Should parents make social media accounts for their children? | The Tylt

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Should parents make social media accounts for their children?
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Remember when you hated it when your parents would take pictures of you as a kid? Imagine if the world could see those photos and videos. 

Some children and teenagers question both past and present sharing. “I really don’t like it when my parents post pictures of me on their social media accounts, especially after finding out that some of my friends follow them,” said Maisy Hoffman, 14, an eighth grader who lives in Manhattan. “I worry more about my dad. He doesn’t always ask if he can post things, so I immediately turn away and ask if he’s going to post it. Or I’ll find out later because my friend saw something of me on his Instagram and I’ll have to ask him to take it down.”
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These parents are giving their children a head start. 

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The experience is sometimes positive, too.

Princeton’s dad, Sai Roberts, 40, a graphic designer, has more modest aspirations. “His mom and I have reviewed some of the other Instagram kids who have a lot of followers, and so there are some concerns in the sense that if it was to get out of hand, but so far it’s really been a positive experience,” he said. “I’m very proud that he’s getting exposure, and I hope he’s able to use that for his own creative flair and voice as he grows older.”

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Posting about children helps foster community among parents, especially in an age when we're so isolated from one another. 

The big reason to share is to build community. Raising children is a more isolated endeavor than ever before. I live, for example, thousands of miles from my family. In this atmosphere of modern parenthood, we all struggle to make it through the day, and the Internet has become an incredible source of support. In the early years of mothering twins, one of the things that brought me the most happiness was posting pictures of them on Facebook. Sharing those photos and engaging with an online community was a lifeline.
At the end of the day, it's the parent's choice. No one chooses their parents, and now no one gets to choose if their parent overshares their photos. It's just what life is like in 2016.

I know there is much concern about the potential dangers in sharing pictures of children: catfishing, identity theft or projected scenarios where our bundles of joy are judged by future employers because of a virtual fingerprint they did not create. But none of this bothers me. My children are my children because of the choices I make about them. They were born to parents who believe that the benefits of sharing photos of them online outweigh the risks—this is their lot, and it has been a constant, familiar part of their upbringing, one with which they seem innately comfortable.

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