The one thing that we moms do really well is share everythiiiing about our children – what they did, what they like, what they ate, what they said… this sharing has trickled into our social media pages and is known as ‘sharenting‘ (the sharing of children’s photographs online).
It’s very cute and meant well but the consequences are becoming alarming. Reports of children being kidnapped or being found on fake social media pages (identity theft) are on the rise and it’s all due to our innocent, but irresponsible social media sharing.
The reality is that whenever you share pictures, you don’t know what reach they will have on the internet. People take screenshots and distribute to their personal contacts to “share how cute your baby looks” OR your social media accounts may not be limited to private viewing, so when your friends hit the “like” button, the photo may be shared to strangers that you may not know.
Things you can do to share safely:
Don’t tag your location: switch off your location settings and don’t tag your home address (e.g. name of estate), child’s school (I’m guilty of having done this before but realised it quickly and deleted the post) and don’t “check in” on arrival at hospitals, nursery schools and play dates.
Change your privacy settings: as far as possible, privatise your social media accounts to have control over who can view your pictures / updates. Private accounts require someone to send you some form of request to follow you. Only grant access to people you know personally.
Don’t get too personal: share information as selectively as possible and limit sharing other personal information. For example, posting that your children have an aupair that collects them every afternoon or that you’re going on holiday “without the kids”. This makes these very vulnerable to the perverts out there.
This information may be scary to think about or hard to imagine, but the lesson here is that we need to be more conscious and aware of the consequences of oversharing on social media – not everyone has good intentions. We love celebrating our kids but the reality is that there are some sick people out there! Let’s pay more attention Mama’s.
I would love to hear what you think about sharing your children’s pictures online. Please do share.
Modern Zulu Mom