The Risk of Sharing
A firestorm of debate broke out recently over an Instagram photo of a 3-year-old eating ice cream while taking a bath. The blogger was heavily criticized for publicly sharing a nude photo of her child to her 25,000 followers.
This month, Time Magazine's parenting writer, Carolyn Jones, dove into the issue of parents "oversharing" online and invading their children’s online privacy. Ken Chaplin, Senior Vice President of Experian's SafetyWeb was interviewed for the piece.
Chaplin said "There’s a longevity to this information and while teens are most often responsible for bullying their own cyber-reps, unwise parents can play a role too."
Are you guilty of oversharing?
According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of online adults use social networking sites. Think about how often you see photos and posts about your friends and their children. You too might often post about your child's accomplishments, or bad habits.
Can these posts really hurt?
Experts say oversharing can damage a child's pride and reputation and wreak havoc on a teen's social life as a child's digital legacy can go well beyond that initial post. Many college admissions officers have also admitted to regularly researching potential candidates online.
And oversharing can be even more serious than that. The Federal Trade Commission reports that identity theft has topped the list of national consumer complaints for the 13th year in a row.
Back to the blogger with her child's nude photo, she ended up pulling the picture because of the controversy. The Today Show conducted a poll on the issue. 86% of respondents felt it was not okay to share naked photos of children online. 14% said it's fine and all in good fun.
Bottom line, before you post anything about your child in a public place, take a moment to think about who might see it and the possible ramifications. Then decide if privacy is more important.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share in the comments section below.
Tagged as: cyber parents, information sharing, Online Reputation, Privacy Online, social networking for parents