By BERN MORLEY
Oh, your baby has a Twitter account? They must be so entertaining!
Recently, what can only be described as the next level of self-involvement was reached in the form of Baby Twitter accounts.
What’s that you say? Babies can’t read or, you know, TYPE when they are only 6 minutes old? Pfft, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to read every single thought supposedly running through their tiny little minds.
Especially when parents like Jenna Wolfe of the Today Show in America and Dan Abrams of ABC Nightline are attempting to give their babies a “voice.”
This from NY Mag:
“At first we thought it would be nice for him to own the URL for his name and his Twitter handle,” agreed ABC Nightline anchor Dan Abrams (51,867 followers). “Then we got carried away and started tweeting sometimes inane stuff including at other babies.” Everett Abrams is just over a year old and has 648 followers, 52 tweets, and a bio that reads, “Baby and social media addict.”
The account, written from the perspective of the child, covers current events (“I’ve been thinking about last night’s #VpDebate and just don’t feel either candidate adequately addressed concerns facing infants”) and real-life happenings (“I met @Oprah today @GMA! My dad says I was sleeping but I really wasn’t. I heard her talk about me. Thanks @Oprah!”)
Firstly, what needs to be acknowledged here is that these parents, described as “media elites”, are so eager to build an online profile and brand for their infant, (read: for themselves), that they are making sure the Twitter handle for the baby is well and truly locked down before the umbilical cord is even cut. “Wait honey, before we start notifying our loved ones, can you make sure that @Jasper_Hobday_Tweets isn’t already taken?”
And look, I get it, it can be cute and no doubt amusing, I really do understand that. But, it’s disturbing to me that they are giving their children an online personality, branding their child, giving it an opinion, literally putting words into their gummy little mouths before they’ve even had a chance to develop a real personality.
They are defining them online forever without their permission.
There are some great parody infant Twitter accounts out there – The Honest Toddler being one but that is very different to what has been mentioned above. It’s harmless because the Honest Toddler is a MADE-UP child.
It’s a case of this:
They also face the danger, just like anyone who constantly updates their status on social media with every… single… fucking… move they make, to become, just, really annoying.
While there definitely is the opportunity to write and record sharp and witty updates about your children, there is a line, and it really needs to stop being crossed.
Plus, isn’t tweeting for your baby just larger scale parental narcissism? Using your child for your very own version of performance art? Pretending it’s about the baby but really it’s just another avenue to show off how witty and clever you are?
I am the first to admit I’ve written about my children and probably always will. They are kind of hard to avoid when they take up such a large portion of my life. I would however, never start speaking on their behalf.
I can observe, but I certainly cannot take the liberty of speaking for them.
Do you think these parents have gone too far? Or is just a bit of harmless fun?