Over the past few decades, new forms of technology have opened up a variety of modern avenues for communication, including long-distance phone calls, instant messaging, and video calling. The medium of communication that has had arguably the biggest impact on our culture, however, is social media. From Instagram to Facebook to TikTok to Twitter, the list of social networking platforms goes on and on. For better or for worse, social media has become a part of our everyday lives, leaving us no choice but to adapt to the new challenges and dangers it presents.
From mom influencers and child influencers to the average parent’s daily posts of their children, sharenting has been on the rise for many years. Sharenting is when parents share photos and other information about their children on social media in excess.
Social media is pervasive in our world today–especially for the average teenager. From selfies to location tagging, and “day in the life” videos shared on social media, it’s become increasingly common for teens to use social media and overshare details of their lives online. In one survey, around two-thirds of teens (65%) reported that they use social media multiple times a day (Bartlett, 2023), while 46% of teens reported in another study that they are online almost constantly (SmartSocial, 2022).
The safety and privacy of a child are the top priority for every parent–but many parents are unaware of the dangers of sharing photos and basic information about their children online. Excessively sharing children on social media has been so popular among parents that there is a term for this called “sharenting.” This is when parents and even family members of children overshare every detail of their kids lives on social media.
Photo abuse runs rampant in our world today, yet is not a new phenomenon by any means. Manipulating media has its origins as early as ancient Romans removing portraits and names off of stone records in an attempt to remove a person’s identity from history altogether. Throughout history, the altering of media and information continued in different formats–from the censorship and photo editing of government officials like Joseph Stalin in the early 20th century–to our modern-day technology with Photoshop capabilities at our fingertips (Somers, 2020).
ImageShield found its origin in the mind of New York native Michael Gallagher, an entrepreneur who now operates out of northern Virginia. Michael founded the Stevie® Awards in 2002 to honor the millions of organizations, executives, and workers worldwide who quietly accomplish innovative and extraordinary things in the workplace every day. The Stevies have grown to be recognized as the world’s top business honors, now receiving more than 12,000 nominations each year from organizations in more than 70 nations.
Looking back, it was probably the 1960’s when photography lost its innocence. Photos have been manipulated since the medium’s birth in the middle of the 19th century, but it was during the decade of flower power and campus sit-ins that photo manipulation really took off, with airbrushing of photos of political figures and celebrities a common practice. Given where we are today, efforts back then were downright primitive and unbelievable. (Look at an airbrushed mantelpiece photo in any old movie for proof of this.) Sophisticated editing software and high-resolution photo content on our smartphones have generated a massive leap forward (if that’s the right word) in the photorealism and believability of manipulated content over a half-century ago.
OK, so you've gotten your no-obligation, no-signup, free report on the security of the photos you've shared on Facebook and Instagram, and to your alarm ImageShield® has found that one or more of the photos you've shared has possibly been misused.