The Sharenting Trap – The Rise Of The Anti-Sharenting Movement

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15 years ago, I warned people to be “personable” but not “personal” on social media.

There’s a difference.
Many people are now paying the price… especially when it comes to the social posting of their kids.
If we were worried about over-sharing, many of us pushed it beyond the pale when it came to our kids… and now they want revenge… or money… or are just messed up about it?
Don’t believe me? Check out this article on CNN: The first social media babies are adults now. Some are pushing for laws to protect kids from their parents’ oversharing.

What’s your social media feed like?

I love seeing all of my friend’s kids and everything they’re up to (that’s Selfish Mitch talking).
I warned people that parading your kids on social media could have ramifications well beyond the likes and comments (that’s Social Media Mitch talking).
And who can forget when our social media feeds were filled with the cherubic faces of baby influencers?
Parents eagerly shared every milestone, every adorable moment, and every brand endorsement opportunity that came their way (yes, for some, it became a legitimate business).

Fast forward a decade or so, and those babies are now teens and young adults.

Many are questioning the digital legacy their parents created (without their consent) and pushing for laws to protect kids from parental oversharing in the future.

Sharenting: From cute to controversy.

A new narrative is emerging – one where these children, now grown, are seeking control over their digital footprints.
Young people are waking up and realizing that their entire lives have been documented online without their consent.
This discontent among Gen Z is driving a broader social media shift (see: Going Ghost – The New Social Media Is Not To Be Seen).
Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are seeing a surge in privacy-focused features (slide into those DMs).
Users are increasingly favoring direct messages and ephemeral content over permanent posts.

They’re growing up in public and crave the privacy that older generations had.

And, for some parents, creating that kind of family/kid content was a revenue stream as well – and what protections did these kids have when their homes were turned into TV sets and their parent’s role doubled as their boss?
Wrongly, we saw it all as fun, without considering the future consequences for their children.
As awareness grows, so does the call for legislative action.
Organizations like Quit Clicking Kids advocate against monetizing children’s online content and emphasize the need for consent.

Don’t forget about Generative AI.

All of these newer generative AI tool will only facilitate the concerns around deepfakes, online harassment, stalking, etc.
Imagine having a complete digital history of your child from birth, and it’s now accessible to anyone.
We also forget that all of this data could impact that child’s future employment or insurability.

What can parents do?

Talk to your kids.
See how they feel about it.
If it’s all cringe… delete it… all of it.
You can also adjust your privacy settings to limit who can see your content (on many platforms).
We need to change our perceptions of privacy and educate ourselves – and our children – about the potential risks.

Our social media babies are coming of age.

Their push for privacy is reshaping the conversation around digital footprints.
It’s a reminder that while social media offers a platform for connection and sharing, it also requires responsible use and consideration of long-term impacts.
Digital actions have real world and lasting consequences.

Now’s our chance to recognize this and navigate it with care and respect for future generations.

This is what David Heurtel and I discussed on CJAD 800 AM. Listen in right here.

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