How many times have you been at the playground and then saw your kid doing something cute? You probably thought to yourself, “Hey, I should snap a picture of this and post it on Facebook!” I do this more often than I realize. And so as I was driving home from work the other day listening to NPR’s segment about our digital footprints and I was shocked to think how nowadays our children begin to leave theirs from the time they are still in the womb.
We’re growing up in a new age where every action our children takes – every moment in their lives – is recorded digitally and posted on social media. This means that we’re ultimately their PR directors, whether we realize it or not. Every time we post a picture of their newest activity, or a video of some quirky thing they do, we are influencing the way the public sees them. And who knows how much this portrayal affects them as they grow? Never thought about it that way? Neither did I!
Am I telling parents to stop posting pictures and video? No, of course not, but as social media becomes an ever more important part of our daily interactions, it is perhaps something we should draw our attention to. Often times, how we choose to portray our kids can be a reflection of how we wish to be portrayed. As Priya Kumar from the University of Michigan states, “Our public persona in a sense is kind of hard to disentangle from our private self. And those are issues that cultures are always grappling with and this is just the newest iteration.”