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Children To Parents: ‘Don’t Post About Me On Facebook Without Asking Me’

HughPickens.com writes: Sites like Facebook and Instagram are now baked into the world of today’s families. Many, if not most, new parents post images of their newborn online within an hour of birth, and some parents create social media accounts for the children themselves — often to share photos and news with family, although occasionally in the pursuit of “Instafame” for their fashionably clad, beautifully photographed sons and daughters. Now, KJ Dell’Antonia writes in the NYT about the growing disconnect between parents and their children and the one surprising rule children want their parents to know: Don’t post anything about me on social media without asking me. “As these children come of age, they’re going to be seeing the digital footprint left in their childhood’s wake,” says Stacey Steinberg. “While most of them will be fine, some might take issue with it.” Alexis Hiniker studied 249 parent-child pairs distributed across 40 states and found about three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents shared on social media. “Twice as many children as parents expressed concerns about family members oversharing personal information about them on Facebook and other social media without permission,” says co-author Sarita Schoenebeck. “Many children said they found that content embarrassing and felt frustrated when their parents continued to do it.”

When researchers asked kids what technology rules they wished their parents would follow — a less common line of inquiry — the answers fell into seven general categories:

1) Be present — Children felt there should be no technology at all in certain situations, such as when a child is trying to talk to a parent.
2) Child autonomy — Parents should allow children to make their own decisions about technology use without interference.
3) Moderate use — Parents should use technology in moderation and in balance with other activities.
4) Supervise children — Parents should establish and enforce technology-related rules for children’s own protection.
5) Not while driving — Parents should not text while driving or sitting at a traffic light.
6) No hypocrisy — Parents should practice what they preach, such as staying off the Internet at mealtimes.
7) No oversharing — Parents shouldn’t share information online about their children without explicit permission.

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