As parents, or grandparents, we love to brag on our kids on social media. It’s fun to share what they are getting into, their latest adventures, or pictures that we think are just too precious to keep to ourselves. But posting pieces of someone else’s life on social media is not without some risks.
Lisa Mitchell, Communications Expert & Founder of Power Body Language, shares questions you should ask yourself BEFORE you post that next photo or give that next status update.
Consideration 1: Is It Safe?
We’d like to think that the only people who are sharing the moments we post have good intentions and are safe to share in the experience. The truth is, once a photo is posted, it’s really easy for it to be shared, tracked, and even traced back to the exact location that you posted it from. Often times, images of children and teens are manipulated in really gross and unsavory ways and shared on the dark web among pedophiles and other people whose intentions could be dangerous.
Once you post it, you lose control over the image and could possibly be putting your child at risk. I says this not to scare you but to educate you and make you aware that there could be unintended risks when your intention is just to harmlessly share a moment or photo.
Consideration 2: Is It Something Everyone Should Know?
Trust is earned and can be quickly destroyed by posting information or photos that your children and teens don’t want to be shared. “Social parenting” invites other people into conversations that would best be had privately between you and your child. You may be fine with everyone knowing how your child did on a test, but maybe they aren’t OK with that being public information. You need establish clear social media boundaries and let your child set limits and rules that they are comfortable with when it comes to sharing their personal information.
Consideration 3: Will this embarrass them at any point?
Kids grow up and become their own person quicker than most parents want to admit. With that growth and maturity, comes independence and the desire to establish their own “personal brand” and identity and your social media posts, past and current, might not align with the person they are as they grow. Conflict between teens and parents is becoming more common as kids who were given an identity and social presence by their parents are trying to establish their own now and they are embarrassed or frustrated by what has already been shared about them online.
Take it a step further and think about implications of what you post on social in regards their future job prospects, college admissions, and other opportunities where a person’s digital first impression can make or break their chances of getting an opportunity.
Be thoughtful and smart about what you post about your children on social media. Not just for the adorable little kids they are today, but for the person they will grow to be in the future.
For more information, visit www.powerbodylanguage.com, or connect with Lisa on Instagram: @lisamitchellindy.