Are you a “Sharenter”?

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Are you posting pictures of your kids’ milestones, your family trips and sharing those cute kid quotes and anecdotes on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or other social media platforms? If you are, you are creating digital media profiles for your kids. And guess what? You may be guilty of ‘sharenting’…

Sharenting (or oversharenting) is a term used to describe the overuse of social media by parents to share content based on their children.1

Parents are also using social media outlets to receive support and advice for common child rearing dilemmas. Some of the more common issues that are raised are:

  • Getting kids to sleep
  • Eating tips
  • Discipline
  • Behavior problems

Will she be happy that this picture is online when she grows up?

How about some facts?

  1. Many kids already have a “digital identity” before they even start using social media – thanks to their parents’ postings.
  2. Over 50 percent of mothers and some 33 percent of fathers discussed the health of their child and parenting on social media.
  3. About 50 percent of parents were also concerned that when their children grow up they will be embarrassed to see what has been shared about them.
  4. 75 percent of the survey participants pointed to “oversharenting” by other parents, which included sharing location of the child, embarrassing stories related to a child and posting inappropriate stories.2
  5. 70 percent of parents said they used social media to get advice from other parents. 62 % said it helped them worry less.3

Social media outlets are indeed a great place to receive support and advice from other parents who are undergoing or have undergone similar trials. Enough has been said about the “wisdom of the crowds”.

But most parents don’t realize that sharenting can endanger their kids’ privacy and can be excessive and harmful. Here are some examples:

  1. Sharing of unauthorized photos: someone, who you may or may not even know, shares photos of your kids without receiving permission. This may even include “digital kidnapping” where other people steal pictures of your kids and share them as their own children.
  2. Embarrassing pictures/videos: sharing pictures or videos of your kids that could embarrass them when they are older
  3. Personal information: posting personal information about your kids on the web, that will never go away – may be used for cyberbullying or cruel jokes

So what’s a parent to do?

How can we reconcile between the need to protect our children and our need to seek advice and/or show off our darling offspring?
Remember that you are responsible for your child’s privacy, medical information and digital profile. Make sure you understand the importance of what you are sharing about your children so that it doesn’t come back later to haunt them.
In case you are wondering, here are a few suggestions about things you should avoid posting, to avoid potential harassment and bullying from your kids in the future:

In conclusion – the best advice we can give is: use common sense!

digital identity, digital profiles, online child safety, social media

The Pros and Cons of Facebook

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Launched in February 2004, Facebook has recently announced that it has 1 billion active users worldwide1 (about 3 times the population of the United States!)
Although buried and eulogized many times over, Facebook’s popularity is still very much on the rise. Love it, hate it, there is absolutely no getting away from it. And it doesn’t look as if Facebook is going away in the near future.

So is it a good thing? How does it affect your kids? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? Here’s a look at some of the many ways in which this ever popular social networking site affects your kids’ lives in some good, and some not-so-good ways.


So does the good outweigh the bad? It’s hard to tell. Either way you probably won’t be able to completely block your kids from using it. So it’s important to remember that if your kids are on Facebook, they should be aware of the dangers, and they should take steps to protect themselves, such as adjusting the privacy settings. It’s your job as a parent to explain the dangers and help them protect themselves, but also to be there for them, to listen and help, if they experience something that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared.

PureSight provides protection from cyberbullying and suspicious contacts on Facebook and you don’t even have to be “friends” with your child.

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advantages, disadvantages, Facebook, online child safety, social media

Is my child ready for Facebook?

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“Mom, don’t you know that ALL my friends have Facebook accounts!! Can I have one?”

“Dad, how will I know what’s going on with my friends if I’m not on Facebook?!?”

Let’s face it – social media has become a major part of the way we all communicate, children included. It offers a way to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. And with the increasing availability and use of smart phones, tablets, computers and the Internet along with the popularity of social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Pinterest, Twitter and more—we can access almost anyone, anywhere.

We all know that social media sites are great for building existing relationships and creating new ones – that’s on the positive side. But along with the benefits come the concerns – your children could be unknowingly putting themselves in harm’s way by posting personal information or compromising images, by agreeing to interact with potentially harmful contacts and worst of all, they could potentially be exposing themselves to cyberbullying – online bullying, which according to recent studies, most often happens between friends!

So, probably a lot sooner than you expected , you are facing yet another parenting dilemma – should you allow your child to have a Facebook or (any other social media) account?

Is your child under the age of 13?

You should be aware that if your child is under the age of 13, if they create a Facebook account, it is in direct violation of the Facebook Terms and Conditions, which clearly state “you will not use Facebook if you are under the age of 13.” The only way to actually create a Facebook account is to lie about your child’s age, if you do so, you are teaching them a lesson – lying is OK.

So how will I know if it’s time?

These basic points will help you decide if your children are ready for social networking, and if you are ready for them to be there.

  1. Computer literacy: Most kids are more knowledgeable about computers than their parents, but for those who aren’t – make sure they know their way around a computer and the internet before opening an account. Ask yourself – do you know enough to be able to guide them?
  2. Social Networking proficiency: Are you yourself familiar enough with social networking sites to be able to teach your kids how to safely use them?
  3. Time and energy: Are you ready to be actively involved? You need to be there, hovering over their shoulders, so to speak, guiding, explaining, monitoring. That’s quite a commitment. Are you ready to invest the time and energy needed? (And get used to seeing POS written in their chat – it means Parent Over Shoulder).
  4. Danger awareness: Are you ready to help your kids understand the potential risks and dangers, such as cyberbullying and sexting, so they are well informed and prepared?
  5. Open communication: Do you have a good relationship with your kids? Are you able to maintain open, honest, and frequent communication with your children? This is critical as your children should feel comfortable enough to talk to you about any problem or discomfort they experience.
  6. Right vs. wrong: Are your kids emotionally mature and responsible enough? Can they understand the difference between appropriate and destructive on line behavior? Are they capable of practicing Facebook and internet etiquette?

You’ve decided the time has come, your kids are ready…

Once you decide your kids are ready to handle the world of social media, it is important to set up guidelines or rules for use. Will there be set times for Facebook use? Will you have to approve new friends? What types of things are appropriate to include on a status update? Are children allowed to upload photos? Should parents approve first? Will parents have the password to the Facebook account? At what point will Facebook use be suspended?

And for some basic Facebook safety rules check out the following infographic:

PureSight helps you keep your kids safe!

With PureSight you can easily limit your kids’ online time, and create separate age-appropriate profiles for each one of your children.

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Facebook, online child safety, social media
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