This feature originally featured in issue 7 of Digital Parenting magazine.
What do you know about ‘sharenting’? What are the risks? And are you doing it too much? Take our quiz to find out.
1. What is sharenting?
a. The habitual use of social media to share news and images of your children
b. Constantly shushing your child in public
c. Shaming your child by behaving in an embarrassing way
2. How many photos of the average child do you think will be posted online by their fifth birthday?
b. No idea…maybe 300?
c. Hopefully thousands of embarrassing ones!
3. How confident are you about using privacy settings?
a. Very – I use them all the time
b. I do know how to use them, but I don’t bother
c. Erm, what are privacy settings?
4. Do you ask for your child’s permission before you post a picture of them?
a. Yes, in the interest of protecting their privacy
b. I have never thought about it
c. No, they don’t mind – they love counting the ‘likes’ they get
5. Do you expect other parents to ask your permission before they post images of your child?
a. Of course
b. No, I don’t mind
c. I never ask other parents, so I’m not bothered
6. How does your child feel about you sharing pictures of them?
a. We talk before we post so we can judge how they feel
b. I’ve never talked to them about it. Should I?
c. They’re embarrassed, but hey - that’s my job as a parent
7. If they asked you to take a picture down would you do it?
b. I would, but I don’t know how
c. No, they need to develop a thick skin
8. What are the risks of sharenting?
a. Revealing too much of your child’s private life, putting them at risk of bullying or identity theft
b. Upsetting your children
c. Annoying your followers
9. Your 13-year-old has just started a Facebook account. Do you…
a. Talk to them about responsible sharing and privacy settings
b. Let them get on with it, it’s none of your business
c. Make friends with them so you can spy on what they’re doing
10. Your child falls off their bike while learning to ride without stabilisers. You...
a. Run to their aid
b. Didn’t see the accident because you were too busy looking at your phone
c. Reach for your smartphone and film it for posting
How did you do?
It’s worth having a look at your habits and sharpening your sharenting knowledge. We don’t say this to be judgemental; we want to raise awareness that you could face issues later down the line with the amount you’re sharing right now.
You have some knowledge of how much and what you should and should not share, but there is still a bit of room for improvement.
Well done! You are a responsible sharent. Your kids will be proud (and grateful in a few years...)
SHARENTING: THE FACTS
71% of parents upload five or more images of their child each week on social media
9% of parents shared an image of their child in the womb
21% of parents have set up a social media account for their child
13% say they share photos of their children to gain social media followers
32% of parents have never asked their child if it’s OK to share a photo of them
Source: Survey for Channel 4 News/Parent Zone, May 2017 with 1002 UK parents around the UK
Do you sharent as well as you parent?
The practice of sharing those parenting moments that would once have stayed between you and your family are now broadcast to a potentially global audience. It’s illegal in France but flourishing in the UK. But do you know who you’re sharing those family pictures with? When you decide to share a picture with your loved ones, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to include their loved ones and friends. Check your privacy settings are set to ‘friends only’ if you don’t want the world to see them; though remember, any images can be screen shot and passed on without your knowledge. Does your child care? It’s easy once they’re old enough to ask, but when children are little, it’s down to you to decide what images you share. How do you think they’ll feel when they’re old enough to have an opinion? In the end, only you can make that judgement call. Vlog on? If you decide to join the thousands of parents who are vlogging, blogging and generally throwing open the doors to their family life, check you’re keeping them safe. Are they traceable because you’ve left location-tagging turned on? Are they in school uniform, letting the world know where your children are five days a week? We tell our children to think before they share. The same advice applies to parents.
Vicki Shotbolt, CEO Parent Zone
This article was originally written in partnership with Parent Zone.