Pose, snap, upload.
And wait for the reactions and comments to come in.
With increasing use of social media, that’s how it is with many parents in the recent years. Better camera quality in our smart phones and a wide selection of editing tools have also made it easier for parents to upload and share snippets of their kids lives on social media. The more tech-savvy ones have also created dedicated channels for their children’s day to day lives, allowing millions everywhere a glimpse into a stranger’s life.
This is the new style of parenting; welcome to “Sharenting”.
What exactly is "Sharenting"?
Sharenting is the practice of parents sharing information, photos, and videos about their children on social media. It can include sharing details about their children’s lives, such as milestones, achievements, and personal information, as well as sharing photos and videos of them. The term “sharenting” is a combination of the words “sharing” and “parenting.”
How good (or bad) is it?
What do some parents think about it?
Peipei (not her real name) is the mother of a young toddler. For her, Facebook and Instagram are memory keepers for her little one’s milestones. “From her first moment of life to her first steps, first baby teeth … everything is there digitally. I can look back years later and be reminded of how much joy she brought into our lives.” When asked about how her privacy is maintained, Peipei says that her social media accounts are private. Meaning anyone who wants a glimpse into their family’s lives has to be someone they know personally.
Another mum we spoke to, Indira, is protective of her three children and their lives. As a freelance photographer, Indira has accumulated countless albums of her children’s photos documenting each phase of their lives. Indira prefers to keep these within the family. Access to these are via a shared storage link given only to grandparents and close relatives. “No matter how careful you are, you’ll never know what people can do on the Internet. Plus my kids have a lot of difficult moments as well. Imagine if they were to stumble upon my social media posts one day and read about my unhappiness. Or have their issues put on show for everyone to see. That is a different level of embarrassment for them to deal with.” Indira shares.
For Norah, mother of twin girls, it was a different story. Her daughters first came across a channel on Youtube when they were 5 years old where the lives of two sisters in a neighbouring country were documented. They asked Norah if they could start their own channel as well. From there, it was a small investment into decent equipment for videos, as well as a considerable amount of effort in planning the kind of content they want to upload. “My girls are inspired by what they saw, and they want to do the same. Become Youtubers, share their experiences, maybe become famous?” Norah quipped. When asked about how she keeps her girls safe, Norah shares, “I told them, no indecent dressing or exposing your body. No funny actions or talk that can give the wrong impression. We talk only about toys, wholesome activities, pets, baking etc. If someone makes a weird comment, tell me or their dad and let the grownups handle it.”
Weighing the good and bad
Overall, the impact of sharenting can be both positive and negative, and it depends on how it is done. It is important for parents to be mindful of their children’s privacy and to weigh the potential benefits and risks before sharing information about them on social media.
What do you think about sharenting? Let us know in the comments below!