Is this the next phase of parenting?
I like to think I’m all over social media.
When I saw the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake #hashtag clip a few months back I was in stitches.
I, too, was guilty of talking in hashtags.
The humble hashtag. That weird button on the phone you had to press when calling any form of call centre has now become an identification symbol for all things great and small.
Including children, it now seems.
Upon recent social media stalkathons (come on we’re all guilty of it) I noticed something lots of parents were doing.
They were hashtagging their kids.
Every picture they put up had something similar to these written below it:
If hashtags existed 20 years ago I wondered whether my parents would have picked:
Or maybe a more obvious one:
Either way, I am a little bit on the fence about this one.
Firstly, I am totally bummed I don’t have a hashtag about me so I can search to find baby pics of myself.
Secondly, I am so relieved there is no hashtag about me that others can search to find baby pics of me.
At first I was trawling Instagram and when I saw the hashtags I thought, “OMG, that is SO cute. These kids can search their own hashtag later. Family member can search pics. Friends can search them."
Wait. Hold up.
ANYONE can search them.
Cue creepy undertones.
While I think it is cute, and a type of modern day baby book, it is also extremely scary.
Did I mention anyone can search them? A hashtag makes your pictures public. To ANYONE.
A potential employer could search. Kids that are bullying a child could search. Estranged brothers and sisters could search each other.
Obviously someone would need to know the hashtag to search it but if your parents chose something fairly predictable it wouldn’t be hard to guess. Something like a name and initial scenario.
In a way more generic search I tested out a #babyboy on Instagram.