Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Warning: Your Facebook Posts May Be Harmful to Your Child's Future
Posted on March 27th 2013
New parents spend an obsessive amount of time thinking through the many details that could affect the long-term well being and identity of their child. From the food the mother eats during pregnancy, to the name chosen at birth, to choices around where to buy a house based on school districts; painstaking details are considered when trying to create a path of future success for their child. But today, parents are making daily decisions that create a lasting and sometimes adverse consequences: they post on social media.
There have been plenty of articles written about the fact that the name you give your child can affect everything from how socially accepted they are to their future career path. As parents, we take tons of time Googling to find the best name, buying books to explore all the options and spend hours debating the merits of one name or another. With so much thought put into one little word, its perplexing to think about the lack of thought being put into all the words and images parents are posting about their children online every day.
Millions of proud parents post pictures, accomplishments, adorable and not so adorable quotes from their children on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most parents know by now that they need to be careful around how social media can become a permanent, sometime hazardous, record of their own life. What most parents are not spending the time to think about is the indelible identity they are creating for their child - before their child even has a say in it.
The fact is we live in a world where a person’s life can be catalogued via social media from the first ultrasound image to the first step to the first date. Parents are using social media to share their parenting moments without really thinking about the fact that they are also creating an online record of their child’s life as well as their own. Sure, when the child is an adorable infant it seems harmless enough. But what happens as those babies turn into tweens and start creating their own identities? Are parents posting on their own behalf or that of their child?
Today’s online profiles are used for everything from college entrance evaluations, to career recruiting to dating. What will your child’s profile say about them and how will others use it to make life-altering decisions about them? What decisions would others make about you if they know all the “precious” moments of your childhood years were available to peruse?
Let’s talk through a few examples I’ve regularly seen:
The Political Child: Parents posting photos of their children at a political rally or decked out in political wear.
The Privileged Child: Parents posting photos of their child in extravagant situations.
The Prejudiced Child: Parents posting photos or stories that are racially charged.
It may seem far fetched to think that these simple status updates can impact your child’s future but a recent Times Magazine article states that 25% of school officials have looked up applicants on Facebook or Google. The article goes on to explain that colleges use it as a way to find out who the applicant really is. This is the same thing I hear from recruiters and even my friends when they are dating. It is human nature to try to learn as much as we can about someone we are genuinely interested in.
As parents we contribute so much to the people our children become. Unfortunately, we also possess unintentional biases about our children. There’s the smart child, the athletic child, the popular child, the troublemaker. A decade or more of those biases can indelibly build an online picture of a person that you see your child to be rather than allowing them the space to define the person they see themselves to be. When things as important as colleges, careers and future spouses are on the line, it may be worth a couple of thoughtful reviews of how parents are documenting their child’s life online.
The world of social media is powerful. I advise brands every day on how to think through their social media identity and strategy. It is not about being un-authentic or holding back. But it is about being thoughtful and putting your best foot forward for the whole world to see, because they will see it. In a world that captures comments without context and pictures are tagged by others; time, care and attention has to be paid to perception because in the world of social media that perception is the reality.