Does Your Baby Need a Social Media Account? Ashton Kutcher Thinks So
With the exception of assembling the crib, is there a tougher job for parents-to-be than picking out baby's name? If you're not diplomatically shooting down your partner's ideas, then you're selling your own favorites as if your life depended on it. It's exhausting, frankly. So small wonder when the deed is done and the name is finalized, most of us just want to curl up on the sofa and binge watch Homeland.
Unless you're Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. As the Daily Mail reports, when the tech-savvy couple finally decided on the name Wyatt Isabelle, they hopped on their computer and created a gigantic online footprint for their unborn daughter. "We immediately went home and reserved all the domain names," Kutcher said during an appearance on Conan earlier this week. "We've got the Twitter handle, the Instagram, everything you could possibly get. I don't want a porn site with my daughter's name!" One-month-old Wyatt even has her own email address, and the inbox is already full of messages from her parents (and probably some requests for money from a Nigerian prince).
None of this should surprise me. Besides the fact that Kutcher is a well-known tech investor, he's also a prodigious user of social media. Before there was @KimKardashian, there was @aplusk, the actor's Twitter account that's already attracted 16.5 million followers and counting. He's just as popular in other spaces, too: nearly 1 million followers on Instagram and almost 18.5 million likes on his official Facebook page. This is the guy who played Steve Jobs in a movie, for heaven's sake. Point is, he's passionate about the online space.
But he's hardly the only parent who's setting up baby online before she's even out of diapers. According to a new study by Gerber.com, nearly 40 percent of millennial moms started a social media account for their baby before the kid's first birthday, and 7 percent did so before the child's second birthday. Companies are taking notice and responding with gadgets designed to simplify the upkeep of your infant's online presence. Exhibit A: New Born Fame, a high-tech mobile still in prototype that lets babies take selfies in the crib and share them with their followers.
While the thought of a newborn posting photos of himself online gives me the willies, it's something that some parents are totally fine with. Like most aspects for parenting, figuring out how much info you should share on social media depends on who you ask. For every mom who supports a baby blackout, there are just as many who believe that publishing a sweet photo of their kiddo sleeping is a nice way to make loved ones feel involved. While there's some truth to that, especially if you have out-of-town friends and family, I still think there's something to be said for giving your baby's early years some degree of privacy. While Kutcher and Kunis' daughter has little chance of that -- hence their desire to snap up every conceivable domain name out there -- it's something our children can enjoy. At least right now. I know that Facebook -- or whatever replacement exists in a decade -- isn't going anywhere; social media is part of how we communicate. But for now, in this moment, my husband and I have chosen to let our son enjoy these wireless years as long as he can. Then, when he's old enough, we'll give him the option to share what he wants with the rest of the world.
Now it's your turn: What's your take on putting your baby's photos and status updates on social media?
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Image of Ashton Kutcher courtesy of Shutterstock