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ParentingProtecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor

Protecting Kids’ Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor

Thanks to the various social media platforms available, sharing (and organizing!) all the images we have of our precious babies became easier. We only have to log into our accounts, find the folder in our galleries, and press “Upload.”

Most of us think this sharing of our babies’ adorable pictures is harmless and is a mere expression of our joy. Before we knew it, we overshared our kids online.

But times are now changing, and the act of sharenting — oversharing of our kids online — is now falling out of favor. Let’s look at the seven compelling reasons parents now hit “Pause” on that “Upload” button.

Protecting Kids’ Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor

1. Safety Risks

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor Safety Risks

Safety is our primary concern as parents, even above the provision of our kids’ most basic needs. Some parents even place AirTags in their kids’ backpacks to know their whereabouts even from a distance.

But, most parents don’t realize that posting their kids’ photos on social media poses a significant threat to their safety. 

For one, social media platforms have tracking algorithms in place to know what content to show to you.

Even the simple searches you make on Google can also be tracked by social media. Before you know it, you start seeing ad posts or content related to your search query.

Similarly, the location tags, the names of the schools they attend, and even your daily routine are a treasure trove for potential predators and stalkers. Without even realizing it, you’re making your children an easy target for these people!

2) Identity Theft

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor Identity Theft

Oversharing your kids’ photos and information online exposes them to potential identity theft. This is especially true if you place sensitive information with their photos.

With a little bit of research, lurking cybercriminals only need to put these pieces of information together. Then they only have to use AI to generate the adult version of your kids’ faces and walla! 

Your child’s “future self” is now a wanted criminal no thanks to your sharenting. Downright scary, right?

If that doesn’t scare you, maybe this video will convince you to stop sharenting.

3) A Kid’s Consent Matters

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor A Kid's Consent Matters

Ever remember how you felt violated by someone who used your favorite object without your permission? This is exactly how our children feel nowadays if we parents keep up with the sharenting trend.

It’s not downright bad to share good memories we had with our children on social media. But it is another thing if we post photos of them — decent or embarrassing — without their permission.

Even if they want to protest our decision to post their photos on social media, they can’t do so (think about babies and toddlers). In fact, in a research featured on Sycamore Psychology, roughly 40% of 12,500 teens feel distressed that their parents overshare info about them.

Some even felt betrayed that their parents were the ones perpetrating the leakage of their sensitive information. 

So, if there’s any chance, and if your child is old enough to communicate, ask for their permission to post their photo. It would only take a few seconds of your time in exchange for a lifetime of respect you’ll gain from them.

4) Digital Footprint Anxiety

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor Digital Footprint Anxiety

There are lots of triggers for medically-diagnosed anxiety. But most parents don’t know that sharing your kids’ photos and info online causes digital footprint anxiety.

These digital footprints are little crumbs of ourselves we leave online. Like a footprint made on soil, sand, or snow, a digital footprint can be seen by everyone. 

But unlike the usual footprints that we know, a digital footprint is a permanent presence in the online world.

Think of Meta constantly showing your past posts with the “Memories” feature. While it reminds you of the good times with your kids, this can be downright embarrassing if their future employer sees this and brings this up during a job interview.

So if you want to leave a legacy behind, think twice about what kind of digital footprint you’re crafting for your kids. 

And if you’re still at a loss, listen to what these teens have to say:

5) Digital Detox

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor Digital Detox

With a more accessible technology nowadays, it’s harder for everyone to stay away from their gadgets. Our phones or computers are almost inseparable from us wherever we go.

But more parents do away with activities involving technology for quality time. After all, research has shown the constant use of phones by parents is associated with a “still face.”

This can severely impact the child’s emotional skills as this is often interpreted as being depressed. So, you better start unplugging from your phones and plan for family activities that don’t involve any gadgets.

6) Commercial Exploitation

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor Commercial Exploitation

Aside from endangering your kids’ identities, sharenting is also a way for their photos and/or videos to be used without anyone knowing about it. Except for those children who are into a paid endorsement contract, sharenting is deemed harmful to their mental health

Add that this can be promoted as misleading content for the viewers.

Worst case scenario, you’ll find your kids’ photos circulating on the dark web, where shady individuals gain money from what you post online.

7) Blurred Boundaries

Protecting Kids' Privacy: 7 Reasons Why Sharenting is Falling Out of Favor Blurred Boundaries

Too much time spent on sharing your life — your child’s life included — blurs your private from public life. Parents don’t realize that some areas of their children’s lives should be kept private only. 

Most parents who overshare about their kids think they’re doing nothing wrong. They’re merely showing everyone their achievements. Some parents even sadly do this for clout or to show off.

Hence, it’s important to know your motive for posting your child’s photos. And, if possible, ask your little one if it’s okay to post his or her photo on your social media. 

Your child will thank you for considering his or her feelings, leading to a more open communication line.

Conclusion

With those 7 compelling reasons to lose favor over sharenting, we now know how to strike the balance between protecting our child’s privacy and sharing. Since our kids cannot express their consent, we should practice being mindful of what we share about them.

Add that a few notable celebrities are already leading the movement to end sharenting.

Just like kindness, mindfulness goes a long way to protecting our little ones’ digital identities. Our kids’ future selves would surely thank us for our decision now.

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