Are You Sharenting?: A dangerous Parenting trend
African parents are known for hounding their millennial children on the amount of time they spend punching away at their phone screens. One may wonder if all that time online hasn't translated into what is now known as sharenting, a dangerous parenting trend.
If you don't sharent then you probably have one or two people on your Social media friend list who do. The compulsion is very real. Many people share vacation pictures and details about themselves on social media. Because of this, they don't realize when they are overdoing it with their kids or the impact it has on their children’s life.
What Is Sharenting?
Sharenting is a mix of sharing and parenting. Sharenting is a feature of modern parenting practised by most millenials. These parents share photos and videos of their children’s daily life and activities on social media. The term which was coined by the Wall Street Journal in a conversation on oversharing pictures of your kids online. The shorter version stuck and it’s now a recognized trend.
Why Is Sharenting A Dangerous Parenting Trend?
Sharing a few photos or videos of your child to celebrate certain milestones may be harmless. But too much of it has consequences, some of which are listed below.
You may not realize it but the things you post about your child on social media can stay there forever. Your constant posting of updates about your child creates a digital footprint and a ready-made identity for them—often one which they have had no say in. By the time children are old enough to use social media for themselves, many have a fully formed identity ready and waiting for them already, created by the blizzard of information their parents have shared.
Embarrassing your child
It might help to imagine your child on the first term of secondary school, only for classmates to do a little internet search and find something that might have been perfectly normal for you at the time but absolutely embarrassing for your child presently. Plus with a growing number of prospective employers and tertiary institutions checking social-media accounts before accepting candidates, we need to consider future implications of the posts we include kids in.
Exposing Your Child To Fraudsters
Sharenting can make your child susceptible to fraud in the future. Information that’s shared online will be freely available to fraudsters in the years to come. Parents often share basic details like names and date of birth. In addition, they share information which could be used to answer security questions. This includes the place of birth, mother’s maiden name, school name, etc.
What Can You Do?
Here are a few ways parents can try to keep things in check.
Check Your Privacy Settings
If you feel like sharing pictures of your child, it is possible on most social media platforms to regulate who can see them. For example, Facebook has privacy settings that enable users to choose the people that can see their posts. Instagram has private accounts, too.
Will The Photo Be Appropriate If It Were An Adult?
With children, it is very easy to forget that they are little humans with rights just like adults. This is a good way for parents to keep themselves in check when it comes to sharenting. They still deserve respect.
Document With Cloud Drives
Some parents argue that they share these pieces of information online to document their child's growth. However, you can upload the pictures on a google drive or any efficient cloud drive. This way, you and your child would still have control over private information. When they are of age, they can choose to share which ones they are comfortable with.
Privacy and data concerns are frequent these days. From Facebook scandals to the Face App uproar, but we can control how much information we give out by observing the guidelines listed above.
Source: Times of India