Tuesday, June 18 2024

There are those who post photos of cats, those who post the outfit of the
day, those who posts memories from his vacation, others, food they love,
the fantastic places they’ve been, photos with friends… and so on. The
content published on social networks every day tell the many stories of our
lives. Among them we also find entire families who post about their daily lives.


But, what drives a family to incorporate social media so much into
their lives?

No one teaches you how to be a parent, and word of mouth has always had its
place among experienced parents and new parents alike. The main difference
with the arrival of social media is that instead of just doing it after
school or at family dinners, today these conversations also take place
online, reaching a much wider audience.

So you go from simply sharing

everyday life to a real job in which all the members of the family are
involved.

There are those who do it simply because they like to; those who see, in
this hobby, an alternative method to the old, cumbersome, and now archaic
albums of photographs to leave a relic behind for their children; but there
too those who try are trying to make a living doing this and those who are
looking for fame and success.

According to Business Insider Intelligence estimates, based on Mediakix
data, the influencer marketing industry is on track to reach a value of up
to $15 billion by 2022, compared to $8 billion in 2019.

There are influencers specialized in countless sectors such as fashion,
food, and games just to name a few, who are hired by well-known brands to
promote their products. Among these, we have already the category of “influencer families”. Some family influencers have become
so famous that they have captured the attention of companies not only in
the children’s sector (or essentially related to family needs) but also in
the wellness and fashion industries as well as others.

From vlogs on YouTube to images on Instagram or lip sinc videos on TikTok:
the formats vary and adapt to the peculiarities of each platform. We are
talking about content that involves young children, through direct or
indirect contact, because their parents use these sites and occasionally
involve their children, leading them to become “little reality stars of the
internet.” Stories, posts, video clips are presented as done in a kind of
spontaneous and amateurish way, but actually they require a considerable
amount of preparation, filming and edition work.


When talking about “influencer families,” there is one question in
particular that arises almost immediately: is it right to show your
children online?

In this regard, there is opposing views: those who see nothing wrong with
it and those who compare the excessive exposure of children to the Internet
to the exploitation of child labor.

Initially with the rise of the first “influencer moms and dads,” this
practice was not met with much approval. Most parents despised those who,
so nonchalantly, did not take the privacy and safety of their loved ones
into consideration at all. Now that social media is part of our everyday
life and this phenomenon is increasingly widespread, public opinion is
softening, leaving room for less criticism and more emulation. In fact,
more and more adults post photos of their children, grandchildren, nieces,
and nephews on their social profiles.

A survey conducted by McAfee in 2018 showed that only less than half of the
survey respondents actually asked permission from their children before
posting their images on social media, despite the fact that most
of them agree that such platforms are dangerous for minors.

If you think about it, there are at least two categories of parents among
the Facebook or Instagram friends: those who cover their children’s faces
with cute heart emojis, and those who publish from the photo of the baby in
mom’s belly to their first solid meal.

Then, so far there is no social consensus in the matter of minors on the
Internet. What we know is that, despite the limits set by the various
platforms’ policies, the age at which children make their firs social media
profile is getting lower and lower. Already around 10-12 years of age,
children start to create profiles online, and this kind of activity is
directly proportional to a decline in happiness and the simultaneous
increase in the risk of addiction to social networks.

There is a fact to be considered: this “using” children as the main means
to attract fame and success (and consequently also benefit financially) is
a phenomenon that goes back before even Internet and social networks
existed.

Who has never heard of beauty contests intended for a much younger age than
it is appropriated for? Children were and are thrown into these shows,
often and willingly “modified” and used in competitions that border on
exploitation and commodification of a denied childhood; these parents are
willing to do anything to see them win a crown, and the young minds and
eyes of these children means nothing to them. Yet these kids will be happy
because, like mirrors, they will reflect the happiness of those who wanted
them to win. So this is nothing new.

Yes, we have always tried to keep up with the times, a continuous race
against time in order to not miss opportunities that might be difficult to
find in the future. However, one should not be greedy and irresponsible:
First, because an extra like on a social media platform or a crown placed
on the windowsill, does not benefit the child’s education in any way; in
fact, it does quite the opposite. Then, because it could mislead the child,
causing him to constantly try to be perfect, which is simply impossible.

When you smile in a photo, it does not necessarily mean you are happy.

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