In today’s digital age, it’s become almost second nature for parents to share every precious moment of their child’s life on social media. This phenomenon, aptly termed ‘sharenting,’ combines parenting and sharing, where proud parents showcase their children’s achievements, milestones, and daily adventures online. While it may seem harmless, ‘sharenting’ raises important questions about balancing parental pride and a child’s right to privacy. Understanding the psychology behind ‘sharenting’ can explain why parents engage in this behavior and the potential implications for their children.
Parental Pride And Social Validation
For many parents, ‘sharenting’ manifests their profound love and pride for their children. Sharing these moments online allows parents to celebrate their children’s accomplishments and seek validation from their social circles. Positive feedback in the form of likes, comments, and shares can provide a sense of accomplishment, reinforcing the notion that they are doing a good job as parents.
The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
In an era of digital connectedness, parents may feel compelled to document and share their children’s experiences to feel included and stay connected with their peers. The fear of missing out (FOMO) on sharing important moments may drive parents to constantly update their online profiles with their child’s achievements, ensuring they remain part of the digital parenting community.
Oversharing And Its Consequences
While ‘sharenting’ may be driven by genuine affection, it can inadvertently expose children to potential risks. Oversharing sensitive information, such as a child’s location, school, or routine, may make them vulnerable to online predators or identity theft. Additionally, constant exposure to social media may pressure children to perform for the camera, potentially impacting their sense of self-worth and privacy.
Child psychologists and privacy advocates stress the importance of balancing sharing and safeguarding a child’s privacy. They recommend adopting a mindful approach to ‘sharenting,’ considering the potential long-term consequences of posting personal information about children online. Encouraging open communication with children about what is shared online and seeking their consent can help foster a sense of agency and respect for their privacy.