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Could the publication of a persons life for others to read and view, have moral and mental health implications for those followed?

Memories form who we are as individuals, they give us our perspective, one of their most defining features is that they can be forgotten.

If we use technology to record every detail of our lives, through carefully constructed digital persona's, will we still be able to grow and evolve our identities naturally? Or will we be held in place by a need for consistency, that is enforced by the expectations of those around us?

For example, Fable, A 4 year old girl, has had only the best parts of her life documented up to this point as a popular blog by her mother, how could this affect her life?

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  • Sep 15 2013: I'd like to thank everyone for their contribution to this topic as it stands, I find it a difficult concept to truly pin down, and form a conclusive opinion on. What has been said so far has given me a lot to mull over!
  • Sep 14 2013: This an astonishingly improtant conversation and should be unending.
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    Sep 11 2013: Poor Fable for having such a mother.

    It is one thing for a grown up individual to strip themselves naked in public, yet it should not be allowed to do this with others unless those are of age, mental health and freely asked for it.
  • Sep 11 2013: Think it would be shocking to a lot of us. The lens of time tends to change our memories, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad.
  • Sep 11 2013: Bringing up a child involves so many and various things that parents should probably think about what they do every day. I'm inclined to believe that a mother who loves her son more than herself is just expressing her feelings by using technology but, in order to take care about him, she cannot neglect the consequencies of her actions. Therefore, the question which stands out from your topic in my opinion is :"We do really need to share with the whole world what we feel?". The answer is "Obviously not!". Furthermore, another question has crossed my mind after that :"Are we really able to control the power of Internet?". Perhaps some people could reply that it's not a rethoric question and they deal with internet and are familiar with the risks one can take. It is supposed they didn't make a good point. Millions of children were raised in the past without technology and, even though it's so important for our life, we have to distinguish in which situation it's more useless than useful or harmful than advantageous. I strongly agree with the fact that micro-celebrities exist so why do I have to face the problems caused by what I intentionally did? I prefer to support and strenghten the last concept written by Stuart: "merely" some of these children will never deal with the bad consequencies, but what prompts you to think that others won't?"
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      Sep 11 2013: Stuarts concern is not, as I read it, that the mother is sharing about her four year old online but rather that she shares only the good parts rather than also the bad.

      If the relationship between the adults in the child's life is tense or rocky, that may pose more of a risk to the child than Mom's braggy blog.
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    Sep 11 2013: Is your question more about what whether people choose to share an accurate picture of themselves and others online, or are you concerned that recording detail may not allow people to forget things that it might be healthy to forget?

    If someone takes a roll of digital photos of you and puts them in an album or on a site, do you think there is any harm in removing the ones in which you blinked or looked ill or something?

    In terms of documenting in the blog only the best parts of a four year old's life, it is very much like not sharing with everyone in the family photos of when the child was feeling sick in the car. If, on the other hand, a parent's parenting style is to send the child a consistent message that she is perfect in every way and never makes mistakes, that can lead a child to believe that she must be perfect and therefore to fear undertaking challenging things at which she might fail.

    But I think keeping only pretty photos in the album does not at all suggest that sort of parenting message.
    • Sep 11 2013: While I agree that there is a degree of self censorship by people in almost all walks of life, such as family photo albums generally only contain the good times, I am more concerned that it is being published to the world.
      It has been seen many times during history that when a child is followed by the public from a young age, that it can cause a serious pressure on the child to achieve, to live up to the idealized reputation that has formed around them by others.
      When I read through this article:
      http://growingupinamerica.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/who-am-i-complexities-of-identity-construction-in-the-information-age/
      I became concerned for the children of the future that might have something like this done to them, they are essentially being turned into micro-celebrities. Some of these children will have the willpower to burst the rose-tinted bubble of expectations that is forming around them, but I worry that some won't.
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        Sep 11 2013: As someone who has worked with lots and lots of kids, I doubt that mom's blog about the little one is going to have such an effect unless there is something else problematic going on at home. Your description does not read to me like someone's being labeled and marketed as a prodigy very young. It doesn't seem like the press will pick this up.

        As I wrote before, what is going on at home is probably more important.

        Most children will go to school, interact with other kids and adults, have struggles, be better at some things and worse than others, recognize their mistakes, and so forth. They may have a chance to be embarrassed by relatives who brag about them and even ask them to "Quit it, Mom!"

        If this is your own child, you can discuss this matter directly with the pediatrician. If it is your niece, you can probably ask your own health care provider.

        The world is probably not reading and believing every word of mother's blog.