Do Babies Need Twitter Accounts? Their Journalist Parents Think They Do.
What’s a good age for your child to have a social media account? 12? 13? 18? Well, according to certain media personalities and journalists, the answer to that question is “as soon as they leave the womb.”
Or at least that’s what Today show correspondent Jenna Wolfe and NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk seem to think because they opened a Twitter account for their newborn daughter Harper when she was just four days old. And now at the ripe old age of three weeks, the baby already has over 6,600 followers. (Which is about 500 more than I have, but hey, I’m not bitter.)
Harper’s tweets are written in her voice--- “TGIF.... I think. #stillLearningDaysOfTheWeek” — which some people may find cute and others (like me) may find cloying, but all it does is make me wonder, “Why are they doing this?” I mean, sure, the moms are understandably excited about their new addition and they’re both in the business of communication, but does an infant really need to start life with her name already on a Twitter account? Can’t she just, I don’t know, sleep and poop in private and start social media on her own in a few years?
ESPN sports business reporter and ABC News correspondent Darren Rovell, whose baby daughter also has a Twitter account, definitely doesn’t think so as he 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."
But my doubts and confusion aside, it appears that a lot of media people consider it good practice to lay the groundwork for their children’s social media future. ABC’s Nightline anchor Dan Abrams reportedly secured a URL and Twitter handle with his newborn son's name right away, however he also seems to realize it’s a bit silly and wonders if Twitter will even still be around when his son is old enough to use it because technology is always changing. (Which is something all of the parents who eagerly opened MySpace accounts for their kids in 2003 now realize.)
While I wouldn't have done this with my own children, and I find it a little self-indulgent, I don't think there's much harm in starting a Twitter account for a baby. Just as long as I don't have to read the tweets.