‘When you realise your dad is Cristiano Ronaldo’: celebrity sharenting and children’s digital identities

Ana Jorge, Lidia Marôpo, Filipa Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sharenting, or the practice of sharing one’s parenting or information about one’s children on social media, occurs in an increasingly platformized digital culture, where visual formats are central across participatory and commercial repositories. This paper investigates the articulation between sharenting as performed by celebrities and the wider construction of children’s digital identities. Through qualitative content analysis, this research looks at how Cristiano Ronaldo, the most-followed individual on Instagram since 2018, his partner, and his mother shared information about his children on that social media platform between 2018 and 2020. Through manual exploration, we searched for Ronaldo’s children across a variety of digital spaces. Our analysis reveals that sharenting on Instagram engages audiences through the portrayal of children as the parents’ extended self. Content from Instagram and news media is appropriated in vernacular and commercial digital spaces for conflicting affects: the cute father-son dyad, and the son as extension of the uber-famous, vain father. This extreme case shows how the digital identities of children of celebrities are widely public, formed by the everyday, intimate content of the family’s life, which is persistent and collectively recreated by news media, vernacular culture, and commercial platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-535
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • affect
  • Family
  • Football
  • Instagram
  • Memes
  • Social media

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