Pros and cons of online 'sharenting'

Pros and cons of online 'sharenting'

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Baby's first steps, first place at a swim meet - children give many reasons for moms and dads to be proud, but when does pride become bragging?

Carissa Young has three kids under 4-years-old, she's busy to say the least, and has lots of photos and kid "moments" to share online.

"I started doing that, I have a daughter who's almost four, mostly because we had a lot of extended family, wanted to be able to share things with them," she said.

It's become so common, some parents are now dubbed "sharents." Facebook feeds filled with kids. Moms and dads who blog, tweet and post what can become "oversharing"

Young said it often feels like a virtual competition for likes.

"Honestly, I find myself comparing myself to other people, I just get really negative, especially about myself as a mom," she said.

Dr. Natoshia Cunningham is an assistant professor of behavioral medicine and clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She's conducted research on the parent-child relationship.

She cited a recent survey that found half of mothers and a third of fathers use online forums to discuss parenting.

A majority of parents also reported using social media to share kid questions and issues.

"For parents it feels like you have a sense of community, you can connect with family and friends. You can get some positive attention, reinforcement for doing some things and that can feel really for parents and for kids," she said.

About 92 percent of 2-year-old's in the United States already have an online footprint, according to a 2010 survey by the internet security firm AVG.

That's a potential risk with "sharenting." Short-term privacy concerns and long-term consequences for kids.

Young said she and her husband plan to limit what they post online.

Want to protect your kids' images? Online security experts said check your privacy settings, and consider creating private groups to post photos.

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