Is it okay to share parenting online?

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These days everyone has the opportunity to make a place for themselves on the Internet, whether it’s through YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. The choice to make private lives public is an option for all.

A baby’s first smile and a toddler’s first few steps are usually quite private moments, but they now can be made public at the click of a button. Children who are placed in the eye of the media Internet via parents or guardians don’t have much say in the matter.

When Harry’s younger brother Charlie bit his finger in a family home video, father Howard Davies-Carr had no idea that the little snippet he uploaded to Youtube, originally just for fun, would soon go viral, and make over $150,000.

In an interview for the U.K.’s Daily Mail Online, Davies-Carr said he was torn between feelings about the viral video.

“On the one hand, I feel compelled to keep the momentum going, but, on the other, not a day goes by when I don’t ask myself if I’m doing the right thing,” Davies-Carr said, adding that the money is going into a college fund for the two boys.

Lauren Tomlinson, a BYU alumni from Federal Way, Wa., said she is wary of posting private things about her life on the Internet.
“I’m still not totally sure how I feel about my kids on the Internet,” Tomlinson said. “I’m concerned about privacy. It seems in this day and age privacy is becoming less and less important to people. It is still valuable to me and not something I want to give away without thought, especially when it comes to my kids.”
Tomlinson added that she is still currently playing it safe while trying to figure out how much of a digital footprint to have.

Amy Armstrong, San Fransisco resident and owner of the popular YouTube channel “ChildrenVids,” said videos of children will always be appealing to most people.

“I think videos of children are funny to most people because any smart, adorable or funny thing a kid does just makes everyone laugh,” Armstrong said. “There’s nothing wrong with having children in the eye of the media as long as they aren’t overexposed and it’s just kids being kids.”

Blogs have taken up the child-exploitation trend as well, and a popular post among young blogging mothers is one called “the birthing story.” A birthing story elaborates on every detail of the birth of their child, usually  including pictures of the baby fresh from the womb.

Naomi Davis, owner of the popular blog “The Rockstar Diaries,” was not available for comment, but said in the “frequently asked questions” section of her blog that she is not comfortable sharing this private part of her life.

“While I think it’s wonderful that so many share their birth stories online, I feel that mine is very personal and sacred to me, my husband and most importantly, my baby girl,” Davis wrote. “It won’t be shared on this blog. Thanks for understanding.”

However, Davis most recently did a guest post on “The Daybook” blog, the byproduct of Sydney Poulton, another popular blog host. In the guest post, Davis shared details of the birth story of her daughter. Davis is not shy about posting a plethora of pictures of her daughter, Eleanor, on her own blog as well as her Twitter page.

Sharing details about children with family and friends is important to many young parents, and it seems the consensus is the easiest vessel for doing so is through the Internet, whether it be Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.
Monica Hardy, a Washington State University alumni with a degree in child development, said after the dust settles, having an Internet-famous child can be somewhat detrimental.
“Going back to ‘regular life’ can be difficult for children who have been in the spotlight of media attention,” Hardy said. “For the parents as well, because you never know what kind of reaction the viewers are going to have. Some might be positive, others can be negative and really nasty.”
Whether fans love or hate videos and blogs involving children, the outlet still has the potential to go viral.
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