Do Parents Share Too Much About Their Kids Online?
Having a new baby is an exciting time – not just for the parents, but also for extended family, friends and old childhood neighbors. Between the midnight feedings and diaper changes are the constant calls and texts from people wanting news. Therefore it seems natural to want to share pictures and status updates on social media – and besides, your baby is obviously the cutest right? But the act of “sharenting” is beginning to become controversial – and more common than ever before.
According to a new study from the University of Michigan, more than half of moms and one-third of dads in the United States discuss their children online, including personal health details and intimate parenting stories. For many parents, sharing their days and feelings with others on social media can feel good, as they often feel isolated if at home alone with their infant. The study found that 70 percent of participants use social media to seek parenting advice and 62 percent said that sharing helps them worry less.
There are controversies around the "sharenting" phenomenon, mainly in regards to the child’s privacy rights and safety. Despite admitting to sharing, half of participants in the University of Michigan study said they worry that their child may be embarrassed by what was shared when they get older. This notion of creating a digital footprint for a child not old enough to have a say is a debatable one indeed.
In addition, there have been concerns raised about how safe sharenting is. Posting or tweeting on social media may list your location or familiar surroundings, and could potentially be seen by anyone. Unfortunately, what can be meant as an innocent picture online could put you or your child at risk of criminals. Make sure to turn your GPS feature off next time you post – and don’t put up anything TOO embarrassing!