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What is 'Sharenting' and should we be doing it?

Smiling boy Image copyright Getty Images

How much of your children's lives do you share on social media? How much of your friends' or family's children's lives do you want to see on social media?

"Sharenting" - using social media to document the gap-toothed smiles, first words and adorable antics of your cherubic children - has been added to the Collins English Dictionary, the publisher has announced.

And we've all seen the photos. Sharenting allows people to proudly show off their children to friends and family across the world. But no previous generation of children has had so public a childhood and not all of them are happy about it when they're older.

So, to sharent or not to sharent? You've been answering the question - and it's caused a bit of a stir. The range of views we saw on Facebook fell broadly into three categories.

The proud parents

These guys love their children dearly and would dearly love their Facebook friends to know about it.

Savannah Morrison, from Glasgow, loves to share pictures of her son with family and friends.

"I love posting photos of my wee one on Facebook/Instagram. I love my friends and family commenting or liking them," she wrote on the BBC News Facebook page.

"I love commenting and liking photos of my friends' and family's kids too, and I think it's amazing that I can still feel part of their lives although we are miles apart.

"In my opinion, as long as the photos are not indecent and you can justify their presence to your child (if asked when they are all grown up), then crack on."

Image copyright Facebook

The privacy protectors

No less proud of their children, some parents are more cautious about sharing their pictures online.

Rosie McDonald, from Bangor, believes that her son's right to privacy is paramount.

"I make a big point of not putting my son's picture on Facebook," she said.

"He is a human being and has the same right to privacy as anyone else.

"However, at such a young age his capacity to understand privacy on that level isn't the same as an adult.

"It is my job as his parent to make sure he is afforded his rights and respected."

Image copyright Facebook

The irked at over-sharing

Some people have got over-sharing fatigue. Their Facebook timelines are filled with other people's children, and they've had enough of it.

Shaun Bacon doesn't want to see it.

"I hate it when [parents] post things such as birthday messages when [their kids] aren't old enough for Facebook, so won't even see it," he wrote.

"Don't tell me it's their birthday or how proud of them you are, just tell them yourselves as they're in the same house as you."

"I don't need to see it."

Image copyright Facebook

Join the debate at the BBC's new Family & Education News Facebook page.

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