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

kid smiling for 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:

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


Julcee Arendaying