Why 'Sharenting' Is The New Online Trend - And How It Puts Your Kids At Risk

Experts warn


17 September 2018

Article heading image for Why 'Sharenting' Is The New Online Trend - And How It Puts Your Kids At Risk

Experts are warning that the seemingly-innocent oversharing on social media that parents may partake in could be exposing their children to not only self-esteem and mental health issues, but also online predators.

Cybersafety expert Susan McClean told the Hit Newsroom that in the age of digital predators, parents should never have a public social media account if they are prone to posting pictures of their kids.

"We know that child sex offenders trawl social media not just for the naked baby in the bath photos, but for photos of cute little kids that they like to collect."

This comes as a new trend of 'sharenting' emerges online, which sees parents able to make money off their children's social media posts through sponsorship.

The oversharing sees children working both in collaboration with brands, with parents earning money for the posts featuring their young children.

However, this has been cited as problematic by Mc McClean, as it can reinforce negative body image attitudes in children from a younger age.

"It's bringing children down to a body part and an image because it's all based on likes and numbers - as though no one really cares about you as a person," Ms McClean said.

"It's very shallow, and we know that adolescent girls have particular body image issues and it's starting in young people way too young.

"I have many young girls in particular complain to me that their parents overshare and just wish that mum or dad wouldn't put those posts up.

"In France, young people (once they reach adulthood) can actually sue their parents for what they posted without their permission.

"Young people can't give consent, and it is a cash cow for some families. It's a quick and easy way to make money at the expense of their young children."

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