Are Parents Exploiting Their Kids on Social Media?

Are Parents Exploiting Their Kids on Social Media?

The Atlantic, 2019

Editorial Rating



Do you document your kids’ lives on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, or are you horrified when people post images and videos of their children online? “Sharenting” – a portmanteau word derived from “sharing” and “parenting” – is a common phenomenon. Many proud parents post videos and photographs of their offspring on an array of internet platforms. But children aren’t in a position to grant or deny consent, so their right to privacy gets violated for the sake of a few online likes. And sharing a seemingly innocuous photo of your children could compromise their safety and wreak havoc on their lives as they grow into adults. Parents who watch this brief, colorful analysis may begin to think twice before clicking the share button.


Proud parents used to carry pictures of their kids in their wallets to show off to friends and family. Now, they share images and videos of their kids to all and sundry online. In fact, in the United States, 34% of kids have a “digital footprint” before they are born because their parents post sonogram images online. Many parents subsequently share pictures of births, first steps, first words, and more. The phenomenon isn’t confined to social media influencers; almost all parents participate in “sharenting” to some degree. Moreover, schools, clubs, sports teams, day ...

About the Speaker

Taylor Lorenz is a staff writer for The Atlantic, where she covers technology.

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