As a result of some discussion amongst book bloggers, and in relation to my earlier post from tonight, I did some Googling and found some things I'm not too thrilled with. Namely a site selling a picture of me and one of the dogs as wallpaper (downloaded over 650 times) and a Prezi filled with images of me and my husband.
I'm honestly not sure what I want to do or how to proceed. I love my little blog so very much and I am really not ok with the idea of shutting it down. I also love posting personal things and sharing what's happening in my life. Unfortunately, there are some things that aren't worth risking. So, I'm undecided about where to go in the future as far as personal posts are concerned.
For the moment, I'm taking down personal pictures, particularly those that include family, friends, and their children (which were all posted with permission). I don't want to offer stock images and never mention my personal life, but I also really don't like the idea of people selling images of me and my family or using them in presentations without my knowledge. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I'm open to pretty much any or all of it.
So, as usual, Luke talked me off the ledge last night in regards to internet privacy. Does it royally suck that someone took images of me and my family and used them without permission? Yes. I do feel icky about my picture being out there on people's computers or used in classroom presentations without my knowledge or permission. That said, there's a balance to consider.
First of all, a picture of my dog doesn't even come close to comparing to a picture of a child or a family member. I will be working over the next few days on removing images of my niece and nephew and any other friends and family from the blog. I'm also going to be taking steps to remove any posts that include information about where I live and the names of any family members other than Luke, who has his own internet presence and is unconcerned about creepers.
As far as images of myself, my dogs, my books, and my husband - I'm going to go on a case by case basis. The thing is, I'm getting a LOT of positive things out of posting about my life. I have fallen in love with the Instagram yoga community and don't want to miss out on participating in hashtag challenges and the positive reinforcement I get from a community of people encouraging me to work hard and be strong. The same applies to the book-loving community and my blog followers.
I think the amount of ick I feel knowing that someone took pictures of me and my dogs and used them for something really weird (who wants a low-quality snapshot of a random dog as their wallpaper?) is outweighed by the pleasure I get from participating in online communities. That said, I will be looking carefully at every image I post on any social network to determine whether or not I'm willing to put it out there for use without my permission. Kids, family, and friends are always off limits from now on, unless they're fully aware of how their images might be used.