Have y’all heard of Sharenting?
It’s the use of social media to share news, images, stories, etc. of one's children.
Apparently, the average parent will post online 1,500 pictures of their child before the age of five. 🥴 Almost a third of parents surveyed in a UK study said they had never thought to seek a child’s permission before posting.
It’s not just a local thing, either. Last year, Microsoft released the results of an internet safety study of 12,500 teens across 25 countries. Of the teens surveyed, 42 percent said they were distressed about how much their parents “sharented” online, with 11 percent of them believing it was a “big problem” in their lives.
Each photo or video, and any comments on them, become a part of a child's permanent public image. This may affect them later in life. For example, it may affect how they see themselves, or how they are viewed when applying for a job.
Can you imagine your child running for President one day but someone digs up a video you shared of them having a tantrum or sitting in the bathtub? 🥴
We didn’t have to think about this when we were growing up. Social media wasn’t really a thing for our parents. Most of us are wise enough to have private pages and not share locations online. However, when we post pictures of our kids in the bathtub, in the middle of a meltdown, or publicly discuss their school escapades, I’m not sure we’re thinking about their digital footprint from their future perspective. I know I wasn’t.
Now that I am, I’ve combed through my accounts and taken down pictures of my little one, until she can give me her informed consent to share them. (If I’ve missed any, please feel free to let me know!) If she’s in the frame, I’ve tried to make sure she’s blurred or turned away from the camera.
My new thought is there’s no sense in me preparing her for the world, but leaving her digital footprint unprotected.
I just thought I’d share in case it’s helpful to you.💕