Most Kids Have an Online Presence by Age 2

Katie Sweeney

Allow me to introduce you to sharenting, a new phenomenon highlighted in a recent article from Time magazine. More and more parents are creating online presences for their children. In fact, 92% of kids in the U.S. have an online identity by age 2, and American parents share almost 1000 photos of their child by the time the kid is 5 years old. As Nancy Jo Sales explains, “Sharenting has given parenting a whole new dimension: viewer-rated performance.”

Kids grow up with their parents sharing photos, so it’s only natural for this culture of sharing to rub off on them, too. However, it’s not always a good thing, as many young girls resort to posting provocative photos of themselves to get likes and attention through social media. “If building a social-media presence is similar to building a brand, then it makes a twisted kind of sense that girls—­exposed from the earliest age to sexualized images, and encouraged by their parents’ own obsession with self-promotion—are promoting their online selves with sex,” says Sales. “In so doing, they’re also following the example of the most successful social-­media celebrities.”

Sales doesn’t have a solution to the issue of oversharing; she’s merely bringing it to the public’s attention, but something should be done. I didn’t have the best high school experience, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for today’s kids to have their awkward years broadcasted on Facebook.

Learn more about this topic by reading Sales’s American Girls.

What do you think about sharenting?

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