Discuss The Potential
In the game of "tag", once you were tagged, you were it. But, only for a moment. Tagged photos now have the potential to be etched in stone for all of your friends to see and for an infinite period of time. Being tagged repeatedly on a playground when you are young and can't respond quickly isn't fun. Look at the effect any photo abuse would have now. Parents and kids need to talk about it.
Develop "photo awareness" every time a camera comes out (especially with stealth cell phones) and act as if that photo will be on the Front Page of a major newspaper in the morning!
Photos are not only emailed but "shared" to networks, "pinned" on virtual boards, "linked" to platforms, and tagged BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. Like dropping a pebble into a lake, your photo may start a ripple effect and make some unwanted waves in the process. Teach your family to get in control of things before some damage is caused.
Can You Really Gain Control?
One social network site states that "you are always in control of your tags". For that site, when you view a photo, you can click the "remove tag" link next to your name (and face.) If you would like to remove the photo, they recommend asking the friend who posted it to remove it and go further by mentioning that if you feel that tagged photos will be a future problem to go ahead and remove that person as a friend. (Feel your grip on "control" slipping already?)
Set Privacy "Settings"
Limit who can see tags by making sure your profile has privacy settings that will control who can see the information on the profile or "home" page. Look for "photos" tagged of you and click on the options listed. For example, one site says "everyone", "friends of friends", and all the way to a custom option for "only me". You might have to dig to find your network's most restrictive setting because they prefer content to be blasted around.
Find out how your site hides or removes the tagged photos from other users to help prevent a whole photo from being seen by others.
You may also consider just limiting certain groups or individual people from seeing tagged photos which can be customized on most sites to share with some and hide from others.
Place Importance On Photos
There are other potential drawbacks which have not fully been studied or talked about at many dinner tables. (Remember that activity?)
Children, and adults who see friends in group photos at events that they were not invited to or allowed to participate in can bum kids out. Be sensitive to any depression signs and help talk it out with them.
Some networking sites' main features showcase the number of "friends" or "contacts" that you may have linked up within their network. You may or may not have had time to keep up with the site and may feel that it makes you look bad. Popularity or "isolation" issues are sometimes problems with long lasting side effects.
Keep communication open between parents and children. Consider controlling access at appropriate development stages and be ready to help out as they grow up.
Most importantly, let them know how seriously they should take being photographed. Prioritize the shots they like. Frame and display the ones that you all agree on. It gives them something to "shoot" for.
We hope this helps to start some discussions before tagged photos become a problem.
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