Safety in social media – will you delete your accounts?

I don’t know if I should be scared or pissed off? The whole human trafficking / kidnapping press and even fake news that is going around is freaking me out.

Here’s why…

I don’t like living in fear… and I am sure no one does? But do they? Some of us do love to sit and watch the crime channel for hours? Then you get a giant fright when the cat knocks something over in the kitchen? And by saying this I am in no ways trivializing being fearful or any current cases of the above.

On Facebook all I am seeing is posts of child trafficking, the same for other social media, WhatsApp and the radio. But what is real news and what is sensational news to try get better ratings or more clicks? I am sure even this blog post will get a couple extra because of the topic.

Please be kind to yourself and learn to identify fake news, or articles or things shared as sensational vs fact. Look up the facts, double check.

I do believe that we need to be extra careful with our children on social media and I will give some tips later in this blog post on how to do this.

In the last couple days I have seen many South Africa accounts mom accounts on Instagram close, gone… these are not bloggers or influencers, and I just have a feeling it has to do with the current news circulating. I know many parenting bloggers are feeling the same, even my friend Sade wrote about it (see here).

The questions that are coming up…

Are we putting our children at risk posting images of them on social media? And I can’t say that it is not. I don’t know all the facts and I am not part of any teams investigating it. Logic on the other hand is saying to me, I have not read of one actual, factually released incident of a child been stalked on social media and then kidnapped (please share with me if you have. As I need to read it too).

Many of the cases at the moment children have been taken while leaving school, or walking home. Which to my memory has always been something on the radar of moms. We had many “stranger danger” talks when I was a little girl. My mom would drum it into me. Don’t take things from strangers, don’t accept lifts from strangers. My mom would never let me walk home, even though we lived so close to my school. I begged and begged, and I was never allowed. There was no social media when I was young (obviously).

When last did you have a stranger danger conversation with your children?

I must admit I have told Skylar about the “bad man” before, I should include women too right? If you scroll through my Instagram and even here on my blog you will find posts where I have said I am a paranoid mom. Well I am. I don’t keep my eyes off my kids.

Have I thought about shutting down my social media pages? Yes, I have

Will I do it? I don’t know? I am pissed off that there is such evil in this world. Evil that would make something meant to bring the human race closer. Is making us scared.

Social Media has brought so much good to many, brought moms together, made us not feel alone, new friendships, new business connections. Now we are faced with an issue sweeping our newsfeeds that question all our good intentions.

HOW I TRY TO KEEP MY KIDS SAFE ONLINE AND OUT AND ABOUT

  • Never post a photo of them at school.
  • Never post a photo of the school name or uniform, even if you block out the name on the uniform.
  • Always check who is following your page. Every time you get a new follower you stalk their ass and block if you need to. I have blocked so many accounts.
  • Or you can choose not to post any images of your kids or make your accounts private.
  • Don’t post while you are at an event or out at the shops. Wait till you are home or hours after.
  • Don’t make your physical address public.
  • When at the shops I use a kids harness for Skylar and I hold onto that leash like my life depends on it. I got ours from http://www.4akid.com
  • Keep an eye on your kids when they are not right by your side. Sometimes they are playing on the beach or playgrounds. This is such an obvious. But could you run or catch up to someone that takes your kid? (This does freak me out).
  • Teach your kids who the “police” or security are, and to seek help if they get lost from you.
  • Your kids don’t need to say hello to everyone in the mall.
  • Tell people that may look after your children and take them out without you there that they must follow the same rules.

I know the above sounds dramatic and a bit over the top, but they are tips. And if you are afraid, these are precautions to take.

Just remember don’t let fear over take you. Life is for living. Life is for laughter, joy and being able to go out, do things that make you happy. Not locked up in your home never opening the door.

Be cautious, but don’t lie in bed letting this take over your mind.

Years ago before we had Skylar, my husband and I were held up by gun point in a local cafe and made to sit in the back while the place was robbed of everything. As scary as that situation was, I did not let it defeat me, I did not let it define me and I refused for that moment in my life to make me a fearful person.

The above are all my own thoughts and ramblings. That of a mom, just like you, in a quandary of what to do and what to make of all this information that has followed our screens and mind.

Please feel free to comment here and let me know how you are feeling? And will you be making any big choices regarding your social media?

8 thoughts on “Safety in social media – will you delete your accounts?

  1. My view is that whether I share online or not, my child still goes out in public and safety is unfortunately not a guarantee whether in my own home or out there in the big world. It is a sad reality, but I am confident in my choices, our choices, to live our lives to the fullest and share our joys, smiles, anger and frustrations and will not live in a box of what if’s. Safety is a priority for me as is the freedom to be, and already freedom is restricted by children no longer being able to safely play in their own homes in some communities. Given the magnitude of this, it would seem that our freedom to share online, may very well be the safest way to connect and share in “experiences” with family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah Teri, thank you for sharing this. Every time I hear another story of a snatched child my mind goes into overdrive. I’ve cried from reading some of them or seeing another missing child tweet. It scares the crap out of me. I feel it’s a catch 22. I initially deleted all photos of Kai on the beginning, then reconsidered because I started receiving so much great feedback in how I’m helping other moms. And you’re right, we need to live. It doesn’t mean I’m not scared though 😔😔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a great post my friend – it is alway a tough one but I think the key is to always be aware and cautious of what we do post – but so much good comes from posting and blogging, and these predators shouldn’t be able to ruin that for us either… x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, unfortunately, am one of the Moms that have taken this perhaps a little too seriously. Or should I say approached this with more caution than some may feel is necessary.
    Reason being, my uncle works on IT and was on training with a security team trying to bust the shipment. He explained that this security company has intercepted bidding made on kids from social media and that is a verified source, for me anyway. As is rhe story of a church friend who wasn’t trafficked in JHB herself last year. I cannot speak on behalf of people as to why some cases don’t make headlines on the news, same reason as I can’t answer why zuma walked free after all he was accused of. I do not believe our police force or judicial system is without corruption. None the less I sleep better at night knowing I’ve taken precaution (petty or not to some)… every one of us parent differently xx

    Liked by 1 person

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