Internet Sharing: Is There a Line for Parents?

Family Matters on 03.30.11
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Image Credit: InPictures/Corbis

Recently, stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe gave birth to a baby boy she named Skyler Morrison Berman. How do I know that? She tweeted it to me. Well, me and about 500,000 other people. She also posted the happy news on her Facebook and MySpace pages.

Rumors began swirling early last fall that the fashion maven was with child, but she remained (understandably) silent on the speculation until mid-November when she confirmed it to the world -- via Twitter. Alyssa Milano also spread her impending baby news by tweet in February. And in March, Milano once again took the tweet waves to announce her bundle of joy would be of the boy variety.

With more than 10 million users, Twitter has become yet another Internet phenomenon. Founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, it's become the go-to online destination for celebrities, athletes, CEOs, and mere mortals to stay connected and available 24 hours a day.

The question now is this: How available should you really be? And beyond that, how available should kids be? Should Zoe and Milano post pictures of their babies in the online universe for all of their fans to see, or should the baby remain private, away from the prying eyes of undesirables? In an interview with Piers Morgan, Milano said she's not sure if she'll share her baby's picture on Twitter, but she does think that these platforms give a sense of control over sharing personal information.  

Obviously, it's a personal choice each mother (and father) should make for herself. Celebrities may feel that thanks to the paparazzi, their children's faces will eventually be splashed on every tabloid cover, so why hide it? Others will go to great lengths to protect their children from the public eye. Julia Roberts moved her brood to New Mexico to give them a "normal" life. Demi Moore took it a step further and actually bowed out of the acting game completely to raise her three daughters in Idaho.

I'm sure it's almost impossible to balance your public and private lives when there's so much pressure from fans who want to know it all. My hubby and I are pretty guarded about where our daughter's picture ends up online. But then again, I don't have a gaggle of photographers chasing after me angling for the one great shot of my baby. Well, if you don't count aunts, uncles, and grandparents, of course.

P.S. I spoke just a moment too soon. Rachel Zoe posted a picture of her precious baby boy on Twitter just a few moments ago, and he is beautiful. And man, she looks like a million bucks! Reminds me of a something a colleague of mine wrote about not too long ago...Congratulations to Rachel and Roger!

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