Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sharenting - Where Do We Draw the Line? ♥

Sharenting seems to be a common thing for most parents these days and it's not hard to see why. With the rise of social media and the 'global community' it's become easier than ever to share images with family and friends all around the world and in most cases, with complete and utter strangers too.

Parents love to share little quips about their day with their kids, sharing photos and updates about the milestones their kids are achieving, photos from family outings, holidays and adventures and even sometimes sharing the difficulties they've experienced with their kids in the hope of seeking friendly advice from others. I think all of these things are great, I really do and in some cases, parents have been able to form friendships, gain much needed advice and reassurance that 'they're not the only ones' experiencing certain difficulties, etc. with their kids, however, there is a more sinister and humiliating side to sharenting which I think has to end.

I'm not someone who is easily offended, in fact, I couldn't give flying rats arse what most people do, but there have been certain images being shared of children which may possibly annoy me a lot more than those pictures people share of themselves in hospitable with an IV in their arm (what is the need for this by the way? Can anyone enlighten me?) and believe me when I tell you how annoying and unnecessary I think that is...

As a blogger and someone whose dream it is to one day be a photographer, I share photos of my children on the internet on a daily basis, mostly on Instagram. I must have shared thousands of photos of my boys by now, but thankfully, in the four years I have been blogging and using social media, I've never experienced any negative comments or creepy people messaging me about my children. I might be one of the lucky ones, but I think this also may be because I'm on the tepid end of the 'controversial' sharenting scale.

As of late, I've noticed parents, mostly fellow bloggers if I'm honest, sharing things about their children which I frankly don't think should be shared about anyone, least of all children. The cynic in me also refuses to believe that these things aren't shared in the hopes of creating some controversy and gaining a few more page views or social exposure - but at what cost? I'm not even left feeling shocked by it either, after all, it's 2017 and it seems anything goes, but I am left feeling as though some of those parents should write to Santa and ask him for a big bag of cop on for Christmas.

I've seen images of children fully naked, covered in poo or sick, pictures of babies smothered in poo after having a 'poo explosion', pictures of kids sitting on the toilet or potty, images of children having full on tantrums and the rest... yes these are the realities of parenting, but is it worth humiliating our children just for exposure? I think not and I'm not even sorry for my opinion.

I'm not even talking about the dangers of sharing images of children here, I'm talking about humiliating a child who doesn't even know that these images are being shared of them. A child who will one day grow up and have these images of them on the internet for all and sundry to discover. If my mother had shared pictures of me covered in poo as a child and I suddenly discovered it on the internet years later would I be best pleased, no. Yes these things are natural, yes they're part and parcel of being a parent, but they're also private to the child and as someone who is too young to even know what's going on and it comes down to respect. I don't think these types of images should be shared of them or of anyone for that case.

My rule of thumb is - if I wouldn't like it being shared of me, I don't share it of the children. This is why you'll never see pictures of my children in the scenarios listed above. I've shared pictures of them in the bath before, not able to see anything bar their head and torso and maybe a flash of leg, but even at that I think I may have been oversharing.

If the kids were older and snapped a picture of me on the toilet suffering from a severe case of diarrhea and shared it on the net would it be acceptable? It most certainly would not and I would be left reeling, furious and totally and utterly humiliated. So why is okay for parents to share these intimate moments of children with the world, just because they're their parents? If it as done by an adult to another adult it would probably be seen as a form of bullying and would definitely be seen as an act of humilation, so why is it not seen this way when it's children?

I'm all for sharenting, I love seeing pictures parents take of their children, in fact, I'm in awe of the beautiful images I see of children being shared on the likes of Instagram everyday, however, I think there needs to be a line drawn about what is acceptable and what is not.

So where is the line, what is acceptable to share and what isn't? I think the rule of if you wouldn't like it being shared of you don't share it of your children is a good one to follow. Life with children isn't all 'la di dah' and we know that, but that doesn't give us the right to post humiliating pictures either, even if we are their parents.
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6 comments

  1. I do agree. Sometimes I think just sort the kid out or give them a cuddle. Don't shove a camera in their face. Let alone sharing it. I consider George's feelings and try to rarely even show his face or use editing to distort it.

    If he ever wants it removed later I am happy to but I follow the same rule if thump as you. A little embarrassment never hurt anyone but some sharing is way too much in my opinion.

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  2. Totally agree. I don't think its acceptable to share those types of images. (Unless the child is now an adult and has then given their consent or something) I also don't understand why people want to show those types of photos anyway!? Give me cute smiling kids in flower bed type photos over angry toddlers covered in poop type photos any day, haha! x

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  3. Those kids covered in poop pics just make me want to vomit. I honestly don't know what the parents are hoping to achieve from sharing them?!

    Louise xx

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  4. I totally agree with this, I have seen so much of this lately and it makes me feel uncomfortable if I am honest. I do share photos of my children online and my blog but I would never share any that could cause them shame in the future, I would never even dream of taking that kind of photo of my child never mind sharing it online. xx

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Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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