My son just completed kindergarten, he’s the smartest one in his entire class. Yea, my daughter just danced in her first recital. Can you believe how pretty she is? She is the best dancer out of all the girls! Yeah, well my son just hit a home run in the championship game. I am so proud of him.
I can’t stand it anymore, please consider this video a public service announcement. We are going to talk about sharenting. This is the overuse of social media by parents sharing content of their children. I know… you love your kids, this is how you update your family, your proud of your kids. You can say anything you want, I still think it’s a mistake and I’ll tell you why.
I’m not really a controversial guy, but boy do people have strong feelings about this one. It is true that moms have a tendency to post much more about their kids than dads do, but dads are guilty as well. If you have something to say about this, I welcome your feedback in the comments.
The topic of sharenting has become pretty serious. Let’s look at some of the issues that we are facing because of parents oversharing:
Legal issues – an 18 year old girl is suing her parents for posting a baby picture she didn’t like. She didn’t consent to it being posted. There could be all kinds of legal issues in the future with parents not getting the consent of their children before posting.
Body Image Issues – Starting kids off young with the idea that likes and views matter is not good. Social media will judge anything, even a young child’s appearance.
Digital Narcissism – The posting of accomplishments or something great your kid did actually makes you think you are great. This isn’t good for you or them. Your self worth should not come from the accomplishments of your child.
Security Issues – Children’s identities are being stolen or their safety is at greater risk because their identity is known. People think “That would never happen to my child”. I only post pictures of whatever”. The reality is that it is happening more and more.
So how do we navigate this as parents? What is ok to post and what is not? Parents are now making money off of content of their kids. It has become a business in itself with content creators having their children as a big part of their content. Personally, I think the negatives drastically outweigh the positives when it comes to posting content about kids. If you are going to post, maybe you considering asking yourself some questions before doing it:
Did I get the consent of my child to post? If they are too young to make that decision, then you’ll need to ask some additional questions to yourself.
Why am I posting? Am I doing this to feel better about myself? Because most of the time, there is zero value to the child for you posting.
Will my child ever be upset or embarrassed of the post? Are you talking about something negative they did or how much they frustrated you? Think about how they may feel.
Do you want this to be part of your children’s digital archive? Posts are digital tattoos. They are permanent. You need to be mindful of how the content could affect their life in any way in the future.
We all think our children are the cutest, smartest, most talented people in the world. We want people to like, share, and provide positive comments about what we post. Unfortunately it really only does something for you and not the child. Let’s agree to stop sharenting. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think it’s ok to post content about your kids? I’m sure you have an opinion. Leave your comments below.