Sharenting, the act of sharing too much information about your child on social media, is becoming a growing concern. While it may seem harmless to share cute photos and milestones, there are several dangers that come with oversharing on social media. So while you might think there is nothing wrong with sharing your love for your child with the whole world, it’s important to pause and consider what risks might exist from trolls and even cybercriminals.
According to Barclays Bank, sharenting will account for two-thirds of identity fraud facing young people by the end of the next decade.
There are things parents should consider when it comes to sharing online. The first thing is the issue of privacy concerns. Sharing personal information and images of your child on social media can make them vulnerable to online predators. Information such as the full name, age, and images that can be used to stalk or exploit them can be shared on social media. For example, some children’s photos are turned into memes and go viral for the wrong reasons.
Another thing is the concern of permanence. Once something is posted online, it’s there forever. As children grow up, they may not appreciate having their most embarrassing moments online for the world to see.
Next is the issue of cyberbullying. Posting sensitive information about your child can make them a target of cyberbullying and harassment. Sharing information about your child’s interests, routines, and relationships can give bullies the ammunition they need to attack. Not everyone online sees your child with the same loving eyes that you do.
Apart from the risks, capturing everything your children do online is a way of telling them that that is the way to live. They may find this unsettling when they are also ready to use social media and may not be okay when they’re ready to start using social media, as they will have had over a decade’s worth of experience watching you share everything about them online.
It is important for you as a parent to ask if you should or why you really be sharing something about your child online. While you might not be thinking about the long-term effect, it’s important to pause and ask how it is likely to affect your children in the future. When sharing online, be mindful of the consequences. Posting a photo of a child who has won a national competition is different from posting their bath-time photos.
Before posting, consider if the information is necessary and appropriate to share. Additionally, have a conversation with your child about their online presence and the importance of protecting their privacy. By being mindful of the dangers of sharenting, parents can help protect their children and ensure that they have a positive online experience.
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