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Commentary: Here's why the 4 of us as undergraduates are pledging not to practise 'sharenting' if we have kids

Growing up, our parents would often warn us about the lurking dangers of the Internet. 

Nanyang Technological University students, (from left to right) Ms Amanda Wong, 24, Ms Sabrina Tang, 25, Ms Hanisah Rashid, 24, and Ms Leah Tee, 23, poses for a photo at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, on Jan 25, 2023.

Nanyang Technological University students, (from left to right) Ms Amanda Wong, 24, Ms Sabrina Tang, 25, Ms Hanisah Rashid, 24, and Ms Leah Tee, 23, poses for a photo at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, on Jan 25, 2023.

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Growing up, our parents would often warn us about the lurking dangers of the Internet. 

Phrases like “don’t talk to strangers online” and “never reveal your full name and where you live on your profile” were drilled into us for as long as we could remember.

Nowadays, it’s quite a different story. 

Despite the potential pitfalls of the Internet, many parents share freely about every aspect of their children’s experiences to their followers online.

This phenomenon is commonly known as “sharenting”, which can take many forms, from documenting a child’s milestones such as their first steps or first day at school, to more mundane day-to-day moments.

More recently, the topic of sharenting has been cast into the spotlight due to viral TikTok pranks and candid videos reacting to academic results, showcasing the good, bad and ugly sides of parenting.

Having observed this shift, we are concerned about the online safety, privacy and well-being of children today.

This has led us, a group of Nanyang Technological University students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, to focus our final-year project on the issue.

Beyond The Post is a public education campaign aimed at raising awareness about the implications sharenting may have on children, and at encouraging mindful sharenting among parents.

Our commitment towards protecting the safety and privacy of children today has also inspired us to make a personal pledge: We will not post our future kids on social media. But more on that later.


Currently, there are no local statistics on sharenting in Singapore.

For our project, we recruited 107 millennial parents in Singapore aged 26 to 41 years old with at least one child up to six years old to participate in a survey to understand current sharenting behaviours and perspectives.

Our survey showed nearly three out of four millennial parents in Singapore practise sharenting.

The top two reasons cited are to keep family and friends updated with their child’s life, and to capture their child’s everyday moments, with 84 per cent and 80 per cent citing these motivations respectively.

On average, more than one in three share about their children on public Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Even though many do engage in sharenting, one in two say they find overdoing it to be socially undesirable to a certain extent. 

Yet, 34 per cent of parents admit they rarely consider the impact of such posts on their child, and 37 per cent rarely think of what their child may make of their posts in the future.


Through our interviews with experts such as academics and psychologists on the topic, we learnt that sharenting can affect a child’s physical and psychological development.

Other implications that can result from sharenting include cyber-bullying, identity theft and the creation of a permanent digital footprint without their consent.

However, we cannot deny that sharenting does have its merits. It provides parents with a platform to find like-minded communities, document their child’s milestones and receive affirmation from peers online.

Experts have suggested for parents to exercise caution when posting on social media and to reflect on their motivations behind sharenting.

Parents are encouraged to step into their children’s shoes to understand how they would feel about such a post being uploaded.

One question parents can ask as a general guideline when posting about children can be: “Would I want such a post of myself to be shared online?”

There are three recommendations for parents to better safeguard their child’s online safety and privacy.

  1. Relook and adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts.
  2. Limit posts with children’s personal information and identifiers.
  3. Consider other mediums for documenting memories (eg. scrapbooking, digital archives).


The four of us have chosen to pledge against sharenting because of our personal experiences with this practice during our awkward tween years.

”My mother would post photos of myself and my sister — in our pyjamas right after we got out of bed — on her public Facebook page.” said Hanisah Rashid, 24.

This event was significant to her, as she was 10 at that time, and was self-conscious of her “acne and horrible haircut”.

“It was humiliating knowing that my cousins, aunties, uncles, and people that I didn’t even know personally had full access to these photos of me that I did not consent to be posted,” she added.

However, when our parents did ask for consent before posting our pictures online, it made a world of a difference.

“Growing up, my mother would always ask me for permission before posting any image or video of me or my siblings,” said Sabrina Tang, 25.

Because every post on her mother’s account were ones she consented to, they never made her feel uncomfortable or insecure.

She added: “Now that I’m 25, I really appreciate that she went through the trouble to ask me as I had the opportunity to craft my own digital identity.”

Nanyang Technological University students, (from left to right) Ms Leah Tee, 23, Ms Hanisah Rashid, 24, Ms Amanda Wong, 24, and Ms Sabrina Tang, 25, poses for a photo at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, on Jan 25, 2023.

Remember the days of ‘old school’ sharenting, when memories were captured on a camera, developed at a store, and archived through photo albums and home videos?

Leah Tee, 23, looks back fondly on those days.

“Even though I had my fair share of embarrassing memories caught on camera, these moments were all kept private, tucked away under my parents' bed, only accessible to guests or family members close to us,” she said.

The use of these ‘traditional’ methods of sharenting presents a stark contrast to how it is done in today’s social media landscape, where the lives of children around the world can be easily accessed by strangers in just a few clicks.


If and when we plan to have children, we hope to start having these conversations with our partners and family members as soon as possible and inform them of our pledge.

This way, we can all be on the same page with regards to the management of the child’s digital footprint.

While we are committed to keeping our future children safe online, our decision will come with its own challenges, especially when we ourselves grew up with technology and already have an established social media presence.

This is why having our partners come on board to support this decision together as parents would be integral and most ideal — it would help to keep us accountable and intentional about our posts.

This way, if one of us fails to live up to this pledge, we would have a support system around us that can remind us of our purpose in taking this pledge in the first place.

Keeping the pledge won’t be easy. After all, who wouldn’t want to share cute pictures of their babies with the world?

Nevertheless, we want to provide our future children with the freedom to curate their own digital footprint, just as some of us were given the opportunity to do so growing up.

Meanwhile, we are actively raising awareness of the issue among our friends and loved ones as well.

During the recent New Year festivities, we sparked conversations on the importance of keeping geotags and neighbourhood landmarks out of family photos, and gently encouraged relatives to think of their childrens’ best interests when sharenting.

“Before embarking on this campaign, my family members would often share ‘funny’ videos of children as a form of entertainment,” said Amanda Wong, 24.

Recently, she has observed a shift in their mindsets, adding: “Whenever they come across a post that exhibits oversharenting, they no longer laugh. Instead, they will ask me, ‘Hey, did you see this? Isn’t this inappropriate?’”



Amanda Wong, Hanisah Rashid, Leah Tee and Sabrina Tang are final-year students in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. They are working on their final-year project: Beyond The Post. Find out more about their sharenting initiative @beyondthepostsg on Instagram and Facebook. You can pledge your support for safeguarding the digital well-being of children today.

Related topics

parenting internet social media

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