Tech Talk: "Sharenting," Online Safety, and Your Children

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On a recent episode of the Son Rise Morning Show, we discussed the recent studies that found teenagers think their parents share too much about them online. Do you post about your kids and teens on social media? How do your kids feel about that?

This topic has arisen as a result of being a part of the Civility, Safety and Interaction Online — 2019 study conducted by Microsoft. The full report of the study is available free, as well as related resources for a free digital civility challenge. 

How do kids feel about their parents sharing about them on social media?

The study showed that “42 percent of teenagers in 25 countries say they have a problem with their parents posting about them on social media. Of that sum, 11% say it’s a big problem; 14% say it’s of medium concern, and 17% consider it a small issue.” 

What kind of information can cause a risk for our children when it’s shared?

The study reminds parents that “To share or not to share is an individual family’s decision, but if the choice is to share, parents should be attentive, exercise discretion and not inadvertently reveal too much, including children’s real full names, ages, dates of births, home addresses, mothers’ maiden names, favorite sports teams, names of pets and photos, to cite a few examples.”

This means that we need to be protecting our children from not only identity theft, but also from some instances where they could be endangered by predators. There’s also our children’s future online presence and platforms to consider. We want to be cautious for their safety.

We also discussed parents on YouTube who’ve made a living sharing their children’s lives online on a day-to-day basis, often before these children are old enough to consent. What are they finding when they turn 13 or 14 and find all the information that’s been placed online about them?

This study also warns against posting certain types of photos (such as children in the bathtub) so that online predators cannot mine those and use them for bad purposes.

This study advises parents to “Share with Care.” It means both to be cautious from the perspective of their safety, but also, when we care about our children, we want the best for them. So really thinking about the temporary thrill that I’m going to get off of sharing this, or the likes, and I don’t think our listeners are really in it for that — is it worth what it could be costing my child down the line?

We also discussed how teens are looking to their parents for help and guidance about online presence and technology use.

Listen to our full conversation on the Son Rise Morning Show.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.


Copyright 2020 Lisa Hendey

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Find Lisa’s books on her Amazon author page.

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