Two decades ago ‘test tube babies’ were the moral dilemma. The global community wondered at the possibilities, good and evil, that might arise from this modern technology. Now, en vitro fertilization is commonplace and so mainstream that Kate and her eight and OctoMom are not just in the news, not just on television, not just on magazine racks, but also common fodder for social media as well. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and who doesn’t revel in showing off their children in any form of media. I wonder, though, are parents and their children really ready for global communication?
I have to admit that I laughed at David After Dentist and Single Babies (Cory and David each have their own websites complete with merchandise). In fact, I love youtubing ‘laughing babies,’ there’s nothing more infectious! But what will Charlie think of his fame when he’s fourteen years old? We all remember Numa Numa and the Star Wars Kid, which were recorded in the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records as the most viewed internet clips ever, but do you remember that Star Wars Kid? Ghyslain Raza’s parents pressed charges against the teenage boys who posted the video, and Gary Brolsma of Numa Numa initially refused calls from media and fans.
Now that I have a son and some adorable and funny footage of him, I wonder about the wisdom of placing his video on the internet. This issue isn’t black and white. It seems relatively harmless to post the video of his first crawl on Facebook. After all, only my ‘friends’ can see it. But what if it is transposed elsewhere? And while posting a video of your child ripping up paper on YouTube may seem innocuous, where do you draw the line? With Google advertisements and merchandise is almost too easy to capitalize on your children. What is your child’s dignity worth?