Why Parents Are Wrong for Using Their Children as Content | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

In the era of social media dominance, it has become increasingly common for parents to showcase their children’s lives online. While some parents may argue that it is a harmless way to share their joy and connect with others, there are significant reasons why this practice is questionable at best and potentially harmful at worst.

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This article explores the detrimental effects of using children as content and proves why parents are wrong for doing so.

It Puts the Child’s Safety at Risk

When parents consistently share details about their children online, they inadvertently put their safety at risk. The internet is a vast and unpredictable space where anyone can access personal information. Parents may have limited control over who can view the content they share.

Even if privacy settings are in place, there is always a risk that the content could be shared, downloaded, or accessed by unauthorized individuals. This increases the chances of the child’s images or videos falling into the wrong hands.

Additionally, by consistently sharing details of their child’s life, parents make it easier for potential predators and criminals to gather information that could be used against the child. Whether it’s disclosing their school name, sharing their location, or providing other identifiable details, parents may unknowingly make their children vulnerable to incidents such as real-life threats, abduction, or even sexual exploitation. It’s important to keep such details private, and it’s always best to remove location data when sharing photos to be extra safe.

It Invades the Child’s Privacy

Children have a right to privacy, just like adults. However, by constantly documenting and sharing their lives online, parents strip their children of this fundamental right. In most cases, children are not given the choice to participate or consent to their lives being shared with an online audience.

Even if they consent to it, growing up in an era where their personal lives are on display can be intrusive and unsettling for children. Every aspect of their childhood becomes subject to public scrutiny without consent, potentially leading to feelings of violation and distress.

Cameras pointing at two women

By invading their privacy, parents undermine the trust between themselves and their children and create a distorted perception of what is acceptable in terms of personal boundaries. As they develop their sense of self and navigate their individual identities, children deserve the space to do so without feeling pressured to perform or live up to an online persona constructed by their parents.

Cam, a 24-year-old with the handle @softscorpio on TikTok, shared a video of her testimony in favor of the HB 1627 bill, which would grant these children the right to request the permanent removal of their photos and videos online when they turn 18. Her voice cracks with emotion as she narrates the horrific consequences she had to deal with due to being posted online without consent.

In her TikTok post, Cam pleads the ranking members of the committee to “be the voice of this generation of children because I know firsthand what it’s like to not have a choice and with your digital footprint you didn’t create follows you around the rest of your life.” It’s safe to assume that several hundred other Cams exist who share the same sentiments but do not have a way to voice their concerns or fight for their rights.

You Can Expose the Child to Cyberbullying

Girl crying with a cyber bully message on keyboard

The internet can be hostile, particularly for vulnerable individuals like children. When parents upload content featuring their children, they open the door to cyberbullying and cyberstalking, as well as online harassment.

Parents may capture and share intimate details of the child’s daily life, such as having a meltdown, eating messy, or being clumsy. Although intended as light-hearted content, these posts can subject the child to embarrassment and potential ridicule from peers at school or online trolls.

It Has Future Implications for the Child

Fingers being pointed at a woman

Content shared online remains accessible indefinitely, even if deleted from the original platform. As children grow older, the digital footprint created by their parents’ content can follow them into adulthood and impact their personal and professional lives.

The photos, videos, and stories shared during their childhood can resurface in the future and impact their personal and professional lives. Employers, college admission officers, or even potential romantic partners may come across this content, shaping perceptions and judgments about the individual based on their past.

You Might Ruin Their Childhood

Childhood is a precious time marked by innocence, exploration, and the freedom to make mistakes. However, when parents turn their children’s lives into content, they risk eroding the joy and spontaneity of these formative years.

The pressure to perform, be entertaining, or portray a perfect image can be overwhelming for a child influencer. Rather than allowing them to be their authentic selves, children may feel compelled to conform to the world’s expectations of them or present a curated version of their lives that people prefer. This can lead to emotional strain, low self-esteem, and diminished self-worth.

Cameras flashing at a broken image of a person

The child may even grow up to be a people-pleaser who constantly seeks validation and approval from others, as their early experiences might have instilled a deep desire to be always appreciated. Often, when the child grows up to puberty, when they’re no longer as cute as they were or just not relevant, they lose much of their fame. This abrupt shift from being constantly in the spotlight to feeling overlooked or forgotten can profoundly impact their self-esteem and emotional well-being.

Social Platforms May Use Your Child’s Data

Social media platforms thrive on user data, and children are not exempt from this exploitation. By sharing content featuring their children, parents contribute to the vast reservoir of data that social media platforms collect. This data can be used for targeted advertising, data mining, or even sold to third parties without explicit consent.

Furthermore, social media platforms have been criticized for their handling of online harassment and cyberbullying. While some platforms have implemented reporting mechanisms and content moderation systems, they often fall short in effectively addressing these issues, leaving not only children but even adult content creators without adequate protection.

Think Twice Before Posting Your Kid Online Again

Parents must recognize the potential risks and detrimental effects of using their children as content on social media. It puts their safety, privacy, and emotional well-being at stake while also compromising their future prospects.

While parents are not entirely wrong for wanting to post cute things about their children online, they must take all the safety precautions before doing so. They must not share any personal or intimate details about the child that they know might affect them in any way discussed above.


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