'Sharenting' (posting pics/Tweets/blogs about your kids): love it or loathe it?

(46 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 18-May-13 11:15:58

Hello. There's an article in The Guardian today about "sharenting", suggesting that parents who blog, Tweet and share pictures about all aspects of their children's lives could be doing their children harm by crossing the boundaries between public and private life.

Would you consider yourself a "sharent"? What form does your "sharenting" take: Facebook updates? Tweets? Blogpost? And do you think folks are vastly overdramatising the dangers of your children growing up with such a huge digital footprint?

If you're not a "sharent", does other people's "sharenting" enthrall, amuse or just annoy you?

Do please share <arf> your thoughts here.

piprabbit Sat 18-May-13 11:22:31

Horrible word - I think MN should leave it to wither and die instead of encouraging it.

Piemother Sat 18-May-13 11:22:44

Just bought the guardian....
I don't share photos of my dc on Facebook and only very occasionally on other social networking. Mostly because I don't want the images sold to 3rd parties and I like a bit of privacy.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 18-May-13 11:44:40

I agree with the comments about lack of privacy and don't do this at all, really. I email max 4 pics a year to parents and my DSis. Neither of us do fb and I've asked close family not to put pics of fc on fb.

I think it's up to them what they want their visibility on google etc to be, not to me. Don't want future employers seeing naked in bath pics or reading my comments on his sleep patterns grin

I imagine though that being inhis generation he will be baffled by my stance and immediately live his whole life online as soon as he has a choice. He will probably say 'what?' and 'why?' when I tell him that I kept him off the Internet as a child.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 18-May-13 11:45:01

Dc not fc blush

JollyOrangeGiant Sat 18-May-13 12:13:16

My facebook is pretty much entirely DS. However, I'd tell anyone I met in real life about how wonderful he is too. It's not just FB. If anyone doesn't like it they can take me off their friend's list.

Cravingdairy Sat 18-May-13 12:27:38

I agree with piprabbit.

AmberLeaf Sat 18-May-13 12:28:41

I have put pictures of my children on facebook, I tend to ask them if it is ok first though. I don't do it very often though.

I don't care what anyone else does.

LaundryLegoLunch Sat 18-May-13 12:49:47

I do post pics of my kids on Facebook but I don't have loads of 'friends' and I do see it as a keeping in touch thing. I'd never put anything inappropriate or embarassing on though. And I'm quite careful with my own online security too.

I find 99.9% of child-focused blogs excruciating. They are either smug-filled uber-mums doing lots of creative stuff to with their kids or utterly dull normal life stuff. Also with blogs you have NO idea who is reading it which I'd find weird.

TonytheFish Sat 18-May-13 12:55:18

I put pictures of my children on Fb. We live in a different country from all our family. Every 6 months or so though i go through my albums on Fb and make them visible only to me. Same with my other activity, such as Status' (Stati?)

So while I have albums on there from the last 6 years, the only visible ones are ones I have done this year.

it is a good way of sharing with family and then I use it like a photo storage facility for me!

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Sat 18-May-13 12:58:13

I don't mind FB scattergunning of 345 pictures of The Week That Was In Junior's Life.

But dear God and all the angels, spare me the mummy blogs.

I have said it many times, and I'll say it again, just because everyone can write, doesn't mean everyone should. And the fact that a small person came out of your nethers does not make what you have to say any more interesting than it was before this amazing event. so shut the fuck up and get a life

And what LaundryLego said. They (mummy blogs) are generally just piss boring.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 18-May-13 13:01:15

I don't see it as any different to sharing a funny/embarrassing story on the phone to a friend which I certainly remember my mum doing, she'd tell the same thing multiple times to each person she was having a catch up with. I rarely talk to my friends on the phone.

With photos, in years gone by the funny family photos would be stuck in an album and brought out at every gathering seemingly forever. On facebook etc and with smartphones there's a new funny moment every week and the photos aren't singled out, they will be forgotten in a week or two and the photos relegated to a folder with 1000s of other family photos, only to be vaguely glanced at again.

I suppose I just think it's unlikely and a bit hysterical to worry that your child's future employer might be googling them and care that they once had a tantrum in a funny place when they were 3. Plus I don't tend to mention DS in photos with his full name, just his (common) first name or "my son". And facebook is friends only so again, to me no different to telling your friends a funny story which parents have always done.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 18-May-13 13:14:08

I am aware of employers that have already found pics of potential candidates they definitely wouldn't want their employer to see!

If you have an unusual name this is much more of an issue. Evie Jones growing up now will probably safe, less so Peregrine Atthersly-Smith iyswim.

I had a colleague who signed an online petition - because she has an unusual surname this still comes up when you google her and makes her views on a potentially controversial issue crystal clear. She may be fine with that, she may not.

This issue is only going to get worse when the Internet is more and more searchable by image recognition - then the search engine will be able to find the top 100 pics even if there is no name in text on them.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Sat 18-May-13 13:15:53

Oh yes, definitely. I recruit and always and me and my boss always but always do Facebook stalking first.

As Bridget Jones would say , a brown shoe there, a white sock and a Hitler moustache here, is sometimes all you need to see.

Sad, but true.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 18-May-13 13:31:21

Employers are also spotting potential recruits' posts on social media.

Again, I know of a situation where a candidate called let's say, George Elliott Castleton posted about the potential employer's recruitment process under a user name something like GeoECastlet - needless to say they did not get the job.

LadyLech Sat 18-May-13 15:24:49

I put photos, status updates etc about my children on Facebook. I like to see / hear about my friends' children who all live apart and I don't get to see them too often. I do sometimes find the baby ones a bit boring as babies don't really do anything. I also find the smug ones quite annoying, but don't mind a proud mum one, so long as they are balanced with the 'my child is driving me insane' ones.

On my Facebook, I gave it set so that only close friends (ie family or those with children) get to see the posts about my children. My 'acquaintances' don't as I figure it would o my bore them. I put up details of my daughters gym stuff (mostly for family to see), but also funny things my children say do, and the odd frustrated one when they annoy me. So long as they're balanced, I like to see what my friends children are doing. I am actually interested in their lives and seeing how they grow!

Tee2072 Sat 18-May-13 15:28:04

What does everything need a new word? confused

Yes, I share pictures of my son online. My family lives on the other side of the world, it's the easiest way for them to see him grow.

KatyDid02 Sat 18-May-13 15:29:52

I don't post pictures of my youngest on FB. My oldest uses FB herself and so she might occasionally put a picture up but that only tends to be if one of her friends posts one - for example a friend just put up a video of DD doing sports. Generally we don't, to quote my DD "I can't see the point of FB" so there isn't much on there of her.
I sometimes mention them in a status but not by name. My privacy is set to be very tight and I select who will see it on a post by post basis, e.g I posted the sports video but only aunts, uncles and cousins could see it.

moisturiser Sat 18-May-13 15:38:48

I hate it. I don't have an issue with Facebook, but blogs really make me uncomfortable.

Take Kelle Hampton. Three years ago her blog took off. She has thousands of followers, has had a book deal, an army of fans. And yet much as I think she's spread so much awareness of Down's it seems to have strayed into her exploiting her dcs. There is a massive group of people on various sites voicing criticism, accusing her of exploiting them (particularly because her dds are shy, she has put their address and name of their school freely online, she literally posts photos of them doing anything and everything; naked in the bath, potty training) and it's gotten ugly. You only have to go on a site like 'Get off my internets' to see the vitriol.

I keep thinking, it's not worth it. It might be lovely to share your dcs with the world but ultimately you are choosing to put them out there when as adults they might be upset that you did. Personally I'm glad my childhood memories and photographs are private and that's not even getting onto the safety issue of unsavoury people viewing the photos and access to info like schools.

I can't look at most mummy blogs in the same way now. Ok so most of them don't have the same number of followers, and often no names are used, but if you start sharing photos of your children, when do you stop? When they're 5? 10? 15? What about their privacy and their dignity?

Nehru Sat 18-May-13 15:40:35


almost as bad as the word "sharent"

KingRollo Sat 18-May-13 18:36:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TiredFeet Sat 18-May-13 19:29:05

I'm not apologetic about posting a fair number (maybe 30-50 ish a year) of pictures of ds on facebook. But he is only 2 and we live 100s or 1000s of miles from family and friends and I know they appreciate it. I also do a very occassional post about something he has said or done. But I am selective about what type of pictures/stories I share publicly.
Agree with the comment that very unique names make this more 'high risk' but the pictures are under my name not ds's and my privacy settings are high

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Sat 18-May-13 19:47:01

TiredFeet, that's nothing. I have hidden FB friends who post that quantity every sodding weekend.

TiredFeet Sat 18-May-13 19:56:57

I suspect no one looks at that many pictures of someone elses life thebirds grin

TiredFeet Sat 18-May-13 19:58:01

should clarify as well, I do think the word "sharent" is truly hideous!

cantreachmytoes Sat 18-May-13 20:01:43

I consciously don't put pictures of my DS on FB. In total there are probably about 3 and none have his name under them. I don't trust FB.

I have a friend who updated his FB status all throughout his wife's labour, until I embarrassed/shamed him into putting down the phone and being with her. 2 or so hrs after their DD was born, he posted pics of her being delivered. Mother isn't visible, but their DD's genitals are. He is a lovely, lovely guy, had wanted kids for ages and was full of puppy-type excitement, but I just felt so sorry for the DD. once something is online, you have list control of it for eternity.

I also have friends who post photos of their scans and I feel that the poor child isn't even entitled to privacy in the womb.

I'm probably totally over-sensitive though! smile

Springforward Sat 18-May-13 20:40:18

I don't have a FB account and I ask friends and family not to post pictures of DS. There have been a few pics slip through though, which I consider rude TBH.

To me this is kind of like the whole watching-a-gig-through-an-iphone phenomenon, which also baffles me.

Having said that I know someone who FBs to stay in touch with family who aren't local, but I believe she's pretty careful about who can see what.

Einsty Sat 18-May-13 22:14:30

That article is more annoying than any parental oversharers I know of. More from the 'Oooh oooh, the sky is falling in' school of journalism.

Stubbed56 Sun 19-May-13 05:48:34

I put a couple if photos on FB per year of DS. Mainly at the start it was because he has a facial birthmark and I don't want him to be resentful of the photos when he's older. Plus he can't give me his permission yet and I think it's intrusive.

I have a friend who shares a lot, daily even, it's boring and IMO not fair on her DD.

Tubemole1 Sun 19-May-13 09:10:48

I used to put pix of did on Fb but don't anymore. She's six and might be embarrassed by it. Also I worry who can see them.

stargirl1701 Sun 19-May-13 09:27:11

I do not post photos of DD online. My only exceptions are photos which are already in the public domain. For example, I will repost a photo on FB/Twitter that appeared in the newspaper.

Raaraathenoisybaby Sun 19-May-13 11:15:04

I can't bear the mummy bloggers either. I have read two recently who were able to blog within a few hours of their babies dying from SIDS. This was too much for me. Flame away.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 19-May-13 11:45:47

Surely the word should be Oversharent?

Blogs are in the most part dullsville. I have no idea why people think their lives are interesting enough to be shared with a wider audience. People who have genuinely exciting lives wouldn't have the time to blog.

Hulababy Sun 19-May-13 12:14:57

My dd is 11y. She doesn't care if I post a photo of her at all. Her image is online on the school website, on her drama school's website and various other places. It is something she is comfortable about. Nothing un fair about it here.

I don't have issues regarding her image being seen by strangers tbh.

Nehru Sun 19-May-13 12:32:03

She so will. Any minute soon.

StrawberryMonkey Sun 19-May-13 12:41:39

Well, this thread has really enlightened me as to how many people are rather vague about Internet security.
Having pics of your dc on fb doesn't mean they will end up shared on adverts etc if your privacy and sharing settings are set securely.
Having a blog doesn't necessarily mean everybody can read it either! You can write a private blog and only send links of the posts you wish to share via email to your select and trusted audience. Having a blog doesn't necessarily mean the whole world can read it. It depends on your privacy settings!
Sounds like the papers are publishing "news" which isn't really news and scaremongering is rife following the article.
"Sharenting" yet another term to judge and criticise other people. This too will pass. thanks

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 19-May-13 14:17:38

Strawberry, the problem is people often don't set the privacy settings and the people I know who blog about their kids have no privacy settings on their blog.

Even with privacy settings, if you are friends with a cast of thousands, your dc's images/exploits are still being shared very widely.

Jux Sun 19-May-13 15:44:10

The fewer pix of dd on the internet, the better. There are none here, and the only ones on fb have her very much inmthe background - part of family get-togethers where others are the focus, and they're put there by other relatives anyway. She's not tagged. Even on her own page on fb she has no pix of herself, not for profile or anything.

I think it's vile in all it's incarnations.

Whoever came up with that word should be shot for crimes against the language.

we need to come up with an equally ridiculous name for journalists who make a living from writing about absolutely nothing.

as others said there is absolutely no reason at all that an employer or anyone else should be able to access photos you have shared on facebook if you take 2 minutes to set your privacy settings properly.

i've had a good check with the links in the OP and i'm invisible online thankfully.

FrillyMilly Sun 19-May-13 16:59:36

I think over sharing or constant sharing about children is very annoying but general posts on Facebook or photos don't bother me. Surely this is why we have various forms of social media? I have full privacy settings and not too many friends on Facebook. I post pictures and posts about my kids. I also use twitter where most of my posts are about tv or sport, nothing too personal as its easier to find me. If you were really worried about colleagues finding out you were a bit mumsy (because that's so unprofessional hmm ) then used LinkedIn.

Some parents do take things way too far though with their sharing. I'm glad though because STFU, parents blog is hilarious.

CherylTrole Mon 20-May-13 00:20:07

Sharenting is vile, Sharonenting is ok. I do however object to anyone who posts on FB constantly, thinking their life is amazing. Dullsville. Oh and my life will still be good if you dont tell me when you/ your DH/ children/granny/dog last farted. Here endeth the rant.

Bramshott Mon 20-May-13 10:07:53

Some people over-share via social media. Some of those people are also parents.

However, most people manage a middle way with no drama, somewhere between over-sharing, and never letting pictures of their kids on the internet ever.

KylaKevin Mon 20-May-13 10:47:36

Well! i think this is true because many children had become ill, if their pictures uploaded by their parents or others from many ways on the internet, there are many experiences like this, i have seen in my life so take care of your children by don't showing their pictures and save them from the eyes of others people.

DuelingFanjo Mon 20-May-13 15:03:31

my opinion is that if people are too thick to limit what they view in their facebook/twitter/blog feed then maybe they shouldn't be using social media.

It's really irritating when other people complain about something they are perfectly capable of turning off.

Hulababy Mon 20-May-13 17:20:04

Nehru - maybe, maybe not. She is very used to having her image online because of her drama, etc. If, as a teenager she doesn't like it, then fine. I will cease putting up photos. But we shall see.Not all children are fussed by it ime. Adults - yes. Children - generally less so.

Hulababy Mon 20-May-13 17:20:59

KylaKevin - I am not really sure what you mean

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