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Hey, Parents! Your Kids Don't Want You Posting about Them Online

The Short of It

According to a recent study, kids think there should be rules for what their parents can post about them on social media.

The Lowdown

That's right. Got a teen or tween? Chances are, they don't want you writing about them or posting pics of their latest accomplishments online.

Are you listening, Mark Zuckerberg?

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Researchers at the University of Michigan studied 249 parent-child pairs and found that teens and tweens ages 10 to 17 "were really concerned" about the ways parents shared stuff about them online. In fact, three times more kids than parents thought there should be rules about what parents post on sites like Facebook and Instagram.

The thing is, these sites are now FILLED with posts from proud moms and dads who can't wait to document every soccer game, every dance competition, and every lost tooth. Many new parents even post images of their newborns straight from the delivery room. And it all seems like fun and games until those kids grow up and hit double digits.

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"I really don't like it when my parents post pictures of me on their social media accounts," one eighth-grader told the New York Times. "Especially after finding out that some of my friends follow them."

The Upshot

I'm not gonna lie. I've heard this exact refrain from my own middle-schooler, who begged me to stop letting her friends follow me on Instagram and Snapchat. And what about posting pictures of her without her approval? As if! I'm not even allowed to comment on one of her posts without earning a proverbial eye roll.

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It's good to know my kid isn't the only one up in arms. "As these children come of age, they're going to be seeing the digital footprint left in their childhood's wake," Stacey Steinberg, associate director of the Center on Children and Families at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, told the New York Times. "While most of them will be fine, some might take issue with it."

Look, I get it. My daughter is a teenager now, and she wants to be able to control her own digital identity. I would've wanted the same thing if social media had existed back when I was 14. That's why I've dialed back on my proud mama posts and blocked her friends from my accounts.

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