Emma Roberts has carefully kept her son's face off social media for the past two years. But her mom didn't get the memo, and shared a photo of the toddler's face online.
Roberts forgave her mom, but experts say the generation gap in understanding what not to post on social media is a common issue with grandparents.
On Jan. 9, Roberts reposted a photo of her 2-year-old son, Rhodes, that appeared in her mom Kelly Cunningham's Instagram feed last week.
“When your mom posts your son’s face without asking but you love them both so whatever,” the "Scream Queens," actor, 32, wrote.
In the picture, a blond, blue-eyed Rhodes is seen standing in a pile of leaves.
“Little man is growing up!” Cunningham captioned her snap.
Roberts and her ex-boyfriend, Garrett Hudlund, are both conservative with their toddler’s online presence and hadn't shared a face photo since 2021. Experts say that sharing photos of children can set them up for risks ranging from bullying to identify theft. But many grandparents don’t understand the dangers of a digital footprint.
“You might say, ‘I know you’re posting pictures out of pride and love — and I appreciate that. But maybe you could share photos of their artwork instead.'”
Dr. Deborah Gilboa
“We know better now, so we want to do better,” parenting and youth development expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa tells TODAY.com. “Our goal is to the keep the trolls, and the account copiers, and the pedophiles away from our children. And grandparents want the exact same thing. We all have that same goal."
Gilboa recommend having discussions with older relatives about digital boundaries.
“You might say, ‘I know you’re posting pictures out of pride and love — and I appreciate that. But maybe you could share photos of their artwork instead,'” Gilboa says. “It’s so important to be understanding. If we as parents are new digital natives, our parents are one generation removed from that.”
Roberts' mom has a history of getting herself into trouble on social media. In 2020, she broke her daughter's pregnancy news.
“I was keeping my pregnancy pretty low key but unfortunately my mother has Instagram. Which, mothers and Instagram, it’s a bad combination,” Roberts revealed on "The Jimmy Kimmel Show," in 2020. “She definitely spilled the beans.”
"We kind of laughed. We kind of got into a fight," Roberts added. "I blocked her at one point."
Roberts welcomed Rhodes in December 2020. She and Hedlund, 38, split in 2022 after three years of dating.