Our Digital Footprint - April 2017

Our Digital Footprint

April 2017

This Month: How is YOUR online behavior impacting your child’s future digital footprint? Do you post pictures of your child or share “funny” stories about your child to social media sites? Should you?

There are many guidelines out there on how parents can monitor and guide their child’s social media use, but what about monitoring and guiding the parents? Maybe parents need some rules for how they use social media, especially when posting or sharing about their children.

How are you shaping your child’s future identity? What is the risk that an image of or information about your child will end up in the wrong hands? Did you ask your child for permission before you posted that silly picture to Facebook or shared your latest parenting frustration with your circle of Facebook friends? Maybe you don’t think you need to ask permission. But “oversharing” or “sharenting” could possibly have a negative impact on your child’s reputation or well-being at some future date.   

Yes, “sharenting,” our digital word of the day: combination of two words: parenting and sharing. When parents share too much of their children's information, pictures and private moments online, mostly on Facebook (source: Urban Dictionary). Social media has given us a wonderful platform to easily share milestones and good news as well as, for example, to garner support for important causes involving a loved one who is battling cancer or just suffered a life-changing event. But when it comes to sharing about your child, ask yourself “does my child have the right to his or her own privacy?” If you answered yes or maybe or even no, consider the following guidelines from Jacqueline Howard (CNN) for posting about your kid online:

7 best practice guidelines for "sharenting"

(Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/21/health/posting-about-kids-on-social-media/)

If parents choose to post photos or blog about their children online, researchers offer these dos and don'ts:

  1. Do familiarize yourself with the privacy policies of the sites with which you share.

  2. Do set up a notification to alert whenever your child's name appears in a Google search result. (or from NPR article, talkwalker.com)

  3. Do share anonymously, and consider not sharing publicly, if you choose to post about your child's behavior struggles.

  4. Don't, or use caution, when sharing your child's actual location.

  5. Do give your child veto power over online disclosures, including images, quotes, accomplishments and challenges.

  6. Don't post pictures that show your child in any state of undress.

  7. Do consider the effect sharing can have on your child's current and future sense of self and well-being.

To read, listen, and think more on this topic, here are a few links:


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