Is “over-sharenting” a problem?

Is “over-sharenting” a problem?

“Johnny opened his eyes today.” “Sally does not like cookies today.” “What is the best way to get Suzie to take a nap?”

Posts like these on social media have become commonplace, leading to the genius of the word “sharenting.”

Sharenting is a compound word that derives from “sharing” and “parenting,” and is primarily used to describe parents who share too much information about their children on social media.

Sharenting on Social Media

A University of Michigan study found that more than 50 percent of moms and 33 percent of dads discuss parenting on social media, and 75 percent of parents know someone who “oversharents.”

For many parents, social media is not only a way to keep family and friends apprised of what’s new with their child, but also a way to solicit advice and support.

Researchers found that nearly 70 percent of parents use social media to get advice from other more experienced parents, and 62 percent said it helped them worry less.

The concern is that in some cases, parents may be taking it too far, and by the time kids are able to use computers, they may have an online persona that has been molded by mom and dad.

“When posting anything about your child on social media, parents have to keep in mind that while something may seem cute or funny now, it could be potentially embarrassing for the child later in life,” says Dr. Christopher Jamerson, pediatrician with Advocate Children’s Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. “Photos, videos and comments on social media could potentially be saved or shared by others without your knowledge or consent.”

Dr. Jamerson recommends parents err on the side of caution when sharing content about their children, and ask themselves, “As an adolescent or young adult, would I have been embarrassed if my friends or employers saw this?”

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Comments

3 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this article. Sometimes, I cringe for children when I read some of their parents’ posts detailing everything the child says or does. TMI! In regards to asking for advice, while I can understand the need for advice, wouldn’t it be better to call a few trusted friends or family members than posting on the internet? Some people have 400 “friends”; would you necessarily trust the advice of a “friend” that you went to high school with 20 years ago, but haven’t seen since?

    • Lynn Hutley

      That is where our society has taken us – many have turned in their close-knit group of moms in the neighborhood for online feedback because it can be more immediate and requires less time and effort.

      • How do you think I initially met my close-knit group of moms in the neighborhood?

        Facebook.

        Some of the closest friendships I’ve ever had started online. When you limit yourself to only friends of a friend or those in your immediate ten or twenty or even two hundred mile radius, you’re limiting the possibilities. I have made many friends — parents and otherwise — via social media and brought many of these friendships over into the “real world” as well.

        And in the other direction, social media has helped me to keep in touch with people I no longer live near. I’ve lived in many different places — from this continent to another — and have befriended a hugely diverse group of people. If anything, my diverse network only makes my parenting journey — and my life — richer.

        Should I necessarily trust the advice of a “friend” that I went to high school with 20 years ago? Sure, maybe. Because we may have reconnected online in recent years, discovered how much we have in common, and rekindled a friendship — even if it’s physically distant.

        I see my coworkers in person every day and my aunt lives down the road, but their physical proximity has nothing to do with their intelligence, our commonalities, or whether I care for their advice on parenting.

        I try not to overshare about my children online — our family photos are only in private accounts, for instance. Will they be horribly embarrassed as an adult by a sweet or silly anecdote I shared with people from the time they were 3? Doubtful.

About the Author

Mickey Ramirez
Mickey Ramirez

Mickey Ramirez, health enews contributor, is the director of Brand Services. He enjoys kimchi, honesty and a room with a view. He claims to not be a writer, but he occasionally learns information that is just too important to keep to himself.