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Study Suggests Kids Don’t Want To Be On Their Parent’s Social Media

In a study that almost confirms what pearl clutchers have been saying for years, many kids entering their tween and teen years say they would really rather their parents leave them out of their social media.

…[R]esearchers at the University of Michigan, studied 249 parent-child pairs distributed across 40 states and found that while children ages 10 to 17 “were really concerned” about the ways parents shared their children’s lives online, their parents were far less worried. About three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents shared on social media.

Children gave examples of peers laughing at old youtube videos posted by parents, or having to ask their parents to remove images posted to instagram without consulting them. Some parents of course feel that sharing intimate details of potty training or other parenting #strugglz is their right because it helps all parents if everyone shares honestly.

I guess we’ll see how this shakes out if parents start getting sued in a few years, eh?




  1. I've said this for literally 1/2 a decade, within a generation we WILL see the first child-now-adult lawsuits, and these bloggers better hope the court accepts baby headbands and fat pills in their settlements, because it WILL happen.

    THIS! (86)  NOPE! (4)


  2. Andrea

    File under: No Shit, Really?

    THIS! (52)  NOPE! (1)


  3. Resentment Rental

    Leta, Marlo, T1, T2, Lainey, Nella, Dash—and everyone else—your time is coming.

    THIS! (79)  NOPE! (0)


    • Amaryllis

      I cannot wait!

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    • Orangey

      And Lexi! Because who wouldn't want pictures of themselves "breastfeeding" all over the internet at age four on a breast with no milk?

      THIS! (35)  NOPE! (1)


    • The Patriarchy's Money

      Clara and Teddy pageclick$

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  4. cheesecakeisaverygoodlie

    That's right, parents, it's not just your annoyed Facebook friends who are complaining. Even your own children wish you would shut the f**k up about Junior's diaper blowouts.

    THIS! (73)  NOPE! (1)


  5. Amaryllis

    It blows my minds that people see children as *things* they can do anything they want with, as opposed to people you are temporarily caring for until they mature enough to care for themselves.

    THIS! (110)  NOPE! (1)


    • The Real Tami Taylor

      RIGHT? Isn't the whole point of parenting to let your child go at some point? Hopefully raised well and fully capable of adulting in the real world. At some point a prospective employer, school, friend, etc will google their name and find whatever has been put out there. I feel sorry for some of these blogger mom kids. It should not be a novel concept to think that their online image is THEIRS, no matter what their age is.

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    • Right On Top of That Rose

      Isn't that why people say they want to "have" children instead of they want to "raise" children?

      I mean, semantics, I know...and yet...

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      • notkept

        I am not raising children, I am raising adults.

        That said, GOMI has made me think a lot more about what I share about my kids. I never shared intimate things, but when they were toddlers I shared pictures on Facebook pretty frequently. That's much more rare now. And I only share things that I think they would genuinely be proud of, and they are aware of those things and have the wherewithal to object and at times do. Conversely, sometimes they will ask me to share things that they are proud of. Recently, it's been sports and school achievements, not even always with their pictures, and snapshots of art work. I DO NOT EVER complain about them or insult them or share their troubles. AND my page is all set to private and none of us would mind if what I shared were to show up in the newspaper (one recent item was from the newspaper).

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        • Purple21

          I think it's a good rule to ask yourself if you'd be happy for a photo to make the front page of the newspaper before you put it on FB or IG - especially if you make it a profile or cover photo. Maybe 6 or 7 years ago (before I was even on FB, but the rest of the world was) there was a terrible crime in Sydney where a young girl aged 16 or 17 was confronted by a man in her home who put a "collar bomb" on her (it was some kind of extortion attempt). It took hours for the bomb squad to figure out the bomb was a fake, but meanwhile the media were sharing photos of this very young girl in a bikini/ very low cut evening gown, and at the time, I wondered why her parents would choose photos like this for the media while their daughter was still essentially under assault in her own home. But they were just lovely formal photos/ holiday photos that she'd shared on FB without considering it was set to public. None of the photos were vulgar or provocative in context, but of course the media only chose the cleavage shots which were really not a good match for the story.

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  6. Ghost Backup Dancers

    I say the kids should start getting revenge. Mom won't take down that embarrassing photo of you? Sneak one of her sleeping/snoring/drooling or without her makeup on...or whatever. Post on your SM and see how she likes it!

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    • ativan annie

      I just think there should be a law that says that every time a parent posts a naked kid pic that he or she should have to post a nude selfie in the same pose.

      Is that so much to ask of our justice system?

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      • Purple21

        Is that what Kim Kardashian does? At least she keeps the kids' photos private!

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  7. A Touch of the Boleyns

    I hope Josh Davis is dusting off his resume. His kiddies can expect massive settlements.

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  8. SnarkyCat

    I have been talking about this topic for a LONG time. I'm glad it is finally getting some recognition.
    I feel so sorry for children in today's society who are plastered on social media before they are even born and continues until the kid isn't "adorable" anymore.
    Children whose own parents are revoking their right to internet privacy.
    I hear parents say "oh my page is private it's ok! I only have close family and friends on my social media!"
    Nothing on the internet is private.
    People can easily "share" your photo on their own pages with all of their "friends" and page viewers. Didn't think about that, right?
    It is absolutely horrible that children are going to have to deal with such embarrassment in their adult lives. I feel so sorry for them. These kids don't have a voice, so who else will defend them?
    And what society has become is SO MUCH MORE reason why I would NOT want to bring a child into this shit show. Until humans get their f**king act together they need to chill with breeding.

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    • A Touch of the Boleyns

      I'm in a few mommy/baby/parenting 'private' groups on FB. They aren't private at all. You don't know who is logged into someone else's account or who is sharing things outside of the group. I treat them the same as posting stuff on my main page. Me and my husband don't share photos or videos of our children via social media. If you're close enough to us that you want pictures of our children, we'll send you copies of the printouts or you'll see the photos when we visit. There is no need to share images of children without their consent.

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  9. It is known

    Behold the reckoning is nigh and the hashtags shall be glorious in their bounty #tweelawsuit #littlesgetlawyers #sponDLAPiper

    But seriously how many children will end up having to change their names to escape a damaging social media presence created by their parents? Children are people not property, you don't own their online image anymore than you own them. Oh well at least the kids whose parents used a dictionary to name them or spelled a traditional name like Jessica with 10 extra letters will have an excuse to give themselves a real name.

    But I'm just gona be over here sipping my tea though.

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  10. affiliate link directly to cash

    These blogger kids need to have Coogan Accounts set up in their names. Most of them are instrumental in bringing in sponsor/ad money for their parents. If your child is the subject of your latest #ad (looking at you, Natalie Jean!) then that qualifies them as a child model, and they should be taking home their share of the dollars. I think having a fat college fund will help them deal with the fact that their childhood was stolen from them.

    It's time to protect these children. Who's with me?

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    • DingyBroad

      Coogan - my thoughts exactly. These kids are non-paid performers and an entirely new brand of child performers, surprised this hasn't been challenged in court yet (has it?).

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    • the one true morty

      I have said (ranted) the same thing. These blogger kids are unpaid models. They need to be treated as working models, with the same protections and rules about education. And money.
      But if they don't want their pictures or info on the interwebosphere, that should be the be all end all. No consent, no child model.

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  11. thesewingrabbit

    I always used to hate having my photo taken (still do, though I can put up with it), and my dad would grumble that I was being oh so selfish for not letting him/my mum take photos of me. He'd try to take photos of me when I wasn't aware of it, and then if I caught him and wanted to delete the photo he'd get really angry. What, was he worried that he would forget what I looked like if he didn't have a photo of me at every stage of my life or something?? How awful it must have been for parents before cameras were invented.

    To be fair neither of my parents are the social-media types, but it's not as if they never showed other people the photos. Parents do not have a fundamental right to have photos of their children, but all people, whatever the age, have a right to choose whether or not to have their face/body appear in a photo. Even more so if the photos are being posted online for anyone and everyone to see.

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    • Yasssqueen

      As a parent, yes you do want to remember what your kids look like at every stage. It goes by very quickly. I don't agree with posting them all over social media for the world to see, but it's ridiculous to say parents don't have the right to take the pictures at all.

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  12. crispenclean

    I thought of GOMI as soon as I read about this in the NY Times, and I'm glad this study made the front page here. The graduate student who led the research study said there was "a really interesting disconnect" between what the parents thought was appropriate to share on social media and what the children felt about it. The study "found that while children ages 10 to 17 'were really concerned' about the ways parents shared their children’s lives online, their parents were far less worried.

    I think that sums it up. It's interesting that many kids, who are growing up with social media from birth, have more sense in the matter than the adults who are oversharing.

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    • the one true morty

      I wonder if the parents who overshare about their kids have ever thought about how they themselves would feel if their parents had posted all their childhood stuff online. Would they admit they wouldn't have liked it? Or do they totally regret that the internet wasn't around for their childhood because, as raging narcissists, they actually wish they had infinite documentation of their special snowflakiness?
      Why don't they care how their kids feel about it? Seriously, why?

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  13. Make Better Choices

    This topic always makes me think of a somewhat related incident from my childhood. My Mom worked at the grade school I went to and therefore was friends with my teachers and administrators. One night when I was in the second grade I fell asleep with gum in my hair and my Mom spent the morning before school getting it out with peanut butter and shampoo. My teacher mentioned it to me at some point during the school day ("hey you smell like peanut butter!") and I was completely and totally mortified. I still remember the embarrassment and anger I felt at my Mom for sharing that incident with people at school. I can't imagine if something like that were posted online for pretty much anyone in the world to read.

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