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[child] Outing my daughter on the Internet

As a friend of mine pointed out that this past Wednesday was the first time I had ever referred to [info]the_child by her full name on my blog. [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] They asked if I had intentionally planned her online coming out, so to speak.

Well, in a word, no.

I’ve been talking about her online since my first blogging efforts about ten years ago. Early on, I was on Speculations, then JournalScape and Blogger, before moving to LiveJournal in July of 2004, and later, a WordPress blog on my own domain. Only those last two are still active, with 99% common content between them. I’m not sure when I first began using the monicker of [info]the_child, but I first started using that as a LiveJournal handle in 2006.

All this time, I’ve been very protective of her online identity and her personal privacy. She will have to live with the trail of mentions I’ve made all her life. So I’ve been careful only to tell funny or informative stories about her, not embarrass her online (beyond the usual “Oh, Dad…!”), not to publish her art or photography without permission, only to quote her when she agrees, and so forth. In other words, I’ve long worked to enable her own control of her online identity, with considerable pre-editing of choices for her when she was younger.

In the same vein, her mother and I let her go onto Facebook under her own name when she was aged 12. Even then, we kept her account as locked down as possible under Facebook’s privacy settings. Those have since been slowly relaxed as she becomes more mature and sophisticated.

We’ve always been very conscious of the meaning of her online footprint. What she does with it from here is up to her, but I know my daughter has been smart so far. We never did have a plan for outing her by name on the Internet at a certain age, or in context with a certain event. Nonetheless, Bronwyn Lake now has a public presence in her own name.

And I’m okay with that.

Love you, kid.

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