Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Does It Mean When Your Infant Has More Social Networking Friends Than You Do?: Relevant Quandry

My relationship with social networking runs hot and cold. Some days I have a lot of fun checking in with friends; seeing what's new, and meeting new people, and enlarging my circle in this ever shrinking world. But there are some days that I regret, or grow weary of having a public profile out in the world, and feel the intrusiveness of all these people looking in on my affairs.

As a writer, I am happy that when my name is Googled, I have so many more opportunities for people to find my work, and help me along in my aspiration. I guard some parts of my life pretty fiercely though, namely my child. I don't really like to post too much about him, nor too many photos. In fact when starting a "mommy blog," part of the reason I write about news is that I really don't feel comfortable putting too much out there that is also his to have a say about, although he can't yet.

There is a growing phenomenon of parents creating Internet profiles for their children, even in utero. Totspot is compared to Facebook for the infant and child set. I see the appeal, and I think it feels so natural in our world today, where we share so much more of ourselves, that we wouldn't exclude our children from that as well. Is it really for them, or are parents just finding the next generation way of rolling out all those recent baby pics from their wallet for every stranger that they encounter, and sharing each amazing-to-them milestone?

And there are other issues. How much is too much? Do I really need to hear on Twitter that Johnny just had his first poop, let alone a picture? And what does it mean when your 7 month old has more "connections" than you do?

Call it natural skepticism, or my own peculiar maternal instinct, but I guess as a mother it feels right to me to allow him to develop his own identity before I start assigning one to him, virtual or otherwise.

I wonder how others feel about this? Comments are on the add comment feature to post your thoughts.

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