Oversharenting: What is Responsible Sharing in the Digital Age?

Oversharenting Baby Selfie (image)

Jennifer McDonnow (image)Jennifer McDonnow
Blogger at KidsEmail.org | Mom of Two
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Do you know someone who is guilty of oversharenting?

We all seem to have that certain friend that likes to post picture after picture and detail after detail of their kids. You know who they are, I see them in my Facebook friend list often. Three in four U.S parents say that know of at least one mom or dad that is guilty of this too.

There is a term for these parents’ constant oversharing. It’s called Oversharenting. It’s the term that’s been making the rounds on the internet to describe parents who over share daily activities and photos of their children. Let’s take a moment to consider some of the motivations behind oversharenting and also some of the reasons we should be cautious about doing it ourselves.

Why might people feel the need to overshare on social media?

Here are some reasons that parents gave:

  • To keep extended family in the loop of every little triumph the child reaches.
  • For affirmation and positive reinforcement through likes on social media.
  • To solicit advice and support during the tough first years of parenting.

What other reasons do you have for sharing what you share?

Although we all like to share milestones and experiences of their children, it’s important to be aware that there there are many risks associated with oversharenting.

Some Risks of Oversharenting:

  • When sharing too much information, the parent creates a digital footprint for their child at a young age, before the child actually has any control over what they want shared.
  • Social Media companies have rights to your photos and video. In the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities Facebook says: “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”
  • People steal images all of the time. There’s no guarantee “Friends” won’t share or save and image you’ve posted, even if you’ve set strict privacy settings.
  • Pedophile websites, advertisers, and blogs have been known to steal uploaded images from all forms of social media as well.

Sharing information has never been faster than in the digital age. While it can be very convenient to post things about our children to keep those connected, it’s important to remember that there are those that will abuse the latest upload. Be cautious and very selective when posting.  Remember its just not a picture, its your child and their digital footprint. 

Please share your thoughts on how much sharing is too much in the comments below!


Jennifer McDonnow (image)About Jennifer McDonnow

Jennifer is the Administrative Assistant at KidsEmail.org. She is the content writer of the Kids Email Blog and helps manage their social media accounts. Being a Mom of 2, she works hard on providing content to parents in hopes of helping keep kids safe online.

View all posts by Jennifer McDonnow here.


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8 Comments on “Oversharenting: What is Responsible Sharing in the Digital Age?”

  1. This is so true!! I even have friend’s on Facebook that post naked baby photos. I try and tell them that even if your Facebook is private, that doesn’t mean other people won’t eventually gain access to these photos. We are so used to putting our lives on social media that we do it to our children without a thought. I think pictures should be limited until they are older and have a say in what they want posed.

    1. You’re so right, Amber! Ultimately, it is up to each parent to do what they want. But you’re right that it’s not really fair if the children don’t get a say. They’ll grow up to find out that their young lives are all published on social media!

  2. oh i have read so many post about people who have people on thier social media that overshares luckly i dont have that problem and to me that personal info i dont want other people seeing

  3. I don’t post many pictures on my social of my boys…I still like the old picture in the mailbox thing. I feel like certain parents do to much to expose their child for fame

    1. Thanks for the comment, Natalie! Is your impression that parents are seeking fame for the kids by posting on social media? That could definitely be the case. Some people seem to just enjoy living their lives more publicly that others, don’t they?

  4. Thanks,this is a great topic for sure and i believe parents post to much imformation about their kids….where,s the privacy folks??

    1. We know what you mean! LOL. Most of the time it just feels safer to lean towards posting LESS rather than more. But some folks seem to enjoy living their lives more publicly. And that can be ok. It’s just important to think about this stuff with young kids, because they don’t really have any say over what you’re posting. And maybe they won’t want that all over the internet later.

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