Why Some Parents Are Thinking Twice About Over-'Sharenting' Online

PHOTO: Blogger Jennifer Collins said shes going to rein in some of the stories she shares about her children.Jennifer Collins
Blogger Jennifer Collins said she's going to rein in some of the stories she shares about her children.

Watch it, mom and dad.

A rise in over-"sharenting," that's parents who post nonstop about their children, is chipping away at the privacy of a younger generation, according to a survey from the University of Michigan.

"By the time children are old enough to use social media themselves many already have a digital identity created for them by their parents," Sarah Clark, associate research scientist in the University of Michigan’s Department of Pediatrics, said in a statement.

Jennifer Collins of Houlton, Maine, identifies with the more than one half of mothers and one-third of fathers who told researchers they discuss parenting on social media.

Collins' blog, Graceful Mess, is hosted by the Bangor Daily News. She also has an Instagram account, Twitter feed and Facebook page devoted to the antics of her 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

She told ABC News she's "seriously re-thinking" her approach after her daughter saw a photo she posted on Facebook and asked why she has to share "everything."

"Mom, do you really have to share everything that happens in our lives on Facebook?" Collins said her daughter asked.

"There have been times she has gone to school and people know about her weekend before she had the chance to share her story," she said. "As they get older they realize they don’t even have the chance to tell the story."

Collins said she has no plans to stop being a "mom blogger" but will be more careful about the personal stories she chooses to tell, especially as his daughter gets older.

"Recently I felt the need to rein that in a bit because it is their story to tell," she said.

While there are pitfalls to sharing certain information online, there are also plenty of reasons how it can help parents to share common experiences.

The University of Michigan survey covered parents of children ages 0 to 4 years old. It found that 28 percent of parents discussed how to get their children to sleep, while 26 percent discussed eating tips and 19 percent asked other parents for advice on discipline.

"It’s relatable," Collins said of the reason why she joined the blogging community five years ago. "I didn’t want to feel like I was the only one experiencing or going through a problem."

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