Do you remember the days when everyone was nervous about posting baby pictures online? Parents were warning the new generation of parents not to post photos on social media of their new kids. But with technology running rampant these days, people are posting whatever they like. As I’ve gotten older I see more and more of my friends posting pictures of their adorable offspring. I’m scrolling through Facebook thinking: have they forgotten these warnings?
Parents had good reasons to heed warnings. The latest news reports of digital kidnapping, wherein people will repost a child’s pictures online and create new identities for them and claim the photos as their own, sound terrifying, right? Melanie, a young Torontonian mom, says that her mother was ‘concerned’ about posting photos. Though she loves receiving photos of her granddaughter, she worries, as people see photos and are quick to think of the worst possible scenario.
Melanie said that while she was pregnant, she didn’t want to post pictures because she was worried what others would think. After her daughter, ELSA, was born, she said she was so overwhelmed with love and joy she wanted to share with the world what had given her so much love. She says, “I don’t limit how many photos I put up of ELSA. It just depends on what I’m doing that day with her and if it’s worth posting at the time.”
With most parents concerned with their children using social media, usually articles will pop up about how to keep them safe while on social media. There are also numerous articles about how to become InstaFamous and make money by using social media to develop your brand. However, there are also children who are trying to make a difference using social media. Huffington Post reports that half of the teens who use social media feel as though they now understand what other people are experiencing. 68% of them say the benefits of these social media outweigh any of the risks.
Social media has also changed the way charities will fundraise. 95% of charities have a Facebook page and 83% have Twitter. It’s known that 55% of people who engage with these organizations on social media will donate towards the cause. This is a great and effective tool for boosting revenue and awareness. Children in this generation understand the importance of social media and are well equipped to make use of all the apps at their disposal. There are so many different ways to connect with people to spread positive messages.
Media offers a world of entertainment and learning possibilities for children and youth. The kidsmediacentre explores kids' media futures and is committed to supporting cross-platform content producers in Canada to ensure the kids' media industry is vibrant, indigenous and committed to the healthy growth of children.