We reached out to Leah Plunkett, author of the book¬†“Sharenthood: why we should think before we talk about our kids online”, and she had this advice for parents, caregivers and teachers engaged in social media activities.

“Use a holiday card rule of thumb to decide whether, when, how, why, and with whom to sharent: if you would put the photo or news update into a hard copy letter, print and mail out hundreds of copies to everyone from your boss to your great aunt, then it’s probably safe sharenting. But if you’d never invest the time and money to broadcast that piece of info so widely and commit it to paper for posterity’s sake, then best to leave it off of digital platforms as well.”

In a world of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and social media, broadcasting children’s milestones is building a powerful database of information. We don’t know how tech companies and others will connect the dots, compile, cross reference and analyze this data and use it for future products, services and experiences.

Leah Plunkett’s book is definitely worth reading. Even if parents don’t change their data sharing habits at least they will better understand the implications and possible consequences of doing so.