Parents Are Reserving Digital Real Estate For Their Babies
Here’s one more thing to add to your list: reserving your baby’s spot in the digital landscape.
One of the first things new parents are doing isn’t what you might expect. Some parents now prioritize creating social media handles for their newborns and future children. Typically, these parents reserve their baby’s first and last names as a username, so they can one day hand it off to their child.
While some may see it as wildly premature, others consider it smart and forward-thinking.
i firmly believe no babies and children should have sole social media accounts, if it’s just parents making videos of themselves and featuring their kid now and then? cool. aside from that, the internet is a very scary place and these videos can be screen recorded/saved ?? SCARY— this barbie is sleepy (@sleepyheadlee) October 31, 2022
I think it should be noted that babies/toddlers/children have a right to have their privacy and don’t always have to be posted on social media everyday…— notciarasoshutup (@rochhha) July 5, 2022
A newborn baby has no control on how his/her pictures are shared on social media. Only the parents should have that right. No one else. Newborn babies have rights too.— Ose (@osesaxx) January 18, 2022
Monetizing children on the internet exploded in recent years, particularly with the influx of Instagram and TikTok users. Now, you can find thousands of accounts for babies and children, all run by their parents. These parents post birth announcements to their personal accounts and tag their babies in the photos, directing users to follow their children for more content.
Image via Scheana Shay and Summer Moon's Instagram
These “Insta-Baby” accounts “are usually created for three reasons: to document pregnancy, to serve as a virtual baby-book, or to commercialize parenthood,” Gia Grimaldi wrote. “The expecting parents start an Instagram account using the name they’ve picked out for their unborn child and post from the baby’s perspective throughout the pregnancy. Once the baby joins us earth-side, the parents share slideshow post after slideshow post on Instagram of adorable but intimate moments from the child’s life as it grows up. The account keeps everyone who wants to know in the know — dangerously well.”
According to researchers, over 80% of children have an online presence before they are two years old which is certainly controversial, concerning the issues of child privacy and consent. When parents choose to post photos of children, especially if they’ve created a public account for their kids, it’s important to note how your child may feel in the future about their online history. It’s like when your mom brings out the baby book to show off your bare infant butt — you may not have much say in what she does, but you probably have plenty you want to say about it.
There’s a “big difference between sharing photos of your baby on your social media account versus sharing photos on an account you make specifically for your baby using their name,” Grimaldi added.
Obviously, it is entirely up to the parent as to how they want to post their children (if at all). But if you choose to share these moments with the world, remember your child will carry that digital footprint for the rest of their lives.
Is social media so powerful that we should be creating spaces for our children before they are even aware of technology? Or is it thoughtful parenting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Olivia Taylor is a writer and creative covering pop culture, beauty, style, wellness, health, relationships, lifestyle and basically anything else you can think of. A lifelong creative and self-proclaimed reality TV buff, Olivia spends her time outside of work surfing, skateboarding, attending cool indie concerts and finding the best acai bowls in town. Say hi to her on Instagram @heyitsoliviataylor and on Twitter @inneedofmargs.