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MANN: Should our children be online before they even know what online means?

Image Credit: SUBMITTED
September 21, 2017 - 12:00 PM

OPINION


Up until this week I had never heard of sharenting — it’s a new word for my repertoire, but one I think I will be hearing more of.

Sharenting is when parents share too much about their child/children on social media — seems pretty straightforward.

With the rampant use of Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, it is pretty safe to say people who chronicle their lives online will also share photos and fun facts about any children they may have (and from what I've seen, their pets too).

But what are the rules about sharing your children’s information online, should there be any rules and where do we go from here?

I know I have an online presence. I can no longer pretend not to. Google my name and up pops various photos and links to different articles and publications I have worked for.

And let’s not forget about any photos I am tagged in on Facebook…

Thank god I learned quickly what NOT to post. But I can’t control what other people upload and tag me in and let’s face it, these days EVERYONE takes photos on their phones. It’s hard to attend an event and not feel like you are inadvertently photobombing someone’s ‘moment.’

But my children don’t have a choice what I post online — yet.

I LOVE my children and I love their cute little smiles, silly actions and cheesy dance moves. I think everything they say is hilarious, smart or adorable and sometimes I want other people to see their antics via social media — especially family that live provinces away.

It must be what it feels like when your child wins the school science fair or comes out with the first place ribbon at the track meet, you just want everyone to know how great they are because you think they are so great.

And I love scrolling through my friend’s photos on social media. I love seeing their lives progress in pictures, celebrations of their children’s milestones and hopes and dreams for the future.

I try to stay away from posting possibly embarrassing photos like nudes, photos with controversial content, or anything I know could come back to haunt my children later on in life.

But sometimes it’s difficult to consider these things at the time you post.

And I don’t want to think those terrible thoughts about the dark side of the Internet and what people might be doing with the data they collect from my children’s photos — knowing what valuables I have in my home, identity theft and much, much worse…

I want to be protective, but not paranoid.

So what is the best course of action to take? Do I decide to keep my children’s lives private until they reach such an age they can make those decisions for themselves, or do I continue to post pivotal moments in their lives out of love and have faith that I am not doing future damage?

— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking. She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
InfoTel News Ltd

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