‘Sharenting’: Redditors criticize parents’ practice of oversharing about children

July 15, 2022 - 5:23 PM
Many children's lives are an open book on social media due to a trend now called "sharenting."

When is sharing about children on social media too much?

A group of Redditors discussed the pros and cons of a new trend called “sharenting,” a term coined from the words “parenting” and “sharing.”

Redditor u/Zealousideal_Room982 initiated the topic on Thursday, July 14.

The social media user brought up the interview of Isabelle Daza where she bared her reasons for not posting photos and videos of her children on social media.

“Do you remember Isabelle Daza’s interview where she was asked why she doesn’t post pictures of her son online? Her answer was based… on a professional opinion since she talked to a psychologist about it,” the post reads.

“According to the psychologist, ‘Oversharing’ about a child’s life online can lead to self-esteem issues in the future. They can even lose their self-identity,” the user added.

The user was referring to an article about Daza that Pep.ph published in 2019.

Here, the celebrity mom shared what she learned from a psychologist about the consequences of “oversharing” a child’s life online.

Daza cited a fictional scenario where she supposedly posted a video that showed her son Balthazar playfully hitting someone.

“He hits somebody, right, and I post that video of him. And then his classmates see him and [say], ‘Hey, look, you’re so naughty. You hit someone. I saw your photo.’ The psychologist explained that the child—he loses his own self-identity, so he starts to have self-doubt,” she was quoted in the report as saying.

Daza noted that the video may only be 10 seconds but it would still make a significant impact on the child in the future.

She and her husband, businessman Adrien Semblat, have two children, namely, Balthazar and Valentin.

Sad reality of children in the online world  

The user lamented that oversharing has become a widespread problem in the world, including the Philippines.

“This is the reality of most infants and children not just in the Philippines, but in the whole world. You are only a day old and there is a Facebook page already dedicated to you. The child haven’t even reached the age of consent yet,” the post reads.

The Redditor further wondered about the future impact of children’s early online exposure to social media.

“Kaya kung ikaw anak ka ng isang influencer at lahat ng pictures at information mo naka-post online ever since pagkapanganak mo, are you okay with it? Hindi ba parang nakakawala ng autonomy?” the user said.

“We may be on its early stages and not see the consequences yet, but the there are already studies conducted by different groups about the effects of sharenting in social media,” the user added.

In the discussion section, Redditors expressed the same concern as the original uploader.

Some users pointed out that oversharing puts children at risk to online child predators and other criminals.

“I mean wear whatever you want but protect your kids naman because you can’t control kung sino mang manyak ang nanunuod sa internet, but you can control what you’re posting online to protect your children,” one user said.

Others brought up the recent issue about a YouTube channel that offered tips on child grooming.

Concerned individuals immediately called on others to report the channel and other online properties to take them down.

READ: Hontiveros asks PNP, YouTube, Facebook to probe Pinoy’s child grooming content 

Some Redditors, meanwhile, also said that these children might grow up with mental health issues such as child star syndrome or the Peter Pan syndrome.

Child star syndrome is a complex mental health phenomenon that describes “the troubled adult lives of former child stars.”

Peter Pan syndrome, meanwhile, applies to individuals who “do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child.”

Other dangers of ‘sharenting’

The Redditor who initiated the topic also cited a Forbes article that discussed the dangers of sharenting online.

The article titled “Posting about Your Kids Online Could Damage Their Futures”, listed the following risks that parents put their children through when they post too much about their lives online:

  • Identity theft
  • Humiliation or bullying
  • Various privacy violations
  • Future discrimination
  • Other developmental issues “related to autonomy and consent”