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This Reddit Mom Doesn’t Like the Way Her Husband Displays Her Kid’s Picture — Did She Overreact?

Moms will do anything to protect their kids — the mama bear cliché is no joke, OK? — but how far is too far when it comes to a kid’s digital safety? One mom on Reddit is maybe taking the digital privacy thing a little too far with her husband: she doesn’t like the way he displays her kid’s picture.

StaySafeOnline by the National Cybersecurity Alliance recommends parents teach all their kids the value of online safety and privacy, which includes reminding them that posts and photos stay online forever, being careful what personal information you share, using privacy and security settings, staying positive, reporting threats, and more. Many parents go a step further and choose not to share photos of their kids online at all, until they are old enough to consent.

But is using a picture of a kid as your phone’s digital background violating their privacy?

In Reddit’s Am I The A–Hole? forum, a mom lashed out at her husband for using a picture of her 5-year-old son as his phone’s home screen wallpaper.

In the post, the mom explained: “We were out at the diner last night and I asked my husband for his phone to check payment options for our meal. I unlocked the screen and saw my son’s pic set as the home screen wallpaper.”

Her husband of four months said the picture had been there for two months. She then added, “I got upset and pointed out that it was not wise of him to use a pic of my son as his home screen wallpaper for strangers to see.” But, remember, it took her two months to notice — so is there really that big of a risk of strangers coming across it?

The husband tried to reassure her by saying no one touches his phone or will see it. He also told her that she “should relax because it’s not like he posted it on social media.” Later, the husband clarified the only reason he had the photo on his phone is to “be able to look at him all the time because he misses him when he’s at work.”

It sounds like this man is the kind of stepparent that every single parent should dream of meeting! I mean, seriously, he loves his wife’s kid so much that he wants to see him every time he looks at his phone — which is probably a lot, if he’s anything like us.

However, the wife was not having it. “I demanded he remove it, but he said no,” she wrote. “I insisted and an argument ensued to the point where I got up, paid my part of the bill then walked out of the restaurant.” This led to the husband spending the night at the hotel and texting his wife that he was “overwhelmed” and she “deeply” hurt him. He then said he “removed the picture entirely from his phone” to make her happy, but that she had “overreacted.”

Reddit agreed with the husband. One commenter told the wife, “You owe him a huge apology. You’re being extremely paranoid that somebody is going to see a picture of your child. He loves and adores your son which is exactly what you should want from a man who is going to live in your house and be a crucial part of his life as he grows. YTA.”

Another wrote: “yes someone might see a picture of your son. But they might also see your son’s face when he is out and about. Do you put a paper bag over your son’s face whenever they are out in public? I get not wanting to post the picture on social media, to limit the wide exposure of your son’s picture to people you don’t know. But a phone background is limited exposure, and in my mind no different than your son being seen in public anywhere else.”

People were defending the husband, calling him a “dream” because “he loves a child who is not his like his own. I cannot believe OP is mad here.”

We agree — this mom should definitely monitor her kid’s online presence if she wants to, but not allowing her husband to display a picture on his phone is just taking it way too far.

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