Most parents usually post stories and pictures of their children on social media for various reasons. While social media keeps us connected, it can affect how we raise our children. It is normal to be proud of your family and want to show off to the world. However, it might not be in the best interests of your child.
There is a thin line between sharing and oversharing. It can be hard to know when it goes from being cute to potentially dangerous. If you are still unsure, you can have a peak at this post and see if you will still hit the “publish” button.
- It invades the child’s privacy
When children are young, they do not mind if their parents or family friends share their pictures and videos online. As they grow older, they start figuring out who they are and worry about the image they present to the world. They become more aware of their privacy. This can make them become embarrassed because of the content that was posted. Most of the content posted is usually either funny photos or videos showing childhood developmental challenges.
Children might feel like they do not have a right to privacy once they see sensitive pictures of themselves online. They also feel pressurized to believe in what their parents press on them. For instance, if the parent post pictures of their children wearing political attire, they will have a harder time showing that was not their opinion when they get older. You need to consider the feelings of the child and protect their privacy especially when they are younger and do not have an opinion.
- It increases the risk of your child being cyber bullied
When posting your children, you might find the content cute. However, it could expose the child to cyber bullying. Cyber bullies can make fun of your child’s looks and as they get older, the effects can be severe. The posts can spread across several networks. But, it is a cute photo. Who would want to use it to bully someone? That is what most parents think. However, once you look at the comments on kid videos posted online, you will see that they can be trolled by strangers. For example, there are many accounts that maintain anonymity by using generic names rather than using their personal names. If there’s any offending comment from such account, you will not have any chance to know who the person behind that account is.
- It could affect your child’s future
The posts you put online can affect your child’s future in different ways. You need to consider the future implication of the post you are about to share. If your child decides to run for public office or becomes a media personality, will your posts harm their reputation? With social media background checks being done during the recruitment process, what will future employers think when they see sensitive information online? You need to think about all these as the ripple effect spreads even to adulthood.
- Your child could be digitally kidnapped
Digital kidnapping happens when someone steals photos from your timeline and posts them on their pages as theirs. The cute pictures you post can be stolen by people who repost them on their timeline claiming they are their children. Videos can be used for baby role-playing. People can steal the videos and post them with captions to make others believe they belong to them. These role playing videos can be posted on adoption agencies.
The content can be used maliciously and it might be too late when you find out. You need to be careful as you can easily lose control over your child’s identity when you post their information online.
- Your child might be in danger
The photos and pictures you post of your children can land in the hands of dangerous people. You can find the content on sites that promote child pornography sites. Pictures can give people clues as to where you live. This can put your child in physical danger as they can be used to locate them. It can be dangerous especially for those trying to escape from domestic violence environments and those engaged in custody battles.
How do you protect your child?
It is easier not posting your children online until they are old enough to decide what is good or bad. You can tell friends and family not to post pictures or videos of your children. If you decide to post, ask your child the content they are comfortable sharing online. Also, watermark your photos so they will be harder to steal. At the end of the day, their safety is not worth the likes you get on social media.