Recently there’s been a surge in information on just how much parents share about their kids online. One report estimates that most kids have 1,000 images of them posted online by the time they reach their fifth — fifth! — birthday. Whether they’re celebrating a milestone, scoring the winning goal or maybe even experiencing an epic meltdown, kids are now the subject of endless digital documentation. And much of it includes seemingly innocent yet potentially dangerous content.
But is a backlash to the oversharing in the works? Perhaps.
French experts are predicting that in the near future, the country’s children could actually sue their parents for uploading images of them on Facebook and other social media sites. The penalties? Moms and dads could face prison time and fines of up to $50,000 for posting pics of the kids and other kinds of information without first getting their children’s consent.
Extreme? It might be, but in some ways it feels like a logical response to so much photo sharing.
And yet even if the government doesn’t take a position on the issue, parents can make their own photo-sharing rules. Today, NY Times editor KJ Dell’Antonia discusses her own family’s rules for posting pics: There is no posting unless the subject of the image agrees to it. And that rule goes in all directions: Mom and dad don’t share any images of their four children without first getting approval from the kids. Likewise, the children won’t upload that less-than-ideal shot of mom without first consulting with her.
But here’s what’s particularly interesting about her article: She cites research that reveals how negatively kids feel about sharenting. “About three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents shared on social media.”
Time for a family contract on posting that adorably awkward photo of your tween daughter? Discuss.