Do you often Post about your Child’s Life Online? Let’s Find Out the Pros and Cons of Sharenting!

Let’s try to understand what it means for a child’s life to be shared online. Here is a blog on the pros and cons of ‘sharenting’.

It is not unusual to come across baby photos on one’s social media feed. With the bloom of baby pictures on networking sites like Facebook and Instagram, it feels that children, these days, are growing up shared. But among all this celebration of life online, the question of “Do you want to share your children with others?” hangs in discomfort.

This is a vital question you need to ask yourself before you post the picture of your kid online, and to help you answer it, here are a few pros and cons of sharenting:

What is Sharenting?

When parents share the pictures or details of their children online, it is known as sharenting. From their first smile to their first fall, parents these days share every big and small achievement or experience of their child online, thereby raising children in the social media limelight.

Pros of Sharenting -

Sharing one’s life as a parent on social media can be a boon for some. Parenting is a roller-coaster ride, and it feels great to have someone to hold on to when it gets too difficult. Social media has enabled just that. Looking at the experiences of various parents at parenting has made many people realize that they are not alone. People might find parents with similar issues online, and reading about them or connecting with them through various online support groups gives them the strength to deal with those issues. Everything’s available on the internet — from how to tell your child the truth about Santa Claus to what to do with the clothes they have overgrown; all the answers are a click away!

Sharenting has also helped people reconnect with their families. Think of those who have their grandkids a world apart — they can stay connected and updated about the kids without worrying about missing their childhood.

Cons of Sharenting -

If you have watched “How I Met Your Mother”, I am sure you would remember the Beercules episode where Marshall is worried about a video from his college days that would jeopardize his chances at a job.

Digital footprint is permanent and what is once posted stays on the internet forever. One might think of the privacy settings of their profile but what about the people who have given permission to view the photos? Can they not take screenshots of the photos or download and share them? Privacy is a big concern when it comes to sharing your pictures online and it becomes a bigger problem when the “cute” picture of your child turns into an “embarrassing” memory for them when they grow up. (Imagine sharing a picture of your kid in a state of undress and that picture getting viral the day they are nominated to become the CEO of their company!)

The privacy concern doesn’t end at embarrassing photos — identity theft or digital kidnapping are the real villains with their ubiquitous presence. There have been instances of teenagers not getting their driver’s licenses because someone else had already got one in their name! These harmless pictures shared by parents in a moment of pride or joy can reveal too much information about the child — their names, addresses, the schools they study in, and a lot more, and such details can compromise the security and privacy of the child in question. You never know who is keeping an eye out for such information!

Besides, sharing too many photos of a child online can also be a breach of their privacy, which they might resent on growing up, causing trouble in their relationship with their parents.

How to handle the situation?

Having listed a few pros and cons amongst many, we cannot deny that social media is also the need of the hour. If you cannot resist posting about your child’s achievements online, here are a few tips for you:

- Don’t reveal the identity of your child. Use a fake name for them.

- Never disclose the location of your child or their schools/classes online. This will keep them safe from trouble.

- Try and watermark the photos of your child. This will affect the aesthetics of the photos and prevent them from unauthenticated use.

- If your child is above 4, ask them if they are comfortable with a specific photo being shared online and respect their decision.

- Set up a Google Alert for the child’s name to monitor their online presence.

We hope this blog helped you to answer the question we had asked at the start. To post or not to post is your choice, but we suggest you take the aforementioned precautions before the digital footprint of your child is created!

We understand that despite everything, things have shifted to the online mode. Here is a blog for you to contemplate online classes and the future of education. For more such content, follow us on Fuzia.

Image Credits — Google

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