Taking their consent before you share a photograph of someone you know, is basic social media etiquette. But when it comes to our children, we often end up denying them this basic right. We think there couldn’t possibly be anything rude about posting a photograph of that being you nurtured in your womb, spent sleepless nights burping and practically put yourself on the back burner to rear into an adult. Isn’t it my parental right to share this being’s photo as and when I please? Erm nope!

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Taking consent before you share a photograph of someone you know is basic social media etiquette.
  • But when it comes to our children, we often end up denying them this basic right.
  • However, this can be seen as a violation of consent and agency by children today.
  • Every post which has their name or any details about them needs to be run by them first.

Isn’t it my parental right to share this being’s photo as and when I please? Erm nope!

Paltrow has learned this lesson the hard way, so that we don’t have to. Her 14-year-old daughter, Apple Martin, publicly reprimanded her for sharing her photos online without her consent. Women In The World reports that Paltrow had posted a photo on Instagram of herself and Martin at a ski resort. While Martin’s face is largely hidden by a helmet and goggles in the said photo, the teenager wasn’t happy about it and thus left a comment, “Mom we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.” While Martin has deleted the comment since then, it has sparked a discussion, both among parents and wards, on social media.

Is Martin right in scolding her mother? Is Paltrow wrong in taking her daughter’s consent for granted? How much of a say should children get at what their parents are posting about them and since what age? Naturally, parents and children have very different perspectives on this issue. However, dear parents, for once it is time to listen to your children and start respecting their agency. This is the tech generation we are talking about, which knows social media like the back of their hand. While most of us adults still get flustered with every minuscule change a digital platform makes, these kids adapt fast and move on.

How much of a say should children get in what their parents are posting about them and since what age?

They are also well versed with their rights and have sense of agency, which we must respect. As soon as your kids begin to discuss what you are sharing about them on digital platforms, you should take it as a sign to stop doing so without their consent. And please do remember this isn’t just about sharing embarrassing or cute pictures from past and present. Every post which has their name or any details about them needs to be run by them first.

So often we come across posts from parents bragging about great performance of their child in exams or athletics. Or an anecdote from childhood shared on a parenting blog. Or even details about their routine or hobbies put up on display on social media. It never crosses parents’ mind that perhaps their children wouldn’t want to share their achievements or likings so openly. We do not know the kind of equation they share with their peers, who can see the posts they are tagged in. Or maybe they are simply not interested in putting their lives on display.

It never crosses parents’ mind that perhaps their children wouldn’t want to share their achievements or likings so openly.

As soon as they develop this sense of agency, it becomes our parental duty to respect their wishes, even if we can’t understand the logic behind it. It is like another cord being cut between you and your child, when the latter begins to strive from digital independence from your doting posts. But it is indeed their right. And our disrespect towards their stance only makes them question how much we respect them as individuals. Letting kids have a say in matters like these is yet another parenting test. You held their hand when they were young and needed guidance. But can you let it go, now that they are wise and willing to take charge of their lives?

Picture Credit: The Cut

Also Read: Is Social Media Causing Weak And Fading Memories?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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