Sharenting is a word being used to describe the acts of parents posting photos of their children online, and it's causing more of a fuss than you might think.
Our parents have discovered social media. Sorry everyone but it was going to happen eventually. The older generations have gone from physically looking over our shoulder to see what we were up to online when we were younger to actually being online along with us. That has inevitably led to essay-length comments on anything we post and embarrassing photos of us being shared with the world.
Turns out there's a word for that second point, sharenting. Sounds innocent enough on the surface and apart from some fleeting embarrassment, it doesn't bother us too much. However, not everyone appears to be in the same boat. A photo posted by Gwyneth Paltrow alongside her 14-year-old daughter Apple has sparked an online debate. Apple has since said to her mom that she specifically asked her not to post photos of her online.
It turns out that Apple is not alone. As recently reported by BBC, many teenagers and young adults around the world are furious with their parents for sharing photos of them online. Many are actually signing up to social media when they reach a certain age only to discover that their life has been broadcast to the public for the past decade.
19-year-old Konrad Iturbe is one of those people. He explained that he is very deliberate with what he posts online in terms of photos including himself, so discovering his mom had been plastering his face all over the web wasn't a great revelation. He appealed to his mom by comparing it to a time before social media, asking her how she would feel if her parents had posted embarrassing photos of her on the front page of the local paper.
An interesting analogy, and one that has actually made us rethink our stance on sharenting somewhat. As stated above, apart from some mild embarrassment, it doesn't bother us too much. As it turns out, there's nothing much you can do to stop it apart from asking your parents to refrain from doing so. If the embarrassment is all you're worried about, your best bet is to fiddle with your privacy settings. They may be getting more tech-savvy, but that should stop those baby photos popping up on your friend's timelines.