Research shows that children may be uncomfortable with these images and the way parents use technology
Besides selfies, food photos, “good drink” (sic) and cats. I believe that these healthy kinds of images that more posted on social networks. In fact, there is another popular category: photos of children. Many parents love to post photos of children at all stages of growth, in different situations. An innocent and surrounded by graceful habit, right?Usually yes. It’s just good to know dose: one study shows that children may end up not liking these images in the future.
The combination of digital photography with social networks only reinforced a parent typical behavior, whether first-timers or not. Photo albums of my family keep dozens of pictures of various stages of my childhood made, most often with photographic films 12, 24 or 36 poses, the same goes for my brothers and cousins. If you have more than 20 years, probably also has a lot of photos as well.
I never bother with these photos and still keep many of them carefully. But I remember one exception phase in my teens: I could not hide my embarrassment when my mother showed the albums for visits. In 99% of the photos there was nothing special. But that 1% that I appear, for example, five-year-old trying to imitate Superman with a towel without realizing that I should be wearing at least one piece of clothing …
In a way, post photos of children in social networks is an extension of this habit of showing photo albums for home visits, but with a reach several times greater, in a matter of seconds you can make that newly drawn picture to reach relatives , friends or acquaintances, no matter where they are.
It is pleasant to record the graceful or funny moments of the children and share it with our circles of friends. But even with this habit being totally devoid of harmful intentions, it does not reflect on what children will find these images when they are old enough to discern things more clearly?
This type of questioning led a group of researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Michigan to investigate the matter. They interviewed 249 American families who have children aged between 10 and 17 years to try to understand how the addition of social networking technology to interfere in their relationships with parents.The results brought surprising revelations.
Basically, the interviews revolved around a single question to children: that rules relating to the use of the technology they wanted their parents to follow?
Note that, of course, very young children do not understand what is happening, but those with more than ten years that have access to computers and mobile devices include the ritual that picture just taken with the phone goes to a place that can be accessed by others.
But more than that, these children can identify behaviors associated with the use of technology, so that the researchers could divide the responses or perceptions of them on the subject in seven main categories:
– Be present: for many children, there are certain situations where the technology should not be present, such as when they try to talk to the parents;
– Autonomy for them: parents should allow children to make their own decisions on the use of technology;
– Use sparingly: parents should moderate the use of electronic devices, balancing this practice with other activities;
– Supervise children: rules related to the use of technology must be created with parents should ensure that children do them for the safety of themselves;
– In front of the steering wheel, no: the kids are great observers. They notice when the father or mother picks up the phone while driving or waiting for the traffic light turns green and think they should not do this;
– No hypocrisy: parents should set an example fulfilling the orders they give to children, for example, avoiding looking at the smartphone while lunch;
– No over-sharing: in relation to photos and other personal information, many children think that parents should not share them without their consent.
The Point of View of Children and Adolescents
The last point is precisely what drew the most attention from researchers. Alexis Hiniker, study leader, told the New York Times that the answers reveal a “very interesting disconnect”: children aged 10 and 17 were really concerned about how their parents share details of their lives on social networks, while these (parents) did not give much importance to this aspect.
Until that is easy to understand this concern. As children grow and develop more expressive social traits, concern for the image itself increases. Hiniker cites the story of a 15 year old on a school classmate: the parents of this girl posted on YouTube a video of her singing when she was younger; someone in the class found the footage and, well, later the whole room laughed hysterically discovery.
There are many cases that come to this extreme, yet Hiniker claims to have obtained reports of several young people between the ages of 15 who hold some kind of discomfort with photos published by the parents in previous years and who feel frustrated when they repeat these actions today.
It is obvious that the parents did not act – or act – with intent to cause embarrassment or any other kind of hassle to children. The point is that the advent of social networks came around 2004 and, therefore, it is only now that we can evaluate the effect of children photos of publications in the long run.
When using social networks, we expect interactions with our friends and relatives in the form of comments, likes, shares and the like. These actions are immediate rewards. The fact that social networks are shaped to generate reactions in this added to the lack of previous parameters of behavior in these services means that we have no room to think about the future implications.
Well, it’s different now. Searches like this should be intensified, so as to alert authorities associated problems. A recent example: in February, the French national police used Facebook to guide parents about the need for serious care with the publication of pictures of children on the internet.
The warning concerns not only the possible psychological impact that images can have on children in the future, but mostly about the risks of photos attract pedophiles and other criminals.
It may seem an exaggerated warning, but the French authorities decided to release the alert after a type of post have gained enough popularity: parents (most overwhelming of the time, mothers, actually) were invited to post on Facebook three photos depicting pride they feel the children and invite ten contacts to join the same “challenge”. This type of posting when careless (showing the child in a uniform that identifies your school, for example), can facilitate the child’s location.
Researchers and authorities do not want to interfere in the daily lives of families, let alone use a accusatory stance to say that parents should not do. The aim is only alert to the need for caution in the use of technology and social networking.
It is not necessary therefore to radicalize, or stop time to post photos of children. But you may want to surround yourself with care: restrict the images to family members or close friends, not share other photos (all excess is bad, no?) And ask if that publication may somehow embarrass the child when it is more old are great measures.
There is also the educational aspect: if the parents show care early, the child will probably learn quickly to be cautious in social networks when it’s accessing these services alone.