps me reach them.
  • I love my kids. Providing details about them helps me show this.
  • Showing pictures of my kids might be one way in which I glorify God.

Regarding disregarding the “child’s right to make his own decisions about his public profile in the future” . . . C’mon, Vox! Every day parents make decisions which will permanently affect their child’s future. Every day!

Every day, I disregard many future “rights” of my children, to wit:

  • My child’s right to make his own decision about where he will have lived before leaving our home.
  • My child’s right to make his own decisions about his schooling history in the future.
  • My child’s right to make his own decision about what kind of health care, diet, church experience, . . . . he will have had as a child when he become an adult.

Let’s just say that my child’s right to make his own decisions about his public profile in the future is not one of my greater concerns, and I would be delighted to hear why it should be. This is one of the rights of parenthood.

One more thing I’ll add. In the comments of Vox’s post, someone suggested that someone like Vox, were he to someday have children, would have a good reason to not speak of them, since he makes such controversial statements on his blog that sometimes angers his readers. My response is, have you ever heard of something bad happening to a child as a result of their photo being placed on the internet. I mean something worse than being posted on an ‘imitation blog**’ – the issue at hand in the post I linked to?

So I stand by my decision to post information in the form of text and photos about my family and encourage others to do so.

And Vox, any issue where Nate and I both disagree with you is one that you should reconsider.

* I’ve just up on my blogroll a great example of excellent Mommy blogging photography here.

** As a disclaimer, I will say this. Any act of knowingly going against the will of a parent regarding placing online information about their child is reprehensibly evil. And just plain mean.