Hashtags. Sure, they can add humour, context, relevance to your photos – but at what cost?
On most social platforms, hashtags are designed to be clickable and help connect your photo or post to people looking for discussions and photos related to the topic.
Search on Facebook using #funnyanimals and you can spend hours smiling over the thousands of images that take over your screen.
When you search using a hashtag, if you select “photos” you can also see pics shared by friends that have used that hashtag.
Type #kids and it’s likely you’ll find hundreds of photos of your friend’s children being silly and cute. Harmless, right?Replace the person doing the searching (you, a person who has good intentions).
Replace you with a pedophile. This is where posting gets risky for our kids. Personally, I have seen my friends use well-intentioned photos with hashtags such as #nakedagain #bathtime #diaperfails … you name it.
Sure, it’s funny or cute, but once you add that little # in front of the word, you’re opening these photos up to be searchable by everyone – including all the wrong people.
This is also a good time to consider what type of content and photos you’re sharing of your children with the world. Consent to share, future bullying, photos that could be found by future employers, or shared among the wrong people (child pornography) – are all important to consider before sharing any photos of our children.
Your profile is private and not public?
Once a photo is uploaded to the internet, it is in the internet world forever (even if you delete it, they never really go away as there are still ways to find it).
And who’s to say everyone on your friend’s list (or those that share a home with your friend or if a friend uses a public computer and forgets to sign out) have good intentions?
It’s just not worth it. Even if it is REALLY funny.
Keep hashtags off the photos (and consider the photos you share) that you wouldn’t want everyone to see. Because EVERYONE, is out there.