Reasons Not To Post Kids On Social Media

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It’s true, many people want to stay active on social media websites in order to stay in touch with family and friends, or connect with new people. The intense popularity of social media often attributes to a psychological need for social rewards such as likes, saves, or comments.

Many parents enjoy posting images and videos on their social media feed and stories of their kids because they are proud of their family and want to show this to their followers. They want to remain connected through online social platforms with their relatives, friends and followers. Although social media is a very useful tool to use when it comes to gaining information on parenting and child care, it’s important to understand how much sharing is considered too much sharing. The online world isn’t always the safest place for adults, especially considering the amount of privacy that we all forfeit every time we share information about ourselves or our children online. Let’s take a closer look at how sharing on social media may put a child in danger.

 

Posting On Social Media Can Invade Your Child’s Privacy

Invasion Of Privacy

Although younger children may not give any thought as to what their parents are posting on social media, that may not stay true as they grow up. At around age 5 or 6, children begin to develop a sense of themselves as individuals and begin to understand how the rest of the world perceives them. Then, their privacy becomes more of  a concern. They may feel embarrassed at the content that their parents posted on social media, especially when it comes to their baby pictures, funny photos, or an update on developmental and behavioral challenges they may have faced.

Sharing the wrong type of content on social media platforms can also make children feel as if they don’t have any ownership or control over their own bodies or values. Children don’t have the opportunity to disagree with their parents posting bath-time or other sensitive images on social media. Along with this, they don’t have a say in whatever political or social messages their parents press on them. For example, image a kid looks back at an old picture of themselves posted on social media of them wearing a slogan t-shirt during the 2016 presidential election. How may they feel if they completely disagree with what they have on now that they are old enough to understand politics? In other words, how will they feel about being used as political statements on their parents’ Facebook page?

Consider The Message You Are Giving Your Kid

Parents are constantly telling their kids about the risks of using social media and teaching them about how to be safe online. But, parents then ignore their own advice when posting kids on their social media page. When children grow up routinely seeing photos of themselves online, they begin to think its the norm. Because of this, we are inadvertently teaching them that they have no privacy and no control over their online image.

Social Media Messaging Could Impact Your Childs Future

It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to control information once its posted online. You have no control over anyone taking a screenshot of your post and sending it out to other people, or posting it elsewhere without your consent. Although your deleted post are gone from your social media feed, they may still be live on the Internet archive websites and on social media servers themselves. Keeping this in mind, you should always take into consideration how your posts and stories may impact your child when he’s much older, or even an adult.

Also, the data shared online by parents, could be seen by Google search algorithms for years to come. Therefore parents and people posting children online need to think about how potential employers may react to finding certain sensitive information and childhood moments on social media. Keep in mind how posts may impact children if he or she ever decides to run for public office, or live a more public lifestyle in the future.

Your Social Media Posts May Attract Dangerous People to Your Kids

Posting kids shared on social media platforms sometimes turn up on disturbing websites and forums. And, this isn’t as uncommon as you think. Digital kidnapping is something that occurs when a person takes photos of a child from social media and repurposes them with new names and identities, often claiming the child as their own. Believe it or not, you can easily lose control over your child’s identity when you publish information about them online.

Social media posts can also provide little indicators that can help people identify where a child lives, plays, hangs outs and goes to school. Posts with information like location tags and landmarks give strangers as well as known aggressors the ability to locate a child, a friend, and other family members.

Pay Attention To Your Privacy Settings

It’s understandable to want to share about your family and kids on social media. If you do decide to share, try asking your children what they’re comfortable with and take some precautions, especially if they are old enough to speak for themselves. Pay close attention to privacy settings on your social media pages. For example, remember that if your Instagram account is public, anyone can view your posts and access your images and videos. Choose your photos carefully and watermark the ones you post publicly. Ask friends and family to refrain from posting photos or videos of your kid if you do not want them to. Start involving your child in deciding what is appropriate to share with others. Those conversations can help respect feelings and decisions in the future and useful for preparing your child for living in a digital age and time period.

Be Present In The Moment

For example, when your child is performing in a talent show, of course, you want to capture every proud moment on camera and post your kid online. This way, you can share it with family, friends (and maybe the whole world.) We’ve all done it, it’s true. Remember that your kid sees you with your phone in front of your face rather than your eyes on them. And, you won’t be able to fully focus on what they’re doing when you’re on your phone. Next time, put your phone away, watch your child and be proud.

Do you have your own guidelines for posting about your children on social media? We’re interested to learn how your family handles this delicate situation. Reach out to Digital Task Force today to share your thoughts and ideas on this topic.

Jessica VanderWeir of Our Mama Village explains further as how to parent your kids, read here for more.