Study: Kids want parents to think twice before posting to social media

Study: Kids want parents to think twice before posting to social media

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Whether you love it or hate it, social media is deeply entrenched in our lives.

And in this world of constant tweets and Facebook reactions, many of us have had conversations about that person in our network who overshares – but what happens if that someone is your Mom and Dad?

Recently, researchers at universities in Washington and Michigan found that children across the country are concerned with what parents share about their lives online, including personal information.

Assistant professor Sarita Schoenebeck with the University of Michigan's School of Information says many kids they spoke to during the study found this type of sharing "embarrassing" and were frustrated that parents continued to share personal information without permission.

In a New York Times blog post, writer KJ Dee'Antonia expands on this idea and spoke to kids who were not only concerned with their own parents posting pictures of them without permission, but also what photos other parents were taking during group social occasions like a school field trip.

It's not a stretch to understand why kids may be pushing back against what they feel is oversharing. We've all been embarrassed to learn our mom or dad shared stories about us that we probably didn't want the neighbors or grandma to know.

Also, the social media savvy know that nothing ever dies on the Internet and it can be surprising how much of it is searchable to the public.

So who is right? How do we balance a parent's desire to share a funny moment over a child's desire for privacy? When does a parent let their child take over their digital identity? (And of course there is the reverse of that situation – parents may not want children sharing everything they do!)

We'd love to hear from you on this issue. Has your child surprised you by asking you not to share a picture or anecdote of them on social media? Does your child's class have ground rules for sharing group photos after a field trip or play? Or have you decided to limit your child's exposure to social media until you feel they're old enough to manage their own accounts?

Whatever the situation, we encourage you to email reporter Vanessa Araiza at if you'd like to share your experience. We may use your feedback in a future report!

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