Social Media, today, has become almost indispensable part of our lives. We are spending quite a lot of our time, energy and thought process on various forms of social media. There is nothing wrong in changing with time and adopting the new technologies. But anything that goes out of a certain limit becomes a nuisance.
In this post I will be discussing about how parents may harm their children’s reputations by sharing too much about them on social media.
Parents can benefit from the emotional support and practical advice they get by discussing their experiences with other parents in online forums. Social media can be a wonderful tool. But parents often post private information without realizing that it leaves an indelible, sometimes public record. The information that parents place in the digital universe can reach far into children’s past and far into their future.
For example, a comment about a parent’s struggle with potty training a child could pop up in an Internet search when the child encounters cyberbullying in middle school or applies for a job. Photographs can be copied and shared repeatedly, reaching a much wider audience than parents intended. One study in Australia found that half of all photographs on pedophilia websites had been pirated from social media. They were not partial nude pictures, they were just pictures of people doing normal things. Kidnappers or identity thieves can also make use of information posted about children, like the time and place a photograph was taken.
Following precautions have been recommended for the parents:
- Know your social media sites’ privacy policies.
- Set up notifications to alert you when your child’s name is online and is available through a search on Google.
- Parents who choose to share about their children’s behavioral struggles should consider opting to share anonymously.
- Use caution before sharing your child’s location.
- Consider giving older children “veto power” over online disclosures.
- Consider the risks before posting pictures of children in any state of undress.
- Consider the effect sharing can have on your child’s future well-being.
Pediatricians typically counsel adolescents to be careful about what they post, because it leaves a digital footprint. But they don’t counsel parents. Most parents are probably more clueless than the patients. Pediatricians could offer anticipatory guidance to parents about the way they use social media, much like the guidance they offer about car seats or sudden infant death syndrome.
Next time, be careful what you post or share on any form of Social Media.