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Woodbury Parents, Are You Guilty of ‘Oversharenting’?

Do we owe it to our young ones and other parents of young ones to keep quieter when posting online?

My mother is now on Facebook. I’ve considered changing my privacy settings to compensate for this new reality.

But I’m going to hold out for evidence that such a bold move is necessary. More concerning in this age of social media interconnectedness is that I’m on Facebook and that I have young children who have no privacy controls of their own!

Luckily for my kids, I didn’t join Facebook until they were well beyond babyhood… Because I surely would have posted every precious photo of my more than mildly impressive offspring. And possibly TMI about their every burble, burp and diaper rash.

My kids are older. They’re in that cute, can you believe they said that, stage of life. And I often can’t resist posting some of the priceless gems that come out of their mouths.

Recently, what came out of my eldest son’s mouth was, “You could ask me first before you put what I say online.” Ohhh, that’s right. What I say online affects other people. Even seemingly harmless, silly, funny and cute comments.

Later, I overheard a new mom lamenting about her infant not sleeping well. She said that her baby’s sleeping habits are less exasperating than reading all of her other mom friend’s Facebook posts about how their babies sleep like little lambs.

You’ve seen those posts: “My little angel baby slept through the night, AGAIN.”

Gold star to mom and baby. GAG! But I had no idea those types of posts were having such a corrosive affect on other poor mothers who’re just trying to schlep through their days without breast milk soaking their shirts.

I cried most nights with my sleepless newborn—so exhausted. I believed I surely wouldn’t survive those first months. Sheesh, If I’d been on Facebook then, un-friending a gold star mom might have come right after posting more than a frowny face on her wall. Just saying.

There’s a Wall Street Journal story about “oversharenting.” Yep, that’s a term now. It refers to parents who share too much about their kiddos online.

You know, that place where no digital picture or blog post can ever be truly undone?

We lecture teenagers about keeping their private lives private. To not post embarrassing photos that might someday interfere with their employment or dating opportunities. And then parents post all kinds of things about little kids—who have no control, have not given permission and have not opted in to our social media circus.

Do we owe it to our young ones and other parents of young ones to keep quieter?

There’s even a website dedicated to posts from people who oversharent. I didn’t see any of my oversharenting posts on there. But I am going to think more carefully before posting details and photos of people who are too young to consent.

After all, my mom is on Facebook now. Hopefully, I beat her to the punch by posting my own baby picture!

 

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Tony July 17, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I know that pretty little girl....
Angela Johnson July 17, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Good point Nick. Sharing useful advice is a great way to utilize social media. But this is more about over sharing information about minors who have no say in what's shared about them. Thank you for reading.
Matthew Johnson July 17, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Since when does a minor have a say in anything :) Great post Angela!
Angela Johnson July 17, 2012 at 08:39 PM
This is why Matthew, we need to be mindful of what we post about them. Because they have no say. Thank you for reading and for your kind compliment =)
Kris Janisch July 17, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Now I can't wait to have kids and put them on blast on Facebook. (If it's still around then.)
Heather Hampton July 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM
This really does make you stop and think about what we are sharing out there on social media. I totally agree about the mom's that post about their angle sleeping through the night, but I am probably guilty for posting something equally as annoying!
Angela Johnson July 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Yes, me too Heather. How can we help but post the cute stuff they say and do? And who wants to know when they're being less than cute? I guess folks just need to assume that they aren't getting the whole picture when they read status updates. Nobody's life is perfect. Nobody's kids are angels all the time. But mostly, we need to think before we post - anything.
Lynn LaRose July 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Great article! I usually ask the kids before I post a comment or photo of them. I may have had a few slips in the past. I never considered what it would have been like if Facebook would have been around when they were babies, yikes!
Jennifer McFarlane July 18, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Good points to think about. Many times I have taken photos of my kids only to hear them say a few seconds later, "are you going to put that on Facebook mom?". Seriously, a 4 year old saying that! Makes me examine more closely my parenting and wonder what I am teaching them.
Karen Boatman July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I agree as they get older it is important to show them respect and ask before posting. After all, they grow up so fast and will soon have a Facebook account of their own. Hopefully, they will show the same respect before posting something about their parent.
Kris Janisch July 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Great discussion guys.
Jeremy J July 18, 2012 at 08:38 PM
As a parent, the only interesting thing in my life is really my kids. I would rather see posts and photos of cute kids doing cute stuff rather than friend's complaints about life and their duck-faced mirror pics. That being said, I don't post on Facebook everyday and I try to make sure that there is a point to my post. This blog is just the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to social media etiquette.

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