Skip to main content

WTF, Internet? Babies don’t need to define their ‘brand’ on Twitter

WTF Internet 09_08_2013 main
Image used with permission by copyright holder

I will admit it: I’m one of them. Those negative, cynical people who are sick and tired of seeing their social feeds dominated by your damn baby. Unless I personally know said damn baby (my Godson gets a pass, as do select children whose parents I consider near and dear), I just don’t care.

I tried to care. I tried really hard. But I rarely do.

I don’t care that it was born, or that it had a first meal, or trip to the pumpkin patch, or haircut. But my generation grew up with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at our disposal, just begging us to shareshareSHARE. Share it all! And parents take that invitation seriously.

To some extent, we all do. I overshare the things that are important to me and take up a significant amount of my time, too. That’s why you see so many pictures of dogs and tailgating and beers on my Instagram.

It’s not babies’ faults their parents are attention-mongering sycophants.

Here’s the difference: I realize how ridiculous it looks, and you should ignore it or make fun of it as you see fit. But if I make fun of the 18 identical photos of your infant, I’m the asshole. Sure, mock my Instagram of bottomless mimosa brunch! Please! But can I, in turn, pick on that picture where your kid sort of looks like a Gremlin? No? That’s off limits? I call conflict of interest!

I know there’s some backlash against the social media baby-hating trope – it’s not babies’ faults their parents are attention-mongering sycophants who can’t keep their hands off their iPhone camera and haven’t outgrown that crushing, all-consuming need for “Like” button reinforcement. It’s not babies’ faults that their folks just can’t decide on one filter, so they decide on them all.

I can only barely withstand my feed being filled with status updates and photos of these babies, but at least these are the parents. My actual friends. People who are adults, that I speak to, and have a relationship with, are the ones who write and upload content.

But alas, the last remaining piece of sanity in the social-baby madness is flying out the door, because some jerkoffs (who are considered social media elite) are creating Twitter accounts for their infants.

And what do faux baby tweets… sound like, you ask?

There you have it: The crazed musings of a bored mom or dad who has way too much damn time on their hands – which is insane given what pop culture has told me about early parenthood (that it’s time-consuming).

You monsters need to have your Internet connection taken away from you. Seriously, this is some delusional nonsense here. As ESPN and ABC reporter Darren Rovell told the Daily Intelligencer:

“Before I announced her name to the select people – before maybe it could get out – I locked down her name at Gmail, her dot-com, her Twitter handle. It was just an intellectual capital investment.”

“When do you become a brand? Some people say it’s for people who achieved something. I would argue that in some sense you become a brand when you’re born.”

For starters, there’s some weird “I am your creator!” stuff going on here. You aren’t just reserving a spot in Twitter for your offspring (which, in and of itself, is a crazy thing to do), you’re trying to determine its voice. Maybe your kid isn’t talking in a cutesy voice about its giraffe chew toy (Do we call them chew toys if they’re for babies and not dogs? Would appreciate an answer); maybe the child is all, “Hey dad, get the eff off Twitter you obsessive narcissist.”

How entirely weird would it be to go through your archive and read crap that your parents wrote for you? It’s like how we go through photo albums now and wonder about the matching cowboy outfits we had to wear in Sears photo sessions. Except it’s about a million times weirder.
Every single fiber of my being hopes that these kids grow up and all they want are handles like @s0phiaahh68787.

I know, I’m an old, childless, hag of a curmudgeon so who am I to give advice? But I’m going to anyway: Seriously, parents, give your children just one smidgen of a moment in their lives in which they won’t be connected. Where they don’t worry about “likes,” or profile pictures, or if anyone retweeted them. Just a brief, beautiful moment of only being themselves, the unfiltered version.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Don’t be like Pierre Delecto. Here’s how to keep your Twitter account a secret
Mitt Romney

On October 20, the Atlantic published a profile on Mitt Romney, in which the Utah Senator admitted to having a secret Twitter account. Slate’s Ashley Feinberg, who had previously unmasked James Comey’s anonymous Twitter, quickly went to work and identified Romney as tweeter Pierre Delecto.

Far be it from me to make Feinberg’s sleuthing more difficult, but the two had some commonalities that helped her track down their accounts. If you’re in the public eye but want to keep some social media private, here are some tips to keep it secret.
Don’t follow your relatives 
This was Romney’s biggest mistake. It was by investigating his granddaughter’s nearly 500 followers that Feinberg was able to find Pierre Delecto, and from there, the evidence only piled up. “The Pierre Delecto account’s very first follow was eldest Romney scion Tagg,” according to Feinberg. She traced James Comey through similar means. Trail of breadcrumbs, thy name is the family follow.
Do follow a mix of people 
Delecto did follow a number of late night hosts (no Stephen Colbert, though) but mostly stuck to politicians, pundits, and reporters. But this is your secret identity! Maybe take the opportunity to learn about a new field. Cheese Twitter, historian Twitter, teacher Twitter, branch out and learn something new. Also, part of why Feinberg was able to discover Comey’s identity is he followed the College of William &  Mary, his alma mater. Maybe if he’d followed a few more colleges, it would’ve muddied the water a bit.

Read more
You’re probably seeing more social media propaganda, but don’t blame the bots
social media propaganda global disinformation study 2019 kayla velasquez 6xjl5 xq4g4 unsplash

Bots commonly shoulder the blame for social media propaganda, but a recent study out of the U.K. suggests not only that organized political misinformation campaigns have more than doubled in the last two years, but that bots take second place to human-run manipulation.

The Global Disinformation Order study, conducted by the University of Oxford, found evidence of social media manipulation by a government agency or political party in 70 countries, an increase from 48 in 2018 and 28 in 2017. The study has been collecting data annually since 2017, but suggests political propaganda has leveraged social media for the last decade.

Read more
Social media sites can predict your behavior even if you don’t use them
twitter q1 2018 report on mobile phone new

Bad news for people who are trying to preserve their privacy by staying off social media -- a new study has found that your privacy is at risk even if you are not personally using social media sites. The findings of researchers from the University of Vermont show that "privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It's controlled by the people around you."

Using data gathered from nearly 14,000 Twitter users, the team of scientists analyzed information about the content of people's tweets. They found that using information from the tweets of a few of someone's contacts -- just eight or nine friends -- made it possible to predict that person's tweets as accurately as using data from their own Twitter feed. This means that it's possible to predict your Twitter content from seeing your friends' tweets, even without having access to your Twitter.

Read more