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Dear Wendy

Childhood Pictures On Facebook

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by avatar anonymousse 5 months ago.

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  • #682506 Reply

    I really doubt any cares or looks at the pictures other than your relatives. Everyone has embarrassing childhood photos. I understand why you don’t like it, but other than asking her not to tag you, and adjusting your settings, there isn’t anything you can do. You could google articles about stolen images, though. That might help. Shockingly, my family members don’t do this because they are all so preoccupied with privacy.

    And you can live without Facebook. It really is possible!

    #682582 Reply

    I feel for you LW, I really do. This would bother me too. I’m extremely private on social media – I don’t let my photos on any public pages (like a salon that takes pictures of bridesmaid hair, for instance). And I recently deactivated my Facebook for reasons.

    I would try talking to your relative again. I agree if it were 1 or 2 photos, it wouldn’t be a big deal and you should let it go. But the barrage of photos you’re getting is a little much. Maybe if you talk to her again and stress how much it bothers you, it will sink in a little better how serious you are. Or you could show her how to set privacy on her posts so it only goes to family (and help her make that family group). Or suggest a different medium like a shared Google photos album that is only shared with family. Or have separate Facebook accounts like others suggested.

    Good luck! I don’t think you’re being unreasonable here, so I hope you can make this work!

    #682596 Reply

    What about the other way around – create an account of you that just “friends” this family member. Block her on your established account and reconnect with her on the new one. She can post what she wants and it doesn’t show up in your regular feed. WES, you cannot change her behavior, but you can black and change yours.

    #682739 Reply

    I can’t stand Facebook. I deleted mine in 2013. Never looked back.

    #682756 Reply

    Jesus. It’s not about the awkwardness of LW’s childhood pictures; that was just an eleborate reason she didn’t need to give. Nor is it about using Facebook. That’s like – being upset by a book or a blog you’ve read, trying to discuss it with people, and being told: “Well, don’t like don’t read.”

    LW has asked her relative not to do this (she did ask, right? Or made it clear), and not only is the relative annoyed by the request, she continues to post pictures.

    Now clearly the relative gets something out of this – probably for understandable reasons, like simply the joy of sharing family pictures. But that persons values THAT over her own real-life flesh-and-blood relative who asks her to slow it down a bit.

    I know it’s not meant like this, but in my head it sounds like: “I love you, young niece/granddaughter/whatever, and I’m so proud of you and my family and I love showing our family history to my online friends… and if you don’t want me to do that, you can fuck off.”

    I don’t know what I’d do, LW, apart from talking to your relative about it, but I feel for you. I have friends who don’t want their children’s pictures on social media before they’re old enough to consent to that themselves. And although they know they can’t fully control this, they at least thought they would be able to control this in their inner circle. But both of their parents (the grandparents of the children) have said ‘yeah, fuck it’ (in a friendlier way though, but still) and are posting these pictures, with the argument of ‘our pictures, our (online) friends, our responsibility – and btw I don’t see the harm, you’re paranoid’.

    I understand it’s a new era and things like this happen and we need to re-evaluate how we think and feel about privacy and such, which is also why I think this question is worth so much more than a ‘don’t be on social media’ and ‘oh, everyone’s childhood pictures are awkward’.

    #682759 Reply

    @Rava, a book or blog doesn’t have the power to allow people to:

    –Murder you and stream live video of it
    –create anonymous accounts for the sole purpose of calling you fat and ugly and a whore, to the point where you shoot yourself in front of your family, and the police couldn’t help you because they couldn’t track who was doing this to you
    –create fake accounts for the purposes of spreading misinformation so one country can sway another country’s election
    –make pictures of little kids (and their identifying info like where they live and mom’s routine) available to potential predators. I guess a blogger could do that too, if they’re not smart.
    –post photos of you in embarrassing situations that you aren’t able to remove from public display

    These are very real problems with social media that aren’t anywhere close to being resolved.

    #682760 Reply

    @kate, I completely agree with you on that list.

    But the LW’s question is not: “should I use Facebook?”. Her question is: “how to deal with this invading of my privacy from a relative who doesn’t seem to value my concerns?” (plus bonus question: how much privacy does one still have in this Facebook-era? but the first one is the core issue).

    Personally I don’t like to see her valid question shut down with probably the same response she gets from her relative, the “Don’t like, don’t read”- response.

    #682762 Reply

    Right, so, since she wants to keep using it, I think a practical solution is to have two accounts – one for family and one for friends/colleagues, or however it makes sense to keep this relative separate. She can absolutely share her concerns with the relative and ask her to stop posting the pictures, but I doubt the relative will be able or willing to do that (sounds like there are a million group pics that the LW is in).

    #682787 Reply

    Sound like this was merely annoying until you realized your family member doesn’t respect you as an adult with feelings a reputation that isn’t hers to manage, but she doesn’t, and if you didn’t have to renegotiate that relationships as you became an adult, she probably never will.

    Personally, with older family members, I’d go with feelings/scare tactics. I don’t like when you do this because someone could steal the image for a child porn site/it makes me feel like you don’t care about my feelings/I think you want to antagonize me by tagging me.

    I don’t think she will stop posting picture, but she migth stop tagging you, which is where the real disrespect comes in, imo. You might have to unfollow, and just know that it’s happening that but you can’t see it.

    #682794 Reply

    I agree with Rava. I don’t think the core issue is the pictures, it’s the fact that the LW’s feelings are being brushed aside by a loved one. Her relative is basically saying “I don’t care if my actions make you uncomfortable, I’m going to do them anyway”.

    Basically the relative has a choice between making the LW happy or making herself happy at the LW’s expense, and she chose herself. Maybe she doesn’t realize how much it upsets the LW,and the LW can try talking to her again to explain it. But I don’t think it will help. My MIL is like this. We don’t want pics of our kids on social media, but my MIL just thinks we’re “silly”. Our concerns are meaningless because she’s already decided that it’s not a big deal. It’s not a good reason for us to be upset, so the actual fact that we’re upset doesn’t factor in. She’ll keep doing what she wants because we’re in the wrong for being upset, in her mind.

    #682826 Reply

    Thanks everybody- Rava, you’re right, and meadow phoenix, you’re spot on with the disregard for me as an adult separate from her. I think that’s really the core of the issue here- the constant display of pictures of me as a child almost makes me feel like a prop or an object in a “happy family” narrative. Even though my childhood *was* very happy- and this relative was very much a part of that- I’m an adult now, and neither my childhood nor myself are *her property* to display.

    My issue is not with Facebook itself (or at least, not my *own* usage). It’s not even necessarily with the fact that people that know me are seeing the pictures- that’s frankly the secondary annoyance, and one that untagging/privacy settings would (and have) more or less solved. Even if I deactivated my Facebook or created a separate account for family, the issue remains that childhood pictures of me are being broadcast to an audience of 700+, the vast majority of whom are strangers. The only way that will change is if my relative stops posting the pictures altogether, which will not happen without a battle.

    For more context, this relative is roughly of my parents’ generation (in her mid-50s), social media/etiquette savvy, so it’s not a ‘clueless old lady’ situation. She posts the pictures not for immediate family to reminisce over, but for the social gratification from her wider network-“everybody look at my family”- so a private group would not appeal to her. I should add that she’s not doing it maliciously, just with complete disregard for the discomfort she knows it causes the ‘subjects’ of the photos. I’ll have to tell her again next time I see her but I’m afraid it won’t go over well- history says she will be offended and get testy about it for sure. Apparently she still snarks to the other ‘kids’ about my constantly untagging everything.

    #682830 Reply

    Maybe try a different tactic. She wants to show her wider circle of friends a happy family. What if every time she tagged you in a photo you not only untagged yourself but also put a comment that asked her to quit tagging you in photos on Facebook.

    Please respect my privacy and quit tagging me in these photos on Facebook.

    All of her friends will begin to see the lie of the happy family and she won’t like that.

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