Sharenting, or sharing about one’s parenting and/or children on social media, is a common habit for parents in the digital age. In spite of a common discourse describing parents as inattentive and naïve about it, empirical data supports many of them grapple with digital dilemmas concerning these digital narrations. Building on this line of inquiry, the present paper reports on findings from a content analysis of the opening posts of 665 threads posted on a parenting forum where posters discuss how the evolving communication ecology poses new predicaments -here conceptualized as Social Media Dilemmas (SMDs)- when it comes to governing their families’ and children’s digital presence. Findings propose a mapping of SMDs associated with this practice showing the complex and multi-layered enterprise of governing sharenting, with dilemmas starting well before the birth of a child and concerning not only parents’ but also other people’s sharing behavior. The peculiarity of this study rests on its showing both the range of dilemmas lived by posters, but also how they proactively try to face them by opening a conversation with peers online. Additionally, it expands the literature on parenting forums as interactional loci for parents to learn about and face a plethora of challenges, among which digital dilemmas have not been quite explored in the literature on parenting online support so far.
|Journal||Western Journal of Communication|
|Volume||In press (accepted)|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Social Media Dilemmas
- digital parenting
- parenting forum
- social media