Many parents of young adults and teenagers often worry about their child’s online presence. However, it is becoming more apparent that all parents, and expecting mothers, should be concerned about their child’s image on the Internet.
AVG recently conducted a study of 2,200 mothers from Western Europe (England, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan with children under the age of 2. Shockingly, an average of 81% of children under 2-years-old have an online presence. Consequently, American infants are more likely to have a reputation online (92%) compared with Western Europe (73%).
With an increasing amount of individuals from all generations participating in online networks, it can be expected that parents will want to share the joy of childbirth. While in the past family and friends waited anxiously for a printed 4×6 or postcard in the mail and more recently they were updated via email, present day social networking sites have allowed for instantaneous updates to entire networks of friends.
Guess what? 23% of expecting parents share sonograms weeks before their children are born. Americans, as expected, exceed the worldwide average; 1/3 of parents publish sonogram images online prior to birth.
In some cases a loving adult secures an email address for their toddler for future use (7%). I have even heard of parents purchasing URLs for their soon-to-be Internet star! Albeit strange, it might not be a bad idea. As my readers know, career success starts with a strong personal brand, reputation management and an easy to find, online presence; a custom domain name is a strong start – and they are going fast!
Why are these parents so eager to share?
- 70% wanted to share with family and friends
- 22% wanted to add content to their online profiles
- 18% mimicked their friends actions
Regardless of the parents’ motivations to publicly share their children’s information on the Internet, only a handful expressed concern over their child’s future online reputation. As we now know, the content will follow him or her for the rest of their life.
I am thankful my first bath time photographs didn’t make it onto Facebook!