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Parenting trends: “sharenting”

Where does the word “sharenting” come from? Apparently The Wall Street Journal was the first to use the phrase “oversharenting” as a combination of “over-sharing” and “parenting.” Since then, the term has grown in popularity and now you can find it all across the internet.

Think about those Facebook posts you’ve seen that have you reaching for the unfollow button. Maybe it’s a photo of baby poop, maybe it’s a series of posts about a trip to the ER for something stuck in baby’s nose, or perhaps it’s a video of a kid doing something really embarrassing. At first it’s funny, weird, or cute but then it’s just a little hard to look at. That’s sharenting – when a parent shares every little detail about their children with no filter.

Thinking you might be a sharent? Don’t sweat it. The term has gotten so popular that a recent scientific survey was actually performed to look at the behavior. It found that while a majority of parents don’t see themselves as over-sharing, they do believe that lots of other parents in their social media networks are. Basically, everyone is sharing just a little too much and no one wants to admit it. We’re all in denial.

This study tells us two things – that we could all stand to share a little less, and that we should try to be more accepting of other people’s oversharing. If someone you know on social media is excited about the things their kid is doing, shouldn’t we be happy for them?

If you’re worried about sharenting, simply give a quick thought every time you are about to hit send. After all, posts about your children aren’t just information about you, they’re about your kid too! As Baby grows up, he might not want all those pictures of him screaming in public or having a tinkle accident shared with the internet. Share the big moments. Share your joy and all your child’s accomplishments. Maybe give a second thought to sharing all the other stuff.

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