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Is It Really Worth Posting Your Child On Social Media?

Living in the 21st century brought it’s unique set of parenting dilemmas

BY Naledi K

Jul 21, 2021, 04:33 PM

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Gone are the days where your most embarrassing moments as a child would only ever make it to the home DVD or the family photo album. In 2021, a child could simply have the most recognisable face in SA if someone uses him or her as a meme or creates a gif out of their "boo boo" moment.
 
More than the advantages, the internet is filled with articles detailing how dangerous it is to create an online life for your baby, toddler or even enthusiastic nine-year-old. People from different professions - brought together by the common denominator of being parents - have shared their opinions on why turning your child into “Instagram’s Next Big Thing” isn’t cute or safe. 
Other parents would rather print out their baby’s photos and put them away in a decorated box than share their bundle of joy with the world.
However, for some parents, having a famous - dare I say even influential - toddler is a goal they drew up the minute the pregnancy test stick said "positive". Here are some arguments for both sides.

The Anti-Social Media Brigade

Some of the reasons that have been listed by the anti-social media for kids squad include the fact that as a parent, you are basically invading your child’s privacy and stripping them of the opportunity to choose what parts of their lives they want to keep to themselves. 

Obviously, your infant is too busy focused on nap time and your toddler is too busy looking for the next thing to break, so needless to say even if you consulted them, they wouldn’t be any help. The anti-social media for kids crew doesn’t think it's cool that your child is essentially forced into a life of fame - and maybe fortune if their Instagram gets 100k followers and they become Pampers or Huggies influencers.

The Parents To Social Media’s Stars

Countering the above point, parents who have no qualm about being parents of Instagram stars will argue that they have a right to share any part of their lives as they see fit. The fact that the child stayed nine months in my uterus should certainly give me the rights to share him or her as “part of my life”.

Plus, in a world where everything is increasingly expensive, it doesn’t hurt if you never have to buy nappies because your baby’s cuteness scored a year's supply of those from his/her micro-influencer gig.

The Anti-Social Media Brigade

Then again, there are the obvious dangers of the internet which include but are not limited to the fact that nothing can ever, truly be deleted once it makes it into the cloud. Or the fact that by posting your child, you open the door for him or her to be targeted by trolls and that the cyberbullying may very well follow them as they grow into adults.

If your teen has to deal with bullies because you gave trolls ammunition to use against him or her then, essentially you’ve failed as a parent. Why? Because one of your core responsibilities as someone’s mommy or dad is to protect them as much as you can for as long as you can.

The Parents To Social Media’s Stars

For this, the millennial parent who has an account on every possible social media platform for their child could easily tell you that by hiding your child away, you are doing them a disservice. The truth is, we will never go back to how things used to be pre-internet. There will never be a time in humanity where social media platforms simply disappear, never to be seen again.

Because of that, perhaps having your kids there and teaching them to navigate the space as soon as their brains can understand the platforms, will help you create a better experience for your child. If they already know that a moemish on their end can be turned into a meme that will live for infinity, maybe they’ll be more mindful of the content they post.

There's Always More Things To Say

There are many other points that could come from either side. Maybe your child loves the camera and vice versa, she deserves the spotlight. Maybe you’ve seen how creeps target kids and how geo-locators have led to some kidnapping so you want to keep your child as far away from the social media streets as possible. 

And whatever other “for-” or “against” argument you may have is probably valid.

Whatever you do, make sure your child is the reason you take that particular decision and be prepared to deal with whatever comes with your actions or choices. However, the bottom line will always remain: It’s each to his/her own.