When parents mix social media and parents, things tend to get pretty messed up. Admit it, showing pictures and videos of a happy family on social media just to get views and comments can sometimes have ill effects on any or all members of the family.
Before engaging every single detail there is to know about your family, you have to ask yourself the following:
- What is the impact of social media on our family?
- Is this going to affect our relationship with each other and with other people?
- How are my actions going to affect my kids?
Did You Just Post That?
“A recent Pew Research Center study found that 75% of parents turn to social media for parenting-related information and social support,” reports Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D., LPCS. She also adds “The majority of parents (75%) report they know a parent who has shared TMI about their child online. Studies show that over half of them (56%) report they knew parents that shared embarrassing information about their children.”
Contemporary, internet-savvy parents these days are one with the hype in updating their timelines on the trifle information of child-rearing for an audience of hundreds that can include all the closest friends to that co-worker whose name you can’t even remember. Not everything should be shared on social media; don’t make it your diary of daily events where people can see and read about the good and bad things in your life.
Sure, it is your right to upload and share whatever you want, but have you ever considered the adverse effects that every single post can bring to your family? If you’re one of those guilty parents who think that sharing a topless video of her two-year-old daughter while dancing to the tune of Despacito is no biggie, here’s are some reasons why you should think twice.
Sharenting is technically derived from “share” and “parenting.” For the benefit of those who are not familiar, sharenting is a word coined for parents who are categorized under the TMI section.TMI (too much information) is unnecessary oversharing of day-to-day parenting ups and downs.
Rick Nauert PhD, a previous clinical physical therapist and currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness “Researchers discovered more than half of mothers and one-third of fathers are currently discussing child health and parenting on social media and nearly three quarters of parents saying social media makes them feel less alone.”
Not-so-fun fact: Your kids can see what you’re doing and at an early age, is being introduced to a world full of likes and shares and in-betweens.While some parents don’t see any problem with this trend (since they are also guilty), the effects on the children can be quite disturbing. Children will have this notion that they can post or upload whatever they want, no matter how sensitive that information can be or how it can affect other people.
- Identity Theft
According to a survey made by the software security firm, AVG Technologies, in America, 92% of children under two years old have already established their digital footprints. A digital footprint is anything from photos, videos, personal information that exists online. This phenomenon happens because parents are sharing details about their kids than ever before.
More than 1/3 of moms who are between the ages of 18 to 34 years old have created social media accounts for their youngsters even before their first birthday. This information is quite alarming on the fact that over 140,000 children are victims of identity theft annually and it increases as the number of data is posted blatantly on social media.
- Security Uncertainty
Cybercrimes are at large these days. You never know when someone’s lurking around your social media page and taking notes on every single detail that was uploaded to your account. Unbeknownst to the naïve sharer, hackers who are determined to phish for information can effortlessly do so by taking some vital facts derived from posting your baby’s name, birthday, your location and even your maiden name. These details alone are sufficient to open a financial account with your baby’s name on it or also gain access to your online bank accounts.
“What’s really baffling and dangerous about online strangers is that the really good ones can pretend to be someone that the child knows–Uncle John or Aunt Sally. And they can do this because they’ve done their background research,” reveals Dr. Samuel McQuade, PhD, a psychology professor at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Time will come when your children will realize that someone has been making transactions using their names.
Better Safe than Sorry
Indeed, there are ways on how to protect your social media accounts from opportunists and lurkers. Some of the things that you can do are:
- Avoid posting real-time details on where you are and what you’re doing.
- Do not share viable information about your children like their full name, birthdates, and even their school.
- Increase the level of privacy on all your social media accounts.
- Use applications that are invitation-only so that you can still share your children’s memorable moments with a close-knit trusted group.
But always be mindful and cautious of what you share and who you share it with. Remember that whatever information you post online can be utilized by wrongdoers to their advantage.