Like everyone else I have an Instagram and twitter account (though no Facebook!) which I use to share my thoughts and updates about my life on a frequent basis.
I mostly use twitter the most as I love being able to communicate with other bloggers and share my thoughts and ideas with them and also to see what other parents get up to. It’s also a good way for me to be able to share my blog posts with the world.
I use Instagram to share pictures of my world, with most of them consisting of my baby (I know it borders on baby spam!) and my day to day life. I find myself literally taking pictures of him eating, sleeping, playing and on trips out.
I also started a YouTube channel about a month ago which I found completely weird sharing myself and my life in such a personal way but I have found a nice little community of parent bloggers and sometimes it’s nice to see how other people cope with parent life.
Recently I came across something called sharenting. Which is when you share too much information about your children.
“Sharenting (or oversharenting) is a term used to describe the overuse of social media by parents to share content based on their children.”
I had always wondered when I started my blog if I was giving out too much information about myself, my partner and our child when he came along. As I added more social media tools those thoughts kept coming back.
Do I really need to post more pictures of my baby? Is it safe? Who’s looking at it? Who is reading my twitter? Who is watching my videos? What if they leave a bad comment?
“It’s one thing if you occasionally post a picture or two of your child at his birthday party or a video of her taking her first steps. But once you share picture after picture of moments that might embarrass the kid later on, you’re officially a sharent.”
But when I read about sharenting it really got me thinking. Everyone loves a picture of a new-born, their first birthday or that all embarrassing bath picture, but who really wants to see a picture of a complete stranger’s baby pop up on their feeds every day? Especially a baby they have no relation to?
I also wondered about how it might affect my child in the future. What if this defines his life? Will he be known as the Instagram baby/kid? The child from those YouTube videos?
What if my son grows up to hate me for posting a picture of him online in a nappy or that I shared with the world that he had a poop explosion before leaving the house. I would like to think that he wouldn’t be embarrassed by the pictures I upload or the things that I share online.
Sometimes I really do have days where I think what am I doing? Why am I sharing so much of my life with complete strangers? I often also wonder if by sharing my life so much over different medias that I am placing my family’s privacy and security at risk.
I have seen a few Instagram and YouTube channels where they block out or blur their child’s face in them and this makes me feel like a bad mum by not keeping his identity private. Maybe I should start to only share pictures that do not show his face? (Though with the amount I’ve shared already I would have to start my accounts from scratch).
I have to admit I always worry about being judged by other people when I post a picture or write a post. At first, it was about my content not being too good. But now I also worry about making my life so open with the world.
I also worry a lot about the information I provide on my blog and I worry about my friends or family reading it and not being happy at something I have written or posted. I do worry about what my mum would say if she found out about my blog, but especially YouTube. She is very old fashioned traditional about what you share with people.
I honestly love sharing the biggest and best change to my life, especially as being active on so many platforms mean I can reach out to somebody who might be able to help me with a problem I’m having but I do place my family’s security so highly.
I do take some precautions. On my YouTube account, I cut out any bits of video that have a road name or sign that shows my location so people cannot work out where I live. I don’t share pictures that would identify our house or make twitter or blog posts that would give away our location.
We really have to be careful about what we share and how we share it. I will continue to share bits of my life as I enjoy it and I just hope that my little boy will enjoy watching the videos, reading the posts and looking at the pictures when he is older.
Where do you stand, do you share pictures of your child online and does it worry you?
The Guardian – The pros and cons of ‘sharenting
The Tale of Mummyhood