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Sharenting: A new perspective in the digital era!!

It is a joyous moment to remember when our little family is finally graced with a young one. This is something that any young couple seems to be desperately waiting for, the arrival of their newborn child. Just like everyone else, one always wants to capture every moment of their child, right from the moment they leave the hospital to his/her first arrival in the house. We try to share this moment with everyone possible by sharing it on the Internet and try to make more and more people a part of it. So what? Isn’t it common everywhere? Yes, but before even realizing anything in this world, the child is now a part of a wide social media community, and guess what, he/she has made hundreds and thousands of friends in just the first week of his/her life! ‘Sharenting’ is the excessive use of social media by parents in the form of sharing of pictures and video clips of their newborn children on social media. Parents indulging in this have been dubbed ‘Sharents’.

In this contemporary world, what we have witnessed is a technological revolution, which has made it very easy for ‘millennial parents’ to access various media sharing platforms (popularly Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok). The rapid increase in the sale of camera-phones and the cheap cost of the internet has aided this revolution. Infants born in this digital age have a plethora of pictures, posts, videos, and updates about their lives and background shared on various platforms even before they could walk. This phenomenon has resulted in a unique set of problems altogether.

Just like time, the internet is an infinite loop of database full of a glimpse of memories posted during the various phases of the upbringing of an individual which remain permanently stored in the social media timeline. This is what sharenting is all about. The ethical aspect behind this phenomenon and the question of data privacy of those young ones is the major question that remains at large.

Despite this, the positive side of sharenting, this phenomenon has helped young mothers to connect with people who are in a similar phase of their lives irrespective of their culture, religion, and location, where most of their time of the day is spent looking after their young ones.

In this fragmented society, sharing in any form has helped parents to stay connected with like-minded people around the world and openly bring out together their views, opinions, and experiences on any specific topic. Learning about contemporary parenting styles and techniques helps a lot in the upbringing of any child. Also, through this, young parents can learn about new and innovative childcare services and products that can bring about a comfortable experience for their kid’s early stages.

Are we only seeing the positive side of sharenting? It is not enough to say that we are at the era of the digital world, where sharing of data, the content has bombarded like anything. The question arises here, does my shared content and data fulfill the privacy norms?

It is advisable for the parents to strictly avoid ‘over-sharenting’ by posting personal and intimate information that may create hindrance for their children in the future. The advent of technology has happened at a very later stage in the lives of these young parents and they easily got accustomed to it and have a tendency to get carried away in terms of constantly posting pictures of kids to get mere attention in their social media community. There has to be a clear demarcation on what is appropriate to showcase to the world and what is not.

Sharenting phenomenon as a whole is an invisible battle between Parent’s Freedom of Expression vs Children’s Right to Privacy. There is a very blur line between the two. In this battle, it is the parents that need to be sensitive and be completely aware of the consequences that may arise in the future years to come when their children will become adolescent. Humans are social beings and like to share their happy moments to satisfy their psychic, but that should not happen at the cost of a breach of one’s privacy and rights.

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