Do you have any idea what Sharenting is?
One thing you all will agree on is that parents are obsessed with their children. They keep talking about their kids, their activities, their nature and it is perfectly normal. It is their love and pride that they want to flaunt to the world.
But then comes the social media. The cute videos of kids and their pretty pictures that parents used to share with their closest friends are now being shared with the whole world.
Well this concerns us. Why?
Let us first understand the meaning of Sharenting.
Sharenting – the combination of overshare and parenting was first used in 2010. It is a practice of publicizing your child’s personal life. While some think that it is a way for tech parents to express their love for their kids, others argue that it violates their privacy and spoils parent-child relationships.
Although it is okay to share glimpses of your child’s life but sharing anything and everything about them is not at all okay. Why?
Well because of some obvious reasons! Extreme Sharenting can affect your kids badly. It can not only hinder their privacy but can also make them prone to some extreme threats. Let us find the root cause.
While parents think that sharing day to day activities and new looks of their kids with strangers online will make them a star but it can even pose some serious privacy hazards. Kids do not even realize that their life has become public until they are teens. When they get to know that their embarrassing pictures are doing rounds on the internet, they cannot do much about it as it becomes too late. Parents often share the worst pictures and videos of their kids thinking that they can take it down whenever they want but they forget about online footprints. Even if you delete that picture from social media handle, the picture or video doesn’t vanish. Any one can save it in the form of screenshots and later use it to bully your kid or make fun of them. Well , that is why it is said that nothing is temporary on the internet.
In some cases, seeing their embarrassing pictures on the internet can even cause anxiety and depression amongst kids. Even though you did it for fun and without having any ill intention for your kid, these photos and videos can follow them around when they grow old and other people may tease them showing this information. As kids are most fragile in their adolescence, these pictures damage their self worth as well as destroy your relationship with your little one.
So the question is, how can you be responsible while sharing your kid’s photos and videos?
Five things you need to ask yourself before posting anything about your child!
- Reason for sharing– Ask yourself, why exactly are you sharing this picture? After all it’s your kid’s personal data not yours, so you must have a solid reason for posting it.
- Is it okay if someone reposts it?- Now this one is most important, move forward only if you are okay with it. If your kid is a teenager, you can even take permission from them.
- Can this picture embarrass your child in any stage of their life? Parents are known for embarrassing their kids in a fun way in front of relatives. But it is not the same as sharing embarrassing information about kids to the whole world. So ask yourself, if this information about your kid can embarrass them (not just now but even 20 years later because as I said earlier, the Internet is forever).
- Is it okay if everybody in this world sees this information? – In this digital world, social media has become the hub of information. Whether it is for University admission or job applications, many times background check of aspirants is done with the help of social media. So is it okay if they use this information. If it is not, please do not share it.
- Do you want this information to make a place in your child’s digital footprint? Anything you post on the internet, stays on the internet. So, do you want to add this information to your kid’s online portfolio?
After asking simple and effective questions listed above, you will get clarity about whether you should post it or not. Now, if you are anyway posting that picture or video that stars your child, you need to keep some things in mind.
- Do not share unnecessary information concerning your kid, use as little personal data as you can.
- While sharing on Facebook, post in only private groups in which your trustworthy mates are present. Avoid sharing in public groups.
- Try to keep visibility of your social media handles private.
- While sharing on Instagram, make a “close friends” group to share your kid’s photos.
- Avoid sharing pictures of other people’s kids without taking their permission.
- If your kids are grown up enough to understand, before posting ask them if they are okay with it.
- If you want to address a concern at school or any mental health issue , try to use an email thread rather than posting directly on social media.
In the end, it is up to you how sensitively you address this situation. For most of the parents sharenting might not be a huge concern, but if they try to think about how their carelessness can make their kid’s life crucial , they will understand . We recommend you share yours as well as your kids personal information responsibly because at the end of the day privacy and security are the most important things.
Parents are the role models and kids learn the most important life lessons as well as ignorance from them. Often , they themselves end up posting any content on social media they should not have shared. Fortunately, Bit Guardian Parental Control is a digital safety solution that lets you monitor their history as well as content they are sharing and it can even manage their screen time. In this digital world, it is very important to stay alert to avoid any adverse situations.