Your social media grows up with you. I made my account on Facebook in 2009. Ever since, I have seen myself and my friends graduate. I have seen breakups, hookups. Cheesy posts, only a teenager from B class town could post and some highly intellectual random shit from someone working in a metro city. Probably the toughest phase was when I saw everyone getting married. Tough not because of FOMO, but rather cringe.
Therefore, when I got married, I made sure that I don’t spam everyone. And just when I thought that worst is behind me, there came another wave. Kids! Yes. My fellow classmates and sometimes people younger than me were posting photos with their kids. And if that was not enough, I saw some of them having a dedicated SM account for their younger ones. Which brings me to the topic of today’s blog: Social media accounts for your baby: Is it really a good idea?
Long ago, I saw one of my friends raising an exotic dog breed. He had a social media account for it. At that point, I considered it to be an attempt to showcase his riches and gather those ‘Awww‘ moments from fellow females. And I get it. No judgement.
However, I never thought that this trend would seep into homo sapiens as well. So today, without any sort of moral assassination, let’s understand the implications of having a social media account for your kid from a technical perspective.
PROS of having Social Media Account for your Baby:
No parent on this earth would want harm for something they procreated. So, this is definitely coming from a place of good. Here are some of the key reasons you should consider creating a SM account for someone who just entered this world (or may be soon will)
1. Repository of Memories:
Immediate argument to this rationale could be a solution like Google Drive. But there is a difference you see. You click photos and they are uploaded on a cloud platform in one of the following fashion:
A. Auto upload: Which means every photo (and trust me, you would have gazillions of them) would become a part of the drive, defeating the entire purpose.
B. As a backup: For some of us, our device would plead of freeing up some space and then we would give clean up a thought. Yet again, entire junk is uploaded to the cloud.
So, what is the solution then? Pick up your social media profile feed and you’ll have the answer. Everything from your display picture to whatever thought you chose to share, had a very elaborate filtering mechanism behind it. Everything was made to be picture perfect and in order of the actual sequence of your life. So if you ever plan to have a repository of memories, a social validation pressure might just bear good results for you.
2. Unlimited Supply of Legit Throwbacks:
Once your child reaches the eligible age, you can hand him over the account with the actual journey lived through. Take me for example. Pre 2009, I only had physical photographs which are now in a bad shape.
Apart from that, social media had not evolved much, back then. We were still recovering from a backlog of Yahoo Messenger, Orkut and our fake identities. This means that even if I have to, it would be quite embarrassing to share certain photos that I got clicked in my early SM days.
However, millennial parents are well versed with how this works. Therefore, you can always rely on those cute baby pics to garner popularity when you grow up.
3. Influencer Babies:
What the hell did I just read. Yes. Influencer babies are for real. If you play your cards right, your babies can start earning from a very small age. Baby brands look out for such deals and these kids are making a fortune. Here’s a link that you can go through for more information.
As kids transition from infants to a conscious being, they start learning how to face a camera. And this is a very important skill to develop. Social media has become an extension of one’s personality and this will only grow in the future. Today, companies, not only rely on your resume for your job but rather seek links to your SM accounts as well. Having a healthy and influential profile will only boost your chances.
CONS of having Social Media Account for your Baby:
While there are many benefits of having a social media account, setup and ready for your kid to jump in, let’s explore the flip side of this coin.
1. The Mighty Algorithm:
If you are not living under the rock, you must be aware of how social media feed for you is handpicked by mighty algorithms. In case you want to dive in deeper into that aspect of SM, here’s an article I published a few days ago.
So, your social media feed is an extension of your thought process. No judgement, pure reflection. Your feed becomes whatever you like to consume the most.
Unless you don’t want your kid to become an exact replica of yourself, you might want to reconsider this decision. Why? A child’s brain is a clean slate. As a parent, we would want all experiences to be carved on it from scratch. However, a used social media account may have inadvertent influence on that.
Who knows that your child might be the next Picasso and you are unknowingly, forcefully conditioning him to become an Einstein. (Taare Zameen Par Much?)
2. Influencer Life:
Yup, we did count this as a benefit of starting early on social media, but that shit has the potential of growing on you. And experiencing stardom without having the wisdom to handle it can be nothing short of being toxic. So, apart from endless parenting responsibilities, this one is going to be an additional task.
3. Screen Zombies:
Toddlers are attracted by screens. My three year old niece wouldn’t have dinner without her favorite poems being played on YT.
When our parents were kids, running along with tyre and a stick used to be entertaining. When we were growing up, this was already being replaced by a mix of outdoor and indoor sports. NES, PlayStation had just started creating ripples in the landscape.
Imagine a generation which doesn’t know of the life outside screens. Rather touch screens per se. My niece was crying the other day because touching and swiping the television screen won’t just change the channel. This makes me realize that she hasn’t used a device in her life which cannot be interacted with. Strange but true.
So, if you plan to raise a social media GenZer, get ready for tantrums like these.
4. Non Value Adding:
I tried talking to a couple of millennial parents about this. At first, I did not understand the intent behind their answers but it all started making sense after a while. As per them, there is no merit in going through all this hassle. Most common answer was “Kya Zaroorat Hai?”
This might be coming from a parent like me who tends to refrain from putting out their entire lives online. Therefore when it comes to social presence of their off spring, they tend to apply the same mindset.
5. Early Exposure:
Here’s the thing. If you think that you might be able to stop your kid from engaging on social media until he becomes 13 years old (minimum age required to have a FB account), you might just be overestimating your parenting skills. If your child tastes the SM world so early on in his life, you should know that you invited this monster and inflicted this upon yourself.
And social media is not all Jollywood world one may think of. There are all sorts of people and a 8-10 year old might not be equipped with coping up with all of them. So, if you are jumping in, beware of the consequences.
Make sure that you are prepared if your child uses social media regularly since very early years of his life.
Turns out there is no right or wrong when it comes to having social media accounts for your baby. Apart from that, there is no guarantee at all. Even if you put your heart and soul in having the best of the best account for your kid, he might just chose to scrap it off when the age comes.
Your beloved creation might just be too extra for him.
My opinion? I would probably give it a pass. The same rule I apply on my investments.
When in doubt, stay out.Tweet
You might be able to chose a middle ground here as well. Have a SM account but keep it hidden. Later, let your son/daughter take a call on the way forward.
How do you approach this conundrum?
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Until next time..