Am I a sharent? It’s the sort of word merger (like Brangelina or TomKat) that usually makes me want to hold a cactus really tightly.
But ‘sharenting’ has become ‘a thing’, complete with Wikipedia entry:
The practice stems from the connected nature of social media early-adopters, who are comfortable sharing their lives online. When they had children, they began to share large numbers of pictures online.
And the Wall Street Journal recently got its knickers (paisley, boyfriend-style with lace trim, at a guess) in a twist on the subject, concluding that, ‘sharenting can turn parenthood into a competition for attention’.
But, they’re just photos. You don’t have to follow people whose photos make you want to snort a bag of Maltesers in some kind of sofa-based protest.
Sure, once your spawn become teenagers, they might feel a bit distressed when casting an eye back over your Instagram account to stumble across a picture of them chowing down on your boob, but then, breastfeeding is a whole other can ‘o’ worms.
And are a few shared happy snaps of Project Procreation (with some anti-grooming controls) really worthy of all the digital finger wagging?
There is even a shaming site, called STFU Parents (STFU = Shut The Fuck Up). Although, it’s examples are at what might be called the Kardashian end of the sharing spectrum, with vom pics (“This is what I had to clear up today, haha!”) and a mother showing off her own placenta with the kind of glee normally reserved for the kid that bagged the role of Mary in the nativity play.
But are we sharents on a mission to bore the pants (definitely lacy numbers) off the Wall Street Journal readership, or to get one up on our parental frenemies? No. We’re all just trying to get by and how we do that – whether its gin/social media/laughing at badgers on YouTube, is a personal choice. If you don’t like it, don’t follow it.
Think you’ve gone too far in a sleep deprived/boob-leaking/toddler teething stupour? Only STFU Parent will tell. **Heads over immediately**