It is becoming more common for parents to share pictures of their children – sharenting – since they are babies. Many do it innocently but experts warn of future dangers.
The trend is now labeled as “Sharenting” or the out of control desire that parents have to expose their children on social media.
According to the British Collins dictionary, the English term sharenting is “the practice of parents to use social networks to communicate abundant and detailed information about their children.”
Digital reputation is one of the new dilemmas faced by modern societies. It has become a necessity for many parents to presume about their children online.
The practice has been adopted by celebrities in an attempt to cash in as they sell photos of their children to magazines and newspapers. This trends has caught up with normal people who also share photos of their offspring on social networks.
When someone search engines our name they may find photos from 10 years ago that no longer represent us and we would prefer that no one could see.
But, what if it wasn’t you who uploaded that photo or video? And if it was your parents who uploaded a picture of you naked to Instagram when you were 2 years old as you ran on the beach?
What if you feel that some of those innocent photos “haunt you” when someone looks for information about you?
Sharenting is more serious in countries where technology has been available for longer time. In the US, for example, 92% of minors get a digital identity at two years of age.
That reality makes it necessary to ask: Is the privacy of minors today a lost right on social networks? (Vote on our poll)
Before turning five, parents of a minor publish an average of 1,000 photos on Instagram or Facebook.
Before the child even creates a profile of his own or gives his first “Like” on Facebook, his face and most important moments of his life have already been seen by others without his consent.
Parents are the watchers of their children’s stories. If third parties want to share information about their children, they have the right not to allow it. However, parents are becoming helpers of their children’s lack of privacy.
“When parents want to share information about their children, there is no ‘doorman’,” explains Stacey Steinberg, a law expert at the University of Florida, USA.
In networks there is no clear line about where the rights of parents end up sharing the experience of raising their children and the right to privacy that the minors have.
For this reason, Steinberg proposes to create a “public health campaign” on sharenting “for the current lack of a guide available to parents.”
Facebook allows you to specify the audience for each photo or post. The second is to “set up notifications like Google Alerts to be notified when your children’s names appear on Internet sites.”
Why do more and more parents do sharenting? “For many, their children are their world. They center their sources of interest and attention on them.”
Children represent them and hence they want to share each of their moments,” says Marisa Russomando, a psychologist specializing in parenting and family.
According to the psychologist, parents often have a “look of tenderness or comedy” in front of photos of their children.
“But there are scenes that maybe their protagonists prefer to keep in the private realm.”