It's been almost a year now since Luis Manzano and Jessy Mendiola became first-time parents last December, and they are also about to mark the first year since they received bashing and harsh comments from netizens who couldn't wait for them to reveal their baby's face.
The new dad recently spoke to Smart Parenting about what it's like navigating parenting in the age of social media. Luis phrased it this way: "It's quite challenging to be a parent in the advent of the craziness of social media."
He added in jest, "Suddenly, lahat ng tao pedia(trician)."
"Mag-post ka ng isang simple video, ang dami nilang hahanapin, mapupuna, from the way you carry, the way you dress your baby," Luis explained during the Aloe World: Land of Long-Lasting Memories event by Pampers on November 25 at the SM Mall of Asia.
"'Pag hindi ka naman nag-post, hahanapan ka ng mali."
He was circling back to the moment when they received hateful comments for not immediately showing their baby's face on social media, with netizens theorizing that Baby Rosie might have a cleft lip.
However, Luis knows that since social media is here to stay, what they plan to do is to educate their daughter and make her understand that what you see in social media is not the same as what's in the real life.
"At the end of the day, you will have to let your children go, but you always hope and pray that they fall back on how you raised them." —Luis Manzano
"As parents, that's one thing we should instill kay Peanut is that there is life beyond social media. You can keep that sa likod lang when you live your own life."
Referencing to the 1991 movie 'Father of the Bride,' Luis told Smart Parenting that while they hope to protect Baby Rosie from all the dangers that lurk in social media and in the world, there are things that are out of their control.
"At the end of the day, you will have to let your children go. They will have to explore the world, experience the good and bad, the blessings and the evils of the world, but you always hope and pray that they fall back on how you raised them," Luis said.
He stressed, "My kids will make mistakes, it'll happen. Wala pa akong nakikilalang isang tao na hindi pa nagkakamali at one point. But praying na kami ni Jessy, we're doing enough na mapalaki siya ng tama, na doon siya babalik."
What is 'sharenting'?
You might have come across the word 'sharenting' (where else but on) social media, yet you might not know that you are already doing it. There's also oversharenting.
'Sharenting' is an internet trend in which parents post photos, videos, and other content about their children on social media. Sounds harmless, right? Like seriously, how long has it been since you last posted about your child—today?
A recent article by Ilaria Cataldo discussed that sharenting has two sides: its positive effects include the possibility for parents to seek support, share experiences or information, and provide a space for self-expression for both moms and dads.
However, on the down side, sharenting enables breach of privacy of the child that when they grow older, they might feel like they have their privacy intruded by and from their very own parents.
How do we avoid sharenting? 5 questions to ask yourself first
Dr. Claire McCarthy of Healthy Children shared these five questions that parents could ask themselves first before posting about their kids.
1. Why are you sharing it?
Keep in mind that what you are about to share is not your information, but your child's. She advises having a good reason before you put that content out into the world for the public to consume and reshare.
2. Would you want someone to share it about you?
This goes for photos and videos of sensitive or private moments, like when your child is potty training or half-naked. If it's okay for you that your parents share these content about you, think of the same for your child.
3. Could your child be embarrassed by it, now or in the future?
If it's mean, think again.
4. Is there anyone in the universe who shouldn't see this about your child, now or at any point in the future?
This may sound extreme, said Dr. McCarthy, but if whatever you are thinking of posting might mean harm to your child in any way ever, don't post it.
5. Is this something you want to be part of your child's digital footprint?
Even if the photo or video is not embarrassing, how does it reflect on your child?
Dr. McCarthy recommends that parents discuss what they will post on social media between each other so that they are on the same page. She also advises that parents discuss this matter with their kids as soon as they are already old enough to understand and give their consent.
"It's a great opportunity to not just set family ground rules (after all, your children might share about you or their siblings) but also to talk about being good digital citizens.
Because ultimately, that's what this is about: being thoughtful, careful, and kind," Dr. McCarthy said.