I’m part of the last generation that distinctly remembers life before the internet. A world where cell phones were the size of bricks and only the wealthy could afford them. Where computers existed but served only as word processors or for playing games like Oregon Trail or Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?

But most of my adolescence occurred during the heyday of AOL, where I have fond memories of coming home from school, tying up my parents’ phone line, and spending hours in Backstreet Boys chat rooms.

It was a simpler time, where we found ourselves on the precipice of a new horizon. “Be careful who you talk to,” “make sure you’re staying safe,” “don’t meet anyone you met on the internet” were common warnings we heard from our parents. Looking back, it seems crazy to think about this cautionary warning knowing how far technology has evolved. Back then, there was still a sense of anonymity. Social media was non-existent.

But now, social media is embedded into our culture. Facebook has 2.7 billion users worldwide, about 330 million people have Twitter. Platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and TikTok have surged in popularity.

Social media has become a double-edged sword. It is a wonderful resource for reconnecting with old friends and distant family members, a great promotional tool if you are a small business owner or freelance artist, and a fun place to turn to for entertainment or a laugh.

Like most things, though, you have to take the good with the bad. Some of the many problems with social media include online bullying, widespread disinformation, and increased depression and anxiety.

When I was pregnant, I made the decision to minimize my child’s exposure on my social media pages. I do not post pictures of his face on Facebook — the share button feature just does not sit well with me. I also keep my Instagram private and limit who can view my profile. Here are a few of the reasons we have decided to minimize our son’s social media presence.


It feels wrong for me to post images of my son all over my Facebook when he has no say in it. When he is older and able to make decisions, that could change; but we’re OK with our decision for right now. Plus, Facebook is constantly changing its settings features. In general, I have maintained a pretty private account, but there have been a few times where I noticed the settings on some of my posts are public when they should be set as private, and I have to manually change it.


This is a big one for me. I have read about digital kidnapping — when someone takes photos of a child from a social media page and repurposes them with new names, stories, etc., often claiming the child as their own. It sounds like something straight out of a Lifetime movie, but it does happen. Additionally, there are dangerous people who lurk on social media. Posts often have identifiers such as where someone lives or goes to school.

It’s natural to want to share special moments and brag about your children, and it’s OK to post about them — but make sure you’re taking appropriate precautions. Check your privacy settings regularly — the “view as” option on Facebook is a great tool to see who can and cannot see what you post on your page. Ask family and friends not to post pictures of your children without your consent. It’s scary raising kids in the digital age, but with the right tools and safeguards, we can navigate it.

Lesley Moreau
Lesley grew up in New Bedford, MA, came to Boston for college, and stuck around. She holds a master's degree in criminal justice and an MFA in creative writing. Lesley is a playwright and has had her work produced in Boston, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Texas. Lesley lives in Dorchester with her husband and 3-year-old son. She is a proud and unapologetic "one and done" mom. Lesley loves traveling, true crime docs and inspired scripted series, reading, coffee, face masks, and family game nights.