Some time ago I overheard a discussion between a little boy and his mother. The topic was his kind deed which she had posted on a social media site. When people began to comment about his kindness, the boy was disturbed, and although not able to fully express the reasons for his distress, he let his mother know he wasn’t happy to have everyone know what he had done.
Having observed a similar situation, before social media, in which a mother told people about a one of her little girl’s wonderful qualities, I sympathized with the boy and was concerned for the possible effect such a post could have on him. When the little girl was older she told her mother she had made a conscious effort to change that wonderful quality because of her mother’s sharing.
On a number of occasions, I have been uncomfortable in religious classes when a teacher shared personal incidences from a child’s life. At times, the experiences involved current, very private challenges.
Children, just like adults, should feel free to live without having their life broadcast. As an individual, I hope my family members respect my privacy and do not share my life in social media. Although it’s obvious that some people want their good deeds, wonderful qualities, and even negative behavior broadcast to the world, other people don’t. As adults we need to draw a line before sharing children’s experiences, feelings, and pictures to allow them privacy.
Consider the following ideas before posting or sharing information about your child.
1. Would sharing cause your child discomfort?
2. Would your child want you to share the story with all the people who may see your post or hear your story?
3. Have you asked for approval before posting or sharing a personal story?
4. Use caution when posting pictures; ask yourself if you are infringing on privacy or making the child’s world unsafe in any way.