‘Sharenting’ – “What is that?” might be the thought for many of us…it was the same thought for me too and soon I was researching more and more into the topic…here are a few of my findings and thoughts…
Social media personalities:
As discussed in another post, all of us have different social media personalities when we are online. While some of us feel comfortable sharing only our achievements online, many of us share a whole lot of other personal things and there are yet others who totally shun social media! All of us have different takes and views on sharing information online. While there is no perfect right or wrong here and each person is entitled to share what they want,just knowing the risks empowers us.
The “star” subject:
These days there are videos for every type of content….
“You need to bake a cake?” “Just go to YouTube” might be a popular retort…
“You want to paint?” “Just head to YouTube too”…
“You want to learn Java?” “Head to YouTube – there are plenty of live coding examples that make coding much more easier to learn…..”
While the subject in the above example is “cake”,”paint brush” and “code”, there are numerous videos where the subject is “children”. Children growing, talking about everyday activities with children, children,children and more children…most of the times the author talks about their own children in great detail. Not only videos, there are blog posts and other means of sharing which feature one’s own children.
Some times, some children’s digital identities are fixed from the time they are in their mother’s wombs!!
The more information we share about them – the more views, likes, shares and subscribers we get. We think we are helping other people out there in the same boat(and we might be helping somebody I am sure) -but I am not sure if that is always the case…in the corner of my mind there comes a faint thought if we are exploiting the children in any way because they cannot say anything…
This is “sharenting” which is talking excessively about them and recording every minute detail in full public view….
I admit I am also guilty of a few posts about my grown children as well! 🙂 But all my posts are reviewed by the star of the post – as all of them are old enough to make that decision. Some times, they are amused and sometimes they are not so amused but I hit “publish” only after the final assent by them!
I think most of us do not have that luxury as most of our child subjects are too young. We assume that we do not have to take their permission and yes, if they are too young – we cannot and we do not have to….
But apart from the privacy thought,the multi-million dollar sharenting question is what will the child think of all this sharing and “sharenting” when they grow up?
As you might be knowing, children grow up fast and it will be just be another 4-5 years before they assert their online identity.
Will they say “Stop, mom and dad, why did you have to record me so much?”or will they share your happiness in all the recording and sharing? Only time will tell…
So, where are you on the “sharenting” spectrum? Do you share a little about your kids or do you share a lot about them? What do you think they will think of this in the future?
What is my final take on “sharenting”? Take “sharenting” with care and balance – let us not embarass our future social media citizens!! 🙂
All thanks to Cybermum_India and Cybermum_AU for this thought that transformed into a complete blog post! 🙂
There must not be a soul in this planet who has not watched YouTube videos in this age! From small babies to older adults we all watch them. There are cooking videos, educational videos, entertainment videos, cartoons and name a topic and you can find a video on the same. The business has grown so much that there are many who have made a fine career by making YouTube videos and are known as ‘YouTubers'(not an easy one though, atleast initially)
With so much riding on YouTube are there any security problems? Of course, for any social media that is used billions of people there is bound to be a few(or more!)security hiccups here and there. The problem is identifying it first and then closing it.
If you have watched a lot of videos that have children in them, you might have noticed that many of them(though not all) have their comments section disabled currently. Why did this happen? In February this year, video creator, Matt Watson found a “pedophilia wormhole ring” which was being facilitated by the comments in the YouTube videos. I know, I feel disgusted too… 🙁 How did this happen? Pedophiles were meeting through the comments section on YouTube videos which feature children. They exchange their contact information, pass lewd comments and do other disgusting things! For more information visit this link.
What is being done after this discovery?
It is safe to say, that YouTube has disabled the comments section of many videos featuring children. It has also removed thousands of “inappropriate” comments and terminated hundreds of viewer accounts. Though many YouTuber creators might be offended that this might be eating into their advertising and marketing, I think this is a good move to keep children safe online.
What else can be done by us?
The only thing that we can all do is to ensure that children get a YouTube account only when they are advised to do so – at age 13! After that, it is important for the parents and children to learn and know the risks associated with “broadcasting oneself” and then take the plunge.
I know many parents and children cannot wait to get an email account or YouTube account even at 8 or 9 years of age, but considering that the Internet is not such a safe place after all, isn’t it wise to just a few more years? After YouTube isn’t going anywhere and neither is the Internet. Maybe we will have something more exciting than YouTube too in the few years that they wait too… 🙂
Here’s to keeping children safe online!
Whether you are from the North, South, East or Western regions of India – there is a similar pattern that parents follow for naming their children – giving them God’s names (of course, not all of them do it – but most of them do it)
Many of them might not have the name directly, but if you look and introspect closely, the name will be linked to a God.