I was very much fascinated at the rate at which many parents were starting to create social media accounts for their children. I mean even before DJ Khaled made it a trend through his son Asahd’s account, a lot of children (mostly unborn) were already born online even before they were birthed. Scary, right?
I mean sure, this is a way for many parents to start creating memories for their children and ultimately themselves but where do we draw the line as parents but as followers/friends of these accounts?
Just over two years ago, an account which I clearly had a lot of mutual friends with, added me. The surname seemed very familiar but as I proceeded to accept the invite, I went through everything (I basically stalked that account lol). To my surprise, it was a friend’s new born baby’s account. I found some weird things such as a bio which states who the parents were and that if anyone were to mess with the child, they’d have the family to deal with.
Now this really concerned me.
I think it’s the idea that a parent is putting out such information (in first person) on public platforms knowing very well that the child cannot be vocal to alter nor change what they want to put out there that freaks me out.
But hey, I’m not a parent. So I might not understand the motivation behind this phenomenon.
I understand that the world has evolved and that technology has impacted the way that that we live, but what it has come with, is the loss of human connection more than anything. The loss of creating genuine memories without involving the entire world into our lives. That the previous generation of children grew up with no pressures from the world on who their parents were or who they had play dates with.
And while social media connects us to family and friends, it has its ramifications when it comes to privacy – that anyone can easily access information about your child under catfish accounts. Once we send out such information, people automatically get a pass into you and your child’s life. There’s a sense of entitlement that comes with it where people expect to be shown everything (this being the child’s entire childhood) without letting them grow up like any other child out there.
A child doesn’t have the ability to make sound decisions by themselves let alone draft a status update for the entertainment of others. Children no longer become children but assume the roles that parents give to them when they are most vulnerable, not realising that they take away the independency of the child as they transition into teenagers.
Parents need to learn to be cautious about putting everything out there especially where it involves their children. Children grow up and once they realise that their lives were online from the day they were born, it can either be a good or a bad thing depending on how they want to live their lives from that moment. And while the trend will continue growing, as future parents (and for those who already are), we need to distinguish that what we might want for our children, might not be what our children want for themselves.