Do’s and Don’ts for making the best choices for social sharing

Our parents never had to face this issue: When and what to post about your baby online. It might seem simple, but navigating social media as a new parent can be tricky. So we asked some parents and experts to weigh in with some do’s and don’ts to consider.

Do’s

Use your privacy settings on social media accounts

Ritamaria Laird, clinical director at Individual and Family Connection and mom of a 1-year-old, strongly recommends using privacy settings. Make sure pictures of your children are being shared only with people you trust.

Let friends and family know if you don’t want them to share your baby’s pictures

Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World, notes that some parents keep their kids offline completely, while others limit sharing. “If you have strong feelings, make them known and ask others to not share photos,” she says.

Realize that you don’t have to share every moment

Lauren Glaser, an Arlington Heights mom of a 1-year-old and 3-year-old, says she tries not to post too frequently about her children, noting she shares only special occasions like birthdays, milestones and holidays.

Consider how your children may feel when they are older

“Think twice before you post that photo that may embarrass or even shame your future older child,” Laird advises. Glaser agrees: “I try to avoid what may embarrass my kids down the road, but I’m not always successful. I suspect they’ll have me marking some pictures with the ‘only me’ privacy setting once they have a say in that!”

Don’ts

Divulge details

“Be careful sharing information. Don’t put your child’s first and last name and birth date online. That’s a lot of data,” Heitner says.

Post pictures of bath time or partially nude pictures

“As innocent as they are, many predators and child pornographers find their material online. Once a picture is posted, it belongs to the internet,” Laird says.

Forget about the background of photos

Glaser says she makes sure the background isn’t in front of her home, the kids’ school or daycares. In addition, be considerate of other children also in the picture.

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