Sharenting: Parents Who Share Too Much Online About Their Children

#Childhood

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

You know them, you may even be one of them: sharents. These are parents who obsessively share online everything about their child. And while this may be cute to some, are these parents "doing their children harm by crossing the boundaries between public and private life?" Below a passage which was quite revealing:

One can't help wondering how the son of the American blogger Nerdy Apple will feel when he's older and still haunted by his mother standing up for his decision to go to a party as Daphne from Scooby-Doo with a post titled "My son is gay". Or how much time the son of Canadian blogger Buzz Bishop will spend on the psychiatrist's couch in the wake of his dad telling the world that his older brother is his favourite child. The psychologist Aric Sigman agrees that we should be concerned: "Part of the way a child forms their identity involves having private information about themselves that remains private. That is being eroded by social media. I think the idea of not differentiating between public and private is a very dangerous one."

The medium too is something of a problem. In person, it may be possible to explain to a grown-up child that their birth was a shock but was not something you regretted — reading a public post written at the time and detailing strong emotions is a rather different proposition. In 2009, Shellie Ross used Twitter to report the death of her young son just hours after the event, prompting as much criticism as sympathy online. "The written word doesn't always lend itself to emotional nuance," says Sigman. "A particularly personal episode may not come across in the way it was intended."

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