Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Am I a Narcissistic Psycho for Putting My Kids’ Pictures on My Blog?

No, really.  That’s a real question for you all, not a prelude for me to shout in ALL CAPS for the next 400 words about how everything is OK.  I’m wondering if I’ve made a mistake decorating this page with pictures of my still-minor children.

All this comes down to those nasty Stats and Search Engine Terms.  Yesterday, I had a (mild) spike in traffic (for those of you with lives and not blogs 😉 that means visitors to my blog page,) and upon closer investigation, it all came from a Google Image Search from Switzerland.  Which reminded me that “Boy Playing with Barbie” brings up Big Boy as the 5th top image in Google — at least on my computer since Google and other search engines trick us into thinking the little customized version of the world that they present us is the same for everyone.   But it started to creep me out, and leads me to wonder where were my kids’ pics are going, who was looking, and would they end up somewhere weird one day.  Its not just creepy deviants — are these photos going into advertising, viral emails, Internet memes?  Are their faces going to be Photoshopped into the Joke of the Day at the latest Lumpen Prol Mock Site?

I’m trying to not have delusions of grandeur here.  My kids — while they will always remain in my eyes the most beautiful creatures alive — realistically land the middle band of “pleasant” in the attractiveness scale.  And Ansel Adams I ain’t (which is probably good because I don’t think he was known for his portraiture.)   And I know that “everyone does it,” and with no ill effects so far for the most part.  Plus, kid shots are 96% of the photos that I have.  It’s them or the tulip, baby.

This has really started to bother me, to the point that I thought about pulling down my blog while I figured it out.  However, considering my deep seated aversion to quitting anything even when it sucks, the whole idea of giving up caused me too much anxiety, and I had to write a blog post to calm down.  *Sigh*  What’s a crazy person to do?

Am I a terrible woman using the likeness of my unsuspecting offspring to attract eyeballs in a feeble attempt to brand myself, never considering the long term damage my profligate posting may be doing?  Or am I just a boring old housewife livening up the drab Internet with my random pics of innocence and domestic bliss?

Psycho or Mrs. June Cleaver?  I guess I’ll just have to think about it.  Feel free to wade in below.  In the meantime, here’s that picture of the tulip.

Update! I took Dr. Drew’s Online Narcissism Test and out of a possible score of 40, I got a 4 (the average is 15.) So, I might be crazy, but I’m probably not a Narcissist. I’m going to go think about myself for a while — looks like I’ve fallen down in that area so far….might explain why my idea of me-time is folding laundry.

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7 thoughts on “Am I a Narcissistic Psycho for Putting My Kids’ Pictures on My Blog?

  1. Worrywart on said:

    I scored a 7 which surprised me because I thought anyone who had a blog was a narcissist. 🙂 As for your delemma. I think you are going through the “paranoia” phase of blogging (I went through it when I wrote My Blog is Flatlining when my blog was about 8 months old because I was getting creeped out by the search terms). If I were you, I would just be very careful about the types of photos you post. One of my favorite bloggers has posted a couple of photos of her cute two year old after a bath or running in sprinklers – totally innocent photos, but they made me cringe with worry.especially given the search terms that have come up on my blog (I might take the word sex out of my title – that was a dumb move). Okay, I can’t read what I’m writingting anymore because the wordpress email, name, and website boxes are blocking the comment box so I guess that means I should stop – I hate those boxes.

    • Yeah, I wondered where the “Do you have a blog?” question was on that test, too 🙂 I think I might modify my posting protocol to be more “oblique”. This whole on line world is both easier and harder than I thought. Yes, I’m in the “paranoia” phase, plus the I’m not sure what I am doing phase: Since it’s so easy to post anything in my little head, am I writing what I should be writing, or am I just trying to increase my readership and making poor choices that have unintended consequences? Hard to know…

      I’m glad to hear that you only scored a 7. That’s probably why I dig your blog so much (and you’re such a good Mom!)

      Cheers!

  2. Marielle Poulin on said:

    I like reading your blog Elizabeth, you are a great writer. I myself, don’t post many pictures on the internet of my kids. Partly cause I wonder where they will go and cause I am lazy and don’t take as much pictures as I used to. I can do without a lot of the kids pictures that people are constantly posting. I definitely think there is an overload of kids pictures on facebook etc. Probably why I like twitter better. I read blogs for the writing/recipes/craft ideas and not for the pictures. Keep writing!!!

    • Ohmygosh! That’s so sweet! I don’t know who reads what I write so it is so nice to hear that you enjoy it! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will definitely keep writing, but I think I’ll be more cautious about which photos go up. You just don’t know how the future will unfold. Maybe in 30 years we’ll all be laughing about people being scared to post pictures. Or maybe we’ll be thinking “why didn’t anyone listen to them?” It’s a “known unknown.”

      I’ve tried Twitter, but I just can’t figure it out. It’s the hashtags. I still remember when they were called number signs and then pound keys. I should try again…

      Thanks again for your nice comment. Cheers!

  3. I didn’t take the test yet (looking forward to it in a terrified sort of way…) I am sitting in the van with my phone and 3 sleeping children under 3. The search terms freak me out too. You’d be shocked at the kind on fantasy people have about twins … (hopefully this sentence won’t unleash them on you!). I avoid using pics of my children that can be used improperly (anything involving diaper changes, bath time etc. ) although, as my husband says, anything you put online is subject to misinterpretation and misappropriation. I try to ask myself “What’s the worst thing that can happen to this picture? and make sure that they are pretty boring. But as a writer and amateur photog my children are my biggest inspiration . So if I stop using them, I may as well close up shop.

    Also, I Never tag my pictures so it limits (I hope) the amount of image search results. I hope.

    • Your point about your family being your biggest inspiration hit it on the nail with me. They are pretty much all I’m about right now (not really, but as far as what drives me to the keyboard to write, or what I want to take pictures of.) I think I’ll just be more careful, and not worry too much since it can drive you crazy.

      That test is sort of funny. I wonder if anyone gets over 20. If someone did, I guess we would know, since they would obviously think it was awesome and being telling us how great they are! You probably don’t have a problem with vanity, you are just paranoid about mirrors (having gone out of the house covered with all sorts of dried food, I am!)

  4. Ok, confession time ! I scored 8 with low everywhere but medium in vanity and entitlement, which is kind if funny given that I’ve been looking like something the cat dragged in for the best part of 15 years. Ha!

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