Mum, are you over sharing on Facebook?
As parents we're obviously proud of our baby’s every achievement and success. But is posting every single detail on Facebook necessary? Are there dangers in over sharing on Facebook?
Chronology of our posts
Almost everyone is posting intimate details of our lives on social media. It starts with drunken party pictures or back packing travels… then the posts graduate to glossy professionally taken picture-perfect wedding shots, followed by syrupy honeymoon snaps. Next comes the baby-picture craze phase…
The fully baby “feed”
It starts off with the scan: “It’s a boy!” and you know what comes next—the photo of exhausted-looking mummy and daddy with the new bundle, his cute toes, the toothless smiles, adorable onesies…
Some parents go as far as to take photo of a baby’s first poo, as if to document the momentous first “movement”—bowel movement that is. Hey, social media is an avenue to share these lovely baby moments with family that lives across the seas, right? Well, maybe.
10 things not to share on Facebook
You have to understand that, not everybody on your friend’s list is over-excited seeing your “all-about-baby” status updates. A 31-year-old, Blair Koenig was so “annoyed” with being bombarded with these posts that she started a blog of parents over sharing on Facebook. Blair said: “When I tell people about the blog they have two reactions: Either, ‘I know someone who does that’ or ‘Uh-oh, I could be on your site’.”
Check out the site, you may be on there without knowing it. Also, see examples of typical over sharing on Facebook– if you are not sure if you have crossed the line. The blog has about 20 categories of examples ranging from “Gross out factor” to “Spoilt brats” to “WTF of the day”!
Does baby have a say in this “over exposure”?
Celebrities do it all the time—Mariah Carey and dembabies.com, Lily Allen made sure all her followers were aware of her leaking breasts on Twitter and other celebs are proud to put their kids on the pedestal online. What’s wrong with that?
Sure, you may not see consequences now as it is all cute and funny but when your child is 18 he might not thank you for the years of over exposure. He may not appreciate your well-intentioned sentiments in keeping an open childhood diary for the world to see. What you consider cute may be humiliating to him—and you never asked his permission before posting, did you?
Are you mis-leading by example?
According to Maud Weber-Brown, a mother who founded HomeRoom, which teaches kids how to write computer code after school says: “After a certain age children are ferocious controllers of their own social media. Their world is synchronised in such a different way that it’s irrelevant if their parents are profiling them online because they have a handle on it themselves.
Now the big question is, how do you expect your children to be cautious if you have been posting every minuscule detail of their lives online? Some parents even post photos of their children’s nappy rash and of them in the bath. A 42-year-old dad, Stefano Cordes had this opinion: “Photos of her in the bath are the obvious example. It’s not about a fear of pedophiles – it’s just I wouldn’t post photos of myself naked on Facebook, so I don’t see why my daughter should be on there.”
Dangers of over sharing
Facebook posting etiquette
Don’t fall into the category of annoying parents who indulge in over sharing on Facebook. Here are some tips to consider before flooding everyone’s feed!
1. Ask yourself, who is interested? Before you post the breakfast your baby just had, ask: 1. Would anyone who isn’t family be keen? How personal or private is this? Is there any other way to communicate this “news”– maybe a private message? Think about it this way, perhaps emailing and CC-ing relevant people would be more appropriate than sharing with everyone you know.
2. You don’t have to prove that you’re a good parent. Not everything has to go on social media. Sometimes it is good to have bragging rights to some special notable accomplishments. But what may be a bragging moment for you may bore the daylights out of someone else.
3. Practice some self-censorship. Think about how you’re presenting your child to the world. How are you characterizing him? How would you feel if you were in his position? Value his reputation. Also, be very careful about the information you choose to share for safety reasons. Stay away from posting details that are personally identifiable. Check your privacy settings but know that they are not infallible!
RELATED: 10 online safety tips
No parent would openly admit to over sharing on Facebook, be brutally honest with yourself and take the poll below to find our if you’re oversharing.
Here are some comments from our readers
Vern Nice: I am but it’s my Facebook and I love sharing with my love ones. To me, every moment that makes me happy is a moment worth sharing.
Andy Lim: The last thing to do is teach people how to use their Facebook. Stereotyping irregardless whether people admit to this or not.
Wendy Tan: What is wrong with sharing stuff on MY facebook?? If it bothers you, simply unfriend me. Easy peasy… Duh!
Kis Quek-Ha: I only have my friends on my FB, so why not tell them what is happening in my life? We are not so free to meet up as often to catch up. By doing this, I get to know a lot about my friends too…well…if you are not interested in what I am sharing, you can always opt to hide my post…
Syaz Han Hina: It is a individual’s opinion if they wish to share abt their newborns or relationships in FB.. BUT as long as they do private setting to the posts or photos they upload, cos some strangers or frens whom are too free might just get jealous and start telling bad things around! For me, YES I DO SHARE but Limit to those whom can see not to ALL!! :))