Hey, sharenter (oversharing parent) – yes, you. Sure, it’s adorable that Emily just had her first taste of banana, but since your Facebook friends have read at least 30 posts informing them of the build-up to this auspicious event, they may not be quite as excited as you expect.
Here are some other signs that you need to tone down the tell-alls:
Your friends and work colleagues have seen a little too much of your boobs, thanks to your racy Demi Moore-inspired pregnancy shoot.
Everyone knows exactly what your daughter looked like when she was a 22-week-old foetus. Here’s something to consider: since sonograms generally look like duds from a broken photocopier to anyone who’s not a gynae, chances are they’re not going to find them particularly thrilling.
You live-streamed your gender reveal party on Facebook. The only people who care are the people at the party.
You decided on the au natural look for your child’s first Facebook appearance, which means that most people were introduced to her as a howling lump of vernix.
Up-to-the-minute baby milestones
Your friends know how old your child is – right up to the second, thanks to the carefully-styled baby milestone pics you proudly display on Instagram.
You’ve photographed a daily chronicle of your child’s life and posted every picture on every social media platform.
You keep your audience well informed about your little one’s escalating temperature and medication, instead of telling the doctor.
You haven’t yet wished your child happy birthday, but you’ve broadcast the news about her celebrations – along with a pic of the cake you baked.
Everyone has seen her naked (she’ll hate you for that when she’s 16).
How to stop the overshare
Apart from being mildly annoying to everyone on your social media platform, sharenting can pose a real threat to your child’s privacy. Here’s how to stop:
- Check your privacy settings. Ensure they are on maximum privacy on all your social media channels. On Facebook, click on the lock icon in the top right hand corner and select “Who can see my stuff?” then make sure that only “Friends” is ticked. From the same menu you can choose “Limit past posts” – change all your past post visibility to “Friends”.
- Stick to sharing only key celebrations like your baby’s first birthday or his first day at school.
- Create a WhatsApp group for family members and close friends.
- Consider what you’re about to post. Your child may be just a child, but when she’s older, think about how she will feel about having this information/picture of her broadcast to the world.
- Never share a naked pic.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.