Sharenting: The Overexposure of Our Children on Social Media
Sharenting refers to a recent and very common phenomenon of parents overexposing their children on social media. When we share our lives on these platforms, we feel almost compelled to show off pictures of our kids.
So what’s the big deal? Minors are protected by law, and exposing them too much on the internet can actually cause problems.
We can’t control who sees these images or how they may be used in the future. We have no idea what kind of danger we’re putting our children in. Especially taking into account that we do all of this without our children‘s permission.
What is sharenting?
Around the beginning of the year 2000, there was a boom in social media. This means of communication connected us immediately with the entire world. With that, a new phenomenon came into existence: Sharenting.
This term is the combination of two everyday words: Sharing and Parenting.
Sharing the intimate details of the daily lives of our little ones has become commonplace. Of course, sharing pictures of our children with family and friends is nothing new. However, the reality of social media has changed this habit.
Posting photos of our children on facebook, instagram or twitter doesn’t give just friends and family access, but also acquaintances, friends of friends, and even strangers with questionable intentions.
The consequences of sharenting
Above all, we shouldn’t be too scared about sharing pics of our kids on social media. But we should know about the possible risks and how to avoid them.
As adults, we need to take into account the fact that danger exists on the internet. That being said, children aren’t mature enough to completely understand this reality, nor are they prepared to face the consequences of being exposed in front of an entire world of spectators.
“We can’t pretend to educate our children about the dangers of social media if we were the first to share the details of their lives when they themselves had no say”
Below is a list of some of the short and long-term consequences that sharenting can have on our children.
- Exposure of our children to individuals with questionable intentions. Unfortunately, these people exist. It’s better to keep our children from being the focus of their attention.
- Your children will grow up and probably feel embarrassed about some of the pictures that you posted without their permission. Nobody wants the entire world to find out about certain situations, even if you think they’re cute or funny.
- The lesson you’re giving your children about social media might not be the most appropriate. Ask yourself what they’re learning if you provide them with a model of overexposure from such a young age.
Some advice against sharenting
Here are some tips that can help you avoid posting too much information about your children on social media.
- Avoid revealing information that reveals your child’s routines. Don’t post information about where you live or where your child goes for extracurricular activities, etc.
- Don’t post pictures of your children in the nude or scarcely dressed. Many parents naively share pictures of their children during bathtime or in their swimsuits on the beach or by the pool. But the truth is, you have no idea of knowing how others might use those pictures.
- Make sure your children are wearing street clothes in the photos you post. If you post pictures of your children in their uniforms, for example, it’s easier for predators to identify the school they attend.
- Don’t reveal license plate numbers, home addresses, phone numbers or any other sensitive information about your family.
It’s hard to imagine something happening, but you can never be too careful when it comes to your beloved children. It’s okay to use and enjoy social medial, but preventing danger and ensuring your child’s safety should be your top priority.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Brosch, A. (2016). When the child is born into the Internet: Sharenting as a growing trend among parents on Facebook. New Educational Review, 43 (1), 225-235. https://depot.ceon.pl/bitstream/handle/123456789/9226/16.%20When%20the%20child%20is%20born%20into%20the%20Internet.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
- Steinberg, S. B. (2017). Sharenting : Children ’ s Privacy in the Age of Social Media. Association of American Law Schools. https://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1796&context=facultypub
- Archivos Argentinos de Pediatría. (2017). Sharenting… ¿la vida de los niños debe ser compartida en las redes sociales? https://doi.org/10.5546/aap.2017.412