The Rise of Sharenting: Are Parents Sharing Too Much on Social Media?

3.2 billion people use social media, according to the 2019 Emarsys study. That’s about 42% of the population.

Social media is indeed unstoppable, and with new social media platforms coming up, more people will be sharing their lives over the internet.

Well, what can we expect from an online platform that connects people from all walks of life?

But along with the fun and positive things we get from social networking channels, there are questionable trends that are emerging in the social media space– and no, we’re not talking about the infamous social ice cream licking challenge.

We’re talking about sharenting.

What is Sharenting?

Sharenting (or oversharenting) is the overuse of social media by parents to share content based on their children, such as baby pictures or details of their children’s activities. It’s a combination of two words: parenting and sharing.

5 Signs of Sharenting on Social Media

While sharenting seems harmless, there are consequences from it too. With that, parents should be wary of the following signs:

#1: Posting Photos of the Kid on a Daily Basis

This is the most common sign of being a “sharent”. Parents that do this have tons of photos on their social media feeds, almost about every day. What photos do sharents usually post? You’ll surely expect selfies with their kids, fun moments with their kids, or as simple as their kid’s portrait.

#2: Creating a Social Media Account for their Kid

Imagine this scenario: You stumbled upon an account that uses a toddler as a profile picture? You thought, maybe it’s just a parent using his/her baby’s photo, yet you realize upon checking that it’s the account of the kid. A baby has a social media account–like how?

This is what extreme sharents do. They think posting baby photos on their profile is not enough that they created a social media account for their child, even pretending that they’re the kid, putting captions as if the kid is using the platform.

#3: Sharing Every Moment, Even the Embarrassing Ones

When a parent is busy sharenting, every moment counts. Baby is crying over a lost toy? Yup, share that on the internet. The child is in an unflattering position while sick? That’s gonna be posted.

#4: Joining “Cutest Baby” Social Media Contests

For some reason, this has become a thing. There are parent-centered social networking groups that are inviting parents to post their child’s cutest photos and then pooled online to see which photos will garner the most.

During the early days of this trend, it’s pretty harmless. But today, some parents are taking this seriously: paying minimal fees to join said contests and even asking people on messenger to give a ‘like’ on her child’s selfie.

#5: Phone is Always on Default Camera Mode

Aside from the online signs, you can also check if a parent is a sharent or not by the way they use their phone. Are their phones in the bag or is it always on their hand? During an event, do they let their child play around with other kids or are they making them do photo poses?

Psychology Behind Sharenting: Why Parents Share So Much

baby smiling for the camera

On some cases, sharenting is a form of digital narcissism, but in most cases, here are the reasons why parents share so much on social media:

Parental Pride Due to Increased Social Demands

Because of the digital age, parents, particularly with moms, are now pressured to become better parents. That’s why any achievement that their children get, they’ll post it as soon as possible. They beam with pride as a child’s success also links to their success as a parent.

Means of Maintaining Close Relationships

Parents tend to post photos for their relatives, especially if they have a tight-knit connection with their extended family. It’s also a good conversation starter for friends when they get updated with your family life.

Emotional Support During Stressful Times

Posting their child’s struggles isn’t necessarily to humiliate them. It’s because they want someone to relate to. Being a parent is a stressful 24/7 task, so having someone who’ll be able to support them, even with a simple like or comment, can lessen a parent’s stress.

Maintaining Family Togetherness

Posting a lot of family photos doesn’t necessarily mean that their family life is crumbling– they simply want to establish that sense of togetherness. They want to feel that their family’s stability. For them, posting “happy” family photos help.

Consequences of Sharenting

Everything is good in moderation, so when someone becomes a sharent, it could bring in some trouble for them and for their kids such as:

  • The child could be a victim of Identity Theft.
  • Predators could get their hands on the photos.
  • Conflicts may happen as the kid grows up.
  • Online friends may get annoyed with the photos and unfollow the ‘sharents’.

How to Healthily Share Memories of Kids and Avoid Oversharenting

For parents to avoid the dangers of sharenting, here are the things they can do to share memories of their children without overdoing it.

#1: Think of The Kids

Parents should take a step back and think of their children. They should ask themselves if they are their kids, would they want their photos of crying to be on the internet forever? They should also be aware of their main responsibility as a parent. Their main job is not about to brag their child all the time, but to protect them from any possible harm, whether in real-life or online.

#2: Limit the Social Media Posts

Parents are not obliged to share their children’s life on social media. It wouldn’t hurt to limit their posting

#3: Ask the Kids for Consent

If the kids are at a reasonable age, parents should ask them before posting anything. This will avoid kids getting teased and bullied in school, and this will also bring in a good dynamic between the parents and the child, as compared to parents recklessly posting their child’s photos.

#4: Don’t Make a Social Account for the Child

Let the child decide in the future if he/she wants a social media account.

#5: Create a Group Chat for Relatives

If relatives are requesting for updates, parents can make a group chat on messenger for their relatives instead. They can share photos in there as well as some videos. At least on a group chat, parents can maintain the privacy of their children. But by doing this, they should request the relatives to not share the photos outside the chat.

Create a Group Chat to Share your Kid’s Fun Adventures with EyesUP

Are you a parent or a sharent that’s being enlightened right now?

If you want a peaceful social media experience for you and your family, try EyesUP now. It’s a social media app that’s bringing in the basics, reinventing the way we connect online.

You can make a group chat up to 50 people on which you can send photos, videos, voice messages and so much more.

Aside from the group chat, you can also do this:

  • Customize your profile. You can use 6 photos as your profile picture.
  • Have high-quality voice and video calling.
  • Discover other content creators through the social networking app’s board.
  • Broaden your social network through a group chat.
  • Share videos and tag your friends and followers.
  • You can message, call, send photos and videos through messenger.
  • Request a feature to the EyesUP Team.

Curious about this latest social media app? Download it here:

More Reads:

References:
Wikipedia | Urban Dictionary | The Conversation | Psychology Today

10 Preparations You Should Make Before Using a Secure Messaging App

Secure messaging apps may come as daunting, counting the jargon, terms like encryption yet in the long run, you’ll get the hang of it. It takes process and a lot of time to understand. Before we go to these 10 preparations, you yourself comes first. You have to learn and take baby steps to understand because of their complex process but in the long, you’ll get the hang of it and it will be worth it.

Here’s a rundown of 10 preparations you should make before using a secure messaging app:

1. Choosing The Right Phone

Stuff like biometrics and passcode come as first line of defense on your phone. In an occasion your phone gets stolen, chances are the thief would’ve likely get a hand of your data. By putting a secure passcode and finger biometric scan guards your personal data.

Some handsets like Google Pixel 3 has a Titan M chip that protects your data from Google Play transactions and verifies lock screen on your password.

Blackberry comes to second, preferably a phone for working people with its secure feature. Its recent phones like DTEK2 has an integrity protection that alerts users of malicious apps that perform suspicious behavior.

2. Know the its secure features

Not that you’ve picked the phone that works for you, getting across its basic secure features and familiarizing it would protect your communication and other app usage in no time. It’s important to practice these measures as I have said before, these built in secure features come as first line of defense.

3. Built-in Encryption

If your phone happens to have one then congratulations! A built in encryption minimizes human errors. In android phones, encrypting takes one hour in an average. Once your phone finishes the process and is encrypted, all your data are locked and integrated in a pin/passcode that makes only accessible by the user.

4. Popularity and reviews

Now moving to secure messaging apps, there are a lot of promising messaging apps out there but you have to check the reviews to know if they’re efficient or not. Reviews help, give an initial impression of the app’s efficiency otherwise it won’t succeed.

5. Apps that Feature End-To-End Encryption

To put end-to-end encryption in layman’s terms, your text messages, call logs and chat history stays with you and your recipient so that means it’s safe from third-party hosts and hackers from ever getting your personal, precious data.

6. Secret Chats

If you’re on a workplace that deals with classified, confidential documents then this is a feature that ought to check out. Secret chats guard and protect messages from ever getting forwarded and moved that makes it stay within your device. Apps like Telegram and Viber provide these features.

7. Delete Everywhere Feature

Telegram’s newest feature is a godsend to all its users who feel like their conversations doesn’t spark joy, or simply a clutter. This konmari-esque delete option removes all chat history, call logs permanently that ends all trace possible.

8. Self-Destruct Feature

Mentioning Telegram and Viber once more, this feature allows users to send a scheduled chat that the recipient may optimize at a certain time, one the time limit passes by, the chat log removes permanently from both ends, and you can say that what happens, stays there.

9. Anti-Virus Apps

To me, having an anti-virus app on your phone enhance secure messaging experience, it compliments well with encrypted feature since pop op tabs in your web browser isn’t exactly safe, and the moment the pop out appears shows chances are that third-party hosts have likely got information on your phone.

Anti-virus apps provide protection that filter potential threats and remove any other prying eyes.

Having anti-virus app is like protecting your own PC since smartphones almost functions like one especially checking emails, some take it far.

Having an anti-virus app ensures a protective web browsing and internet usage and adds layers of protection

10. Make a checklist

At first it maybe tedious but having a checklist of security protocols allow one to practice secure messaging experience. I would suggest noting down procedures from starting to encrypt your phone, create passwords and pass codes, read sites that has secure messaging apps that are proven, tried and tested.