“Why post more pictures if no one is looking at them?” Parents’ perception of the Facebook Like in sharenting

Davide Cino*, S. Demozzi, K. Subrahmanyam

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper reports on findings from an exploratory investigation about parents’ perceived role of the Facebook Like in sharenting (i.e., sharing about their children on social media) by drawing on the qualitative results of an online survey. Findings show that the majority of participants think that getting a Like on a picture of one’s child can encourage a parent to share more about him/her because of two main understandings of this paralinguistic cue: the Like as a received validation of one’s parenting, or as a metric of connection with important people, causing emotional reactions in the receivers. Several parents, though, judge the Like as more commonly being important for others, explaining this difference in terms of internal characteristics. This study aims to extend our understanding of the motivations behind sharenting by taking into account the role of the Like in this practice and highlighting how parents position themselves in such an exchange of digital photo-sharing and feedback. As communication does not happen in a vacuum, we advance that research on parents’ photo-sharing behavior online may benefit from considering whether and how social media liking can foster and shape interpersonal communication between posters and recipients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-144
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Sharenting
  • facebook
  • facebook like
  • family photo


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