I’ve been thinking about the possible link between sexting (sending sexually explicit messages and/or photographs primarily between mobile phones) and sharenting (parents who blog, tweet and post pictures about all aspects of their children’s lives without regard for the their children’s privacy).
Given the proclivity of some parents to post everything about the lives of their children on line, I expect that they are modelling a laissez faire attitude toward boundaries about what to post on line and what to keep private.
In a Western culture and society that continually exploits the sexualization of girls and does not take seriously the sexual abuse and exploitation of girls and women, it’s no wonder that ‘tweens, teens and adult women cave to such pressure. And resistance to such pressure, I’m suggesting, may be more difficult when a girl’s parents, and most likely her mother, has been sharing the private elements of her daughter’s life through text and photos on line since she was a baby.
I understand that social media is here to stay and offers us the benefit of being able to communicate and be part of other people’s lives in positive ways. However, when the sharing of information, images and ideals that cast judgement and place individuals in harms way, whether through bullying, ostracization, or extreme embarrassment that can lead to depression and in some cases suicide, we must think about and respond to the ill effects of the practices of sexting and sharenting.