Don’t violate your kid’s privacy ‘for the ’gram’
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
People making posts of their everyday life is so normalized, there is often little thought put into whether the things people post are appropriate. In my experience, when scrolling through any social media platform, you won’t be hard-pressed to find posts that make you think, “Did you really have to share this moment of your life with the whole world?”
Couples sharing intimate, kissy moments together, elderly or sick relatives in the hospital—while all obviously weirdly private things to post on the internet—do not perplex me as much as the trend of parents sharing photos of their children online. This phenomenon is called “sharenting,” but although it’s got a cute name, it’s not safe and it’s unfair to the kids who can’t say or do anything about it.
It’s a troubling statistic that 81 percent of children under the age of two have some sort of digital profile or photos posted online, as reported in a 2010 survey by AVG. Taking into account the fact that this data was collected eight years ago, I think it’s safe to assume that that number could be much higher now.
Even more concerning is that in a National Health Poll on Children’s Health by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 56 percent of parents have posted something embarrassing about their children, 51 percent gave information regarding their whereabouts, and 27 percent have shared inappropriate photos. Considering the permanence of sharing pictures of children online and how you never know who can view them, I wish some parents would put in more thought into what they post on the Internet.
Putting the safety risks aside, it also must be extremely embarrassing for people when they grow up to find out their entire lives have been documented for everyone to see. It may be fun for the parents—I can understand the excitement of having a baby and wanting to show it off. However, your kid doesn’t have any personal say in the things you’re posting and, if they understood, probably wouldn’t want you sharing this information.
Some parents assume that it’s just friends and family who can see these photos, but once you post something on the internet, it’s there forever. There are also a lot of creeps out there who could be looking at these photos, so be vigilant about what you’re posting on social media—or at least update your profile security.