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Survey Shows Many Kids Suffer From 'Sharenting' On Social Media

18 March 2015, 8:37 am EDT By Sumit Passary Tech Times
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Latest survey shows that many children suffer from sharenting on social media. Sharenting is a relatively new term that is used to describe over-use of social media by parents to discuss and share contents such as stories and images related to their children.

Social media has become very popular place to discuss about various topics. People tend to give advice, share their experiences and photos on the Internet. Many parents are also using social media for discussing parenthood.

However, Sarah Clark, an associate director at the University of Michigan (U-M) C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health suggests that sharenting may affect kids later on in their lives.

Clark reveals that many children have a digital identity created by their parents much before they start using social media. Sharing the challenges faced and joys experienced in parenthood is being documented by many parents online and often shared with others. While the Internet offers many advantages for parents to understand parenthood better, the same is also used for oversharing of information. Sharenting can also put the privacy of children at risks, which many parents do not realize.

"There's potential for the line between sharing and oversharing to get blurred. Parents may share information that their child finds embarrassing or too personal when they're older but once it's out there, it's hard to undo. The child won't have much control over where it ends up or who sees it," says Clark.

The survey found that more than 50 percent mothers and about 33 percent fathers discussed the health of their child and parenting on social media. The poll also found that 75 percent of the survey participants highlighted at "oversharenting" by other parents, which included sharing location of the child, embarrassing stories related to a child and posting inappropriate stories.

The survey also found that about 50 percent of parents were also concerned that when their children grow up they will be embarrassed to see what has been shared about them.

Clark highlighted that about the concept of "digital kidnapping" where parents found that other people have stolen the pictures of their kids and shared them as their own children.

The survey also suggests that children can be target of bullying over the content that has been shared about them online.

Clark points out that parents should understand the importance of what they share about their children so that the content does not come back and haunt their children in the future.

Photo: James Emery | Flickr

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