Last month, New York magazine covered the rise of infants on social media. That's right, babies who aren't even old enough to form words are entering the Twittersphere. The article explains how some media figures, like Darren Rovell a sports-business analyst for ESPN, are creating Twitter accounts on behalf of their newborns to reserve their Twitter handles—as well as Gmail accounts and web addresses—before others can claim them.
Some media-savvy parents told the magazine that they didn't intend on tweeting as their kids but found it was a good way to share updates and pictures with fans and family. Others, though, are not so restrained. Two-month-old @HarperEstelle, the daughter of Today Show anchor and correspondent Jenna Wolfe and NBC correspondent Stephanie Gosk, is also among the tweeting babies and has over 7,000 followers. Wolfe told New York magazine that she wasn't sure if her newborn daughter would have many followers but, "Turns out, she's pretty funny."
Typically, the Tweeting babies, or the grown-up behind the handle, share news of the little one's latest bowel movement, Mommy and Me class, and clever one liners about a day in the life of an infant (read: eat, sleep, poop).
First doc appt tdy. Big success. Pooped AND pee'd on Dr's changing table. Everyone laughed. Will have to try that again tmrw at home.
— Harper Wolfeld-Gosk (@harperestelle) August 26, 2013
When I was a child, embarrassing baby photos and stats about a kid's development from an infant to an awkward middle schooler were kept safely in baby books. Today, parents are tweeting (and Facebook posting) these details no matter how mortifying they are. If Twitter is still around years from now, I would hate to be the kid who gets made fun of for her bodily functions as a 3-month-old. #NotCoolMom.
Besides humiliating their kids, these Twitter accounts impede children's abilities to develop their individuality. Before they can even use a keyboard, their digital identity is being defined for them. It's one thing for kids to post potentially embarrassing content about themselves (and they probably will), but for parents to share this stuff before their child has developed their own personality is sad.
All this aside, what concerns me most is that parents are devoting more time to tweeting about their kids than actually enjoying these moments with their babies. It reminds me of friends who can't enjoy a night out without tweeting, Instagram-ing, and Facebook posting every detail. By the end of the night, she's spent more time staring at her screen then creating real memories.
Don't get me wrong, I love a baby with an adult personality as much as any fan of Stewie from Family Guy, the E-Trade baby, or Suri's Burn Book; but when it comes to our kids we need to decide which is more important, tweeting in the moment or being in the moment.
Tell us: What do you think of Baby Twitter accounts? Would you start one?