Why Taking Too Many Photos of Your Kid Can Harm Them
Having social media and phone cameras at their fingertips, parents are able to capture every little moment of their kids growing up and share them with the world, instead of just keeping them only in their own memories. This “sharenting” is so widespread that a study found that 81% of kids under 2 have an online presence. Although taking photos of kids is not an issue, taking too many photos of them can be damaging.
We at Bright Side took a look at the reasons why snapping too many pictures of your little ones can be bad for them.
1. Children might think they are the center of the universe.
If parents are constantly taking pictures of their child, without including the family or the child’s friends in the shots, the child might have an inflated sense of self-worth. Since the camera is always on them they might think that all eyes should be on them, at all times. They are even likely to pick up the camera and take selfies themselves. A study has found that the excessive posting of images and selfies may be linked to an increase in narcissism.
2. They might be overly critical of themselves.
Kids might nitpick about what they lack, if their pictures don’t get enough likes. They might demand cuter clothes, be obsessed about camera filters, or ask why were they born ugly. This is even worse if they have friends whose pictures get more likes than them. Comparing themselves to others would not be healthy for their self-esteem, and one study even found that girls who spend a lot of time looking at pictures on Facebook are more dissatisfied with their weight.
3. Kids may have trouble forming childhood memories.
Parents who take too many pictures of their children may forget to help their little ones learn how to talk about their experiences. These parents may be paying less attention to the moment and a study even showed that their memories may be impaired if they’re behind the lens, instead of being in the moment with their children.
4. They could be widely humiliated.
Once they’re all grown up, children might prefer to not have too many of their childhood photos lingering on the internet. When they’ve made a name for themselves, their reputation might be at risk if their parents have posted embarrassing pictures of them online. There’s also the problem of child-shaming, where parents discipline their children and share their photos or videos online. The children might be ashamed to show their faces to their friends at school, if their photos go viral.
5. A lot of moments would no longer be private.
While the parents have the right to control how they raise their children, the children have the right to their own privacy. Parents often share their kids’ photos without their kids’ consent, because the kids are too young. Photo sharing is viewed as an obligation to others and an important part of the parents’ identity, according to a study. So parents are often torn between protecting their children’s privacy and sharing their children’s stories, which their children may end up resenting as they grow older.
6. They may face discrimination at an early age.
Cyberbullying can be very widespread, because people can remain anonymous. Posting children’s pictures can subject them to being discriminated against based on their appearance, by anyone from anywhere in the world. Khloe Kardashian, for example, had to clap back to commenters who criticized her daughter’s biracial skin tone. Some minority adolescents were even threatened with violence because of the color of their skin, one study found.
7. They could be exposed to a higher risk of identity theft.
When sharing photos online, parents may unknowingly give sensitive information about their kids, like their genuine birth date, gender, and sometimes their name. Identity thieves may target young children, because they have no credit history. Later in life, they could have trouble getting a lease, a loan, or even a job.
8. Kids may care too much about what others think of them.
Children begin to care about what people around them think of them as early as 24 months old, according to a 2018 study. Exposing them to the camera and also social media could have either a positive or a negative effect on their behavior. If the parents tell them verbally or comment on social media about their appearance or what they wear, it would shape how they might act next. Other people’s comments on social media could also mold their thinking and attitude.
How many pictures of your child do you take in a day and how often do you post them online? Do you think taking photos of your child does more harm or good? Let us know!