Are Parents Oversharing Their Kids Online?
Sharing cute pictures of our kids has become so much easier these days thanks to cell phones and social media. Long gone are the days of having to lug out the photo album or keep that stash of school photos in your wallet. In fact, nearly three quarters of parents are sharing pictures of their kids through social media on a regular basis. While it’s fun to interact with your friends and other parents and share the joy of raising your children, we need to slow down and rethink the process. Are too many parents oversharing their kids online? Are we sharing images and data that could come back to haunt them later? Recently I ran across this article from a fellow blogger about her distress when a pic she posted of herself ended up as part of a viral meme. Now, imagine that happening to one of your kids. Scary stuff.
Let’s take a step back for a moment. Sharing great moments in your kids’ lives and family activities is a great outlet for parents, but some of us need to reign it in a bit. Cell phones and social media are such a common part of our lives that many people have become less self-awake of what they are posting. Heck, even Disney World had to ban selfie sticks due to it becoming a safety hazard. We need to remember a few things when sharing pictures and status updates:
- Once something is posted it may be out on the Internet forever. Things can’t be simply deleted.
- With social sharing, something you post may go well beyond the friends you sent it to.
- Sensitive data, like locations and dates, can easily be skimmed from picture files
How much does this affect our kids? For starters, they may not want some things shared online for everyone to see. It might not even be today, but a few years down the road when somebody finds an embarrassing image and uses it to tease another child. Think that parent who made their kid stand on the side of the road with a sign detailing dumb misbehavior was funny? Well, prospective employers might not so impressed. Parents need to put themselves in their children’s shoes before they post online. Would I be embarrassed by that pic if I was a teenager? Is this something my child could be hurt by if it was shared all over the Internet? We’re creating an online presence for your kids before they are even old enough to do it for themselves, so remember to respect their personal identity. Sharing some of the best years of our lives with friends and family can be a lot of fun, just be more aware of what you’re posting and keep it safe. Here’s a few quick tips to keep in mind:
Tips for Online Sharing
- Set privacy settings to limit your social media reach.
- Turn off location data on your phones and cameras, unless you want to tag something like a vacation memory.
- Don’t post punishment pics or shame your kids online.
- Limit how much personal info you share about your kids, such as school names, birth dates, etc.
- If kids are old enough, ask if it’s OK to post pics of them online.
- Don’t discuss personal parenting issues on an open forum where your kids can be easily identified by others; same as you wouldn’t want your issues discussed by others.
We all love seeing people enjoying activities we enjoy and it also provides a great connection with other parents and friends. Just use some common sense when posting pics of those fun memories! If you have any suggestions or experiences to share, feel free to post in the comments section of on our social media channels. Thanks for stopping by!