This essay first appeared in the Washington Post. Read the full essay here.
I talk about my kids on social media. I do it because I am proud of them, and of course I do it because I think they are adorable.
And sometimes I do it, maybe subconsciously, for my own benefit. Such as the time I posted a picture of my son’s art project: a picture of Martin Luther King Jr., one of his heroes. He wrote under his hand-drawn picture: “I have a dream that Martin Luther King’s dream will always come true.” I shared it the day after Elizabeth Warren, while reading from a letter by Coretta Scott King, was forced to sit down. My son’s artwork, created weeks before, offered me hope that, indeed, hope would still be seen, even if only to my Facebook newsfeed.
Does it matter? Am I oversharenting?
Dr. Bahareh Keith and I co-authored an article in JAMA Pediatrics. It is available for download here: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2613405
Keith BE, Steinberg S. Parental Sharing on the InternetChild Privacy in the Age of Social Media and the Pediatrician’s Role. JAMA Pediatr. Published online March 27, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.5059
I was thrilled to be quoted in a recent NPR article, written by Tara Haelle.
“[Stacey] Steinberg and Bahareh Keith, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine, say most children will likely never experience problems related to what their parents share, but a tension still exists between parents’ rights to share their experiences and their children’s rights to privacy.
‘We’re in no way trying to silence parents’ voices,’ Steinberg says. ‘At the same time, we recognize that children might have an interest in entering adulthood free to create their own digital footprint.'”
I was also quoted in a recent Reader’s Digest article, written by Stephanie Smith.
“‘Think of your kids as autonomous people who are entitled to protection not only from physical harm but intangible harm as well,’ says Stacey Steinberg, a legal skills professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida, and associate director for the Center on Children and Families.”
Our research has also been cited this month in numerous international publications, including The Irish Times, Europia Press, Marie Claire Italy, Univision, O Globo, News World India, Knowing Asia , and more.
It has been an incredible honor to see my work reach such a broad audience. I am so grateful to the talented writers and editors who have featured my work.
Dr. Bahareh Keith and I presented our abstract on children’s privacy last weekend at the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Conference. It was an incredible experience. Like us, many members of the audience have grappled with balancing parental sharing with children’s privacy. It was wonderful to share our research with such thoughtful professionals.
We received a significant amount of press coverage during the event. Here is a small sampling of the news features discussing our work.
CNN – The do’s and don’ts of posting about your kids online [link] October, 2016
CBS News – Something to consider before posting about your kids [link] October, 2016
“’Online sharing offers many positive benefits to both parents and children and to communities as a whole, but this message is all about finding a balance,’” Steinberg told CBS News. “’A parent’s right to share and the benefits of sharing is very important and by exploring this we can find a way to allow families to connect online but also to respect children’s privacy.’”
I had the pleasure of sharing my research with Slate this week. Here are some quotes from the article:
“Steinberg suggests a focus on providing guidance that helps parents think through the implications of sharing information about their kids online.
In a forthcoming article in the Emory Law Journal, she considers how a public health–based approach to behavior change could address these concerns. For example, health professionals have mounted campaigns to educate parents and the general public about ways to combat secondhand smoke exposure and sudden infant death syndrome. In the article, Steinberg provides a list of recommendations for parents, including the suggestion that parents ask their children before posting pictures online and give children “veto power” over information, photos, or videos they don’t want to be shared. Steinberg, who along with pediatrician Bahareh Keith will present on this topic at next month’s national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, believes doctors could be a good source for parents to turn to get advice about online sharing decisions.”
You can read the full article here.
I’ve written extensively about sharenting, or the practice of parents sharing about their children on social media. You can read my research here and my Washington Post essay here. You can also read my NY Times interview on the subject here.
I was interviewed by Redbook Magazine this week. Here are some highlights from the article:
“‘Most parents want to do the best for their kids, [but] when it comes to online sharing, there’s just not a lot of information out there — parents can be at a loss,'” she says. …
But while there may be a lack information, there’s an abundance of sharing from other parents. Steinberg says that a whopping 92 percent of 2-year-olds have a social media presence, and one-third of all kids appear on social media within the first twenty four hours of their lives. …
Steinberg pointed out that there are, indeed, lots of pluses to so-called ‘sharenting,’ such as how it can foster a sense of community.
‘I think that really, when we look at these issues, we’re going to have to find a way for society to value a parent’s right to share, and a child’s interest in privacy,’ Steinberg says.”
On March 8, 2016, New York Times editor K.J. Dell’Antonia interviewed me regarding children’s privacy on social media. I’ve written a law review on this topic, forthcoming in the Emory Law Journal.
Read the full article here:
Don’t Post About Me on Social Media, Children Say
A few additional links to articles referring to this interview are here:
Kveller: Kids Wish Their Parents Would Stop Posting About Them on Social Media
Express: How the tables have turned: Kids now telling parents to ditch their phones
A draft of my forthcoming article, Children’s Privacy in the Age of Social Media, is available here. It will be published in the Emory Law Journal in Spring, 2017.