As part of modern living's daily routines, social media has given rise to "sharenting." Defined as an activity where parents eagerly share photos, videos and stories about their children on the social network, this trend has grown to a point of obsession for some people.
Mothers are more into the sharenting trend than fathers, according to a study published via BCS, an IT institute. They mostly share photos of the kids to maintain an online social connection with friends and families who are geographically unreachable. To some extent, they share to receive validity about their parenting skills as well, the research has implied.
Numerous studies have found out that most parents do not consider privacy settings as an issue. Some American parents are also not wary about photos shared and re-shared by relatives and carers of their children, according to Pew Research Center.
By the time a child has reached the age of 5-years-old, she would have a digital profile filled with thousands of photos on the internet. It's an online identity that the child has no knowledge nor control of until she learns to use the internet herself. It could pose a problem for the child when she's older, as Parent Herald previously reported.
Experts note that sharenting will continue to be popular in 2017 and beyond but the tendency to overshare poses big risks. For one thing, well-meaning parents who do not check security settings on photos are distributing information about their children that can be downloaded, accessed and used by people with malicious intent.
For another thing, a child who is still developing her own identity might lose her autonomy and sense of self because her parents have already created her digital profile. Child advocates stress that children have the moral, and perhaps even legal, right to their own digital footprint. In France, this has already been drafted into a law, according to Telegraph.
Parents, do you engage in sharenting? Are you aware of the risks? Share your thoughts about this issue in the comments!
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