As defined by, Permission: authorization granted to do something; formal consent.

I remember a destination wedding 5+ years ago that I was a part of. There were photos of me from that trip/wedding that were shared on social media that I did not care for due to one reason or another. I too shared photos from that trip but had someone reach out asking me to remove some of the ones they were in due to how they looked. I ended up taking any that had someone else in them down; leaving a few of myself and my husband up. Because some were shared of me from the trip; I felt I had the ‘permission’ to do the same. But, since then, I feel like social media and the constant access to information; whether that information was shared by a public source or by a friend, has not helped in regards to asking someone permission to share their thoughts or images. Now, before you jump at me and say “well they shared it on a social platform so that is their permission for you to share”, I agree with you. But, because of social media and that permission being a ‘given’ since it was shared on that type of platform, I feel asking for permission in person for photos and other things has gone away. I feel permission is something that is forgotten or taken for granted.

I have some family and friends that always ask if it is ok to either take a photo or to share a photo of my daughter. Then I have others that do what they want with photos of her, and I am usually ok with what they share and with whom but, with everything going on these days, it makes me a little uneasy wondering who is looking at them. I know some might say “ok calm your mom anxiety”; and there are others who will totally agree and understand where I am coming from, both sides are warranted their opinions.

My daughter will be 4 this year. I want her to know that even being only 4, she has a voice and choices. I want her to build her confidence and independence; although sometimes I wish she was a little less independent haha!
Last year, I started asking her permission to take her photo and, recently, I have started asking her permission to share that photo. If she says no, I listen and carry on with the activity. The first time I asked and showed her the photo I wanted to share, she seemed confused as to why I was asking. I told her it was a photo of her and asked if she wanted her family and friends to see it. She listed off the people she wanted me to send it to, all excited she was able to pick who saw it. Now, there are times when she finishes a craft or does something fun, where she will ask me to take a photo to share it with them! I love knowing that she has a say over what is shared and with who.

I know social media, technology, and everything that comes along with that is going to be a HUGE part of not only growing up but a huge part in her adult life as well. Times are changing; I remember having dial-up internet and having to wait, she will never have to experience that. Since everything is literally at her fingertips, I want her to know she can decide what is shared along those platforms and what she does not want shared.

How do you feel in regards to permission along these lines? Do you feel the same as I do in regards to it being taken for granted to some extent or do you feel completely different? Would love to hear!

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