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How to Use Dropbox to Monitor the Photos Your Child is Taking with their Smartphone or Tablet

A Facebook discussion about monitoring your child’s online activities (via managing their passwords and checking their various accounts) led to a quick how-to via Facebook messaging, which inspired me to put together an actual post: How to use Dropbox to Monitor the Photos Your Child is Taking.

I have one tween and one almost-tween (Alyssa will be 11 in October, and Ryan turns nine in July). I’m “lucky” in that Ryan is autistic, and so he is pretty anti-social and doesn’t use an internet connection for much more than reading articles and watching videos about Minecraft, Portal, and many science-related subjects; but Alyssa has been a determined, independent, strong-willed child since she left the womb, and so I’m glad Dan and I keep an open line of communication with her in regards to cool/SO-NOT-COOL online activities, while still using various tools of subterfuge to make sure she is staying safe. One of those tools is Dropbox, a FREE app that makes it easy to send items to the cloud, as well as setup auto-backup and sharing of camera uploads from smartphones and tablets. It’s the auto-backup and sharing feature that I use to look after the photos my children take with their devices, and in this post I outline how easy it is to set up.

monitor your child's smartphone and tablet photos with Dropbox

Disclaimer: using an app to monitor what your child is doing with apps should not be a substitute for knowing their passwords, checking on their online/messaging activity, and above all else having serious conversations about the importance of conducting oneself on the internet and with others in a safe, private, respectful, and age-appropriate manner. Still, it’s nice to have an extra set of “hands”, as it were.

Onwards with the tutorial!

1. Install Dropbox onto your child’s device.

It’s available for both Android and iOS, it’s free, and it’s easy. Install the app and set up an account.

2. Enable Dropbox’s “Camera Upload” feature.

This is the crucial step. Enable Turn On Camera Upload so that every time a photo or screencapture (snapchat, anyone?) is taken with the device, a copy of it is sent to Dropbox.

3. Install Dropbox onto your device.

Install the app on your device, and consider putting it on your computer, too. Set up an account for yourself.

4. Extend a share invitation from your child’s Dropbox account to yours.

On your child’s device: within the Dropbox app, tap the Camera Uploads folder, tap Share, then choose Invite to folder. Enter the email address associated with your Dropbox account (the one you set up on your device and/or computer).

5. Accept the share invitation from your child’s Dropbox account.

On your device or computer: within the Dropbox app, tap the bell icon, look for the shared folder invitation, and tap Accept.

That’s it! Now, every time your child takes a photo or screenshot with their device, a copy will be immediately sent to their Dropbox Camera Uploads – and since this folder is shared with you, you’ll see a notification within the app on your device or computer.


Filed under Parenthood


This is what happens when Facebook friends tag you on posts from cat rescue groups begging for help with finding homes for FIV+ cats (and you know how I feel about FIV+ cats):

Because things come in threes. #FIV #FIVawareness #FIVcats #FIVpositive #straycat #rescuecat

I’ll have more pictures once he’s feeling comfortable enough in his new surroundings (our bedroom, for now) to come out from underneath the bed. ♥

Filed under Pets


I’ve now been Zoloft-free for a month. I made it through the first week of miserable physical withdrawal side effects (nausea, vomiting, headaches, horrid dizziness and vertigo, some insomnia as well as daytime drowsiness), and I made it through the second week of equally miserable emotional withdrawal side effects (I cried over everything from Sia’s latest CD to a tacky worker’s compensation/injury attorney commercial). Weeks three and four have been much more mellow, except FEELING everything again kind of sucks. And, I feel like some of the issues I battled before going back on and sticking with Zoloft are coming back:

My get-up-and-go has once again gotten up and left. Don’t get me wrong – I make it through each day in terms of making sure Dan, the sproglets, the pets, and the house are all taken care of; but I run out of energy and desire to do anything else, even though in the back of my mind somewhere there’s the want and/or pressing NEED to do something.

I like being off of Zoloft in terms of not having the constant mute on both positive and negative emotions, and I especially like being interested in sex and not struggling to have an orgasm (oh, multiple orgasms, how I missed thee!). But now other aspects of my life are suffering. I don’t want to go back on Zoloft…but I might need to. Before I do anything, however, I’m going to make an appointment with my doctor and discuss other SSRIs for depression – Prozac, Paxil, Buspar, etc. If you have any experience (firsthand or even secondhand) with SSRIs other than Zoloft, please let me know! Comment, or email me ( if you’d rather keep the conversation private.

Filed under General

A random thought about the current “trend” at Tomoson

Today’s Tomoson is like 2008’s PayPerPost: the majority of advertisers are expecting everything (Amazon review + blog review + video review + social media promotion) for next to nothing (a product valued, at best, twenty bucks).

Having been a long-time blogger (17+ years) and product reviewer (5+ years) as well as someone who has worked on the other side of the fence (SEO/internet marketing/blogger relations) for the last 7+ years, I understand both perspectives. But in the long-term, advertisers can’t expect quality when they’re doling out mere peanuts for a blogger’s time and exposure on their various online platforms. Likewise, bloggers can’t expand to “land” quality when they’re not willing to put forth a bit of effort. But advertisers, know this: when you expect everything for nothing, don’t be surprised when:

  1. you get crap return
  2. you get no return

Of course, as long as there are bloggers willing to jump through so many hoops for so little compensation, there will be advertisers who continue to ask (and expect) bloggers to do so much for so little.

Filed under General

Spring forward!

Don’t forget to turn your clocks an hour ahead tonight! You’ll lose an hour of sleep, but you’ll gain an hour of blissful, lovely sunlight!




Filed under General