Hot Topic Tuesday - Your Baby's Digital Footprint

Hot Topic Tuesday is an opportunity to take controversial, attention-grabbing, or 'hot' topics that have recently garnered attention across the social media stage and open them up for discussion.

The July issue of Today's Parent magazine discusses an interesting hot topic pertaining to the future generation of tech-savvy kids.  Rosemary Counter writes about the emerging trend of purchasing URLs, signing up for social media accounts, and securing name-specific email addresses. This may not sound that controversial, except that the article is about parents signing their babies up for these technological treats. Parents are securing their offspring's digital footprint by setting up accounts and websites in their children's names with the intent that their children will have access to these accounts when they are older. One mom admitted to signing her child up for social media accounts before her baby was even born.

The article is a very interesting read, and begs the following question: "Would you or have you signed your baby up for online accounts and profiles?|

My Opinion, In Case You Are Curious

I read this article with some initial judgement for the parents who talked about signing their infants up for social media accounts. What about the choice of the baby, when that baby is older, to decide whether or not he/she wants accounts in their name? Is it not presumptuous as parents to assume that we know what a child will want years from their birth? What about their right to privacy?

After my initial reaction, I suddenly remembered a decision my hubs and I made a while ago. A few months after our daughter was born, we signed her up for an email account in her name.  It turns out I am similar to the parents in the just took me a few minutes to remember it. Shame on me for being judgmental! 

The purpose of us signing our months-old daughter up for an email account is for both her grandparents and ourselves to send pictures, letters, and notes to our girlie that she can access when she is older. We thought of it as a sort of digital scrapbook. We haven't signed her up for any other social media accounts at this time, but I feel less judgmental towards parents who may make this decision after reading the article.  

I question what the relevance of Facebook, Twitter, etc. will be when the next generation gets old enough to use it. By then, there will be newer, cooler, faster, and fancier social media sites to use. What would an 8 year old think if their parent handed them their password to an ICQ account, or to MSN Messenger? What if a parent gifted their child with a Myspace or Hi5 Page? Eyes would roll! 

I think the technological world is moving too fast to be signing babies up for accounts.  My hubs and I signed up our daughter under the assumption that email will still be around in it's relatively similar form; however, if we think this generation of kids is advanced technologically....imagine what the next generation of tech-savvy kids will be like!

What do you think?