At a time when the world has – thankfully – started debating whether smartphone self-portraits or “selfies” are a dangerous sign of the society's growing narcissism, this toy is perhaps the last thing we needed.
A Dutch designer recently introduced a set of crib accessories that automatically click and upload selfies of babies on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.
The idea came from a research project out of the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands called "New Born Fame."
According to the International Business Times:
“Included in the collection is a 'selfie ball' that allows a baby to take photos of themselves, motion-tracking shoes that register the baby's movement and an interactive pacifier that includes a GPS tracker to monitor the baby's location.”
Over the past couple of years, which have witnessed a sudden surge in social media sharing, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the ethics of posting babies’ pictures online.
A recent U.S. study found that 63 percent of mums use Facebook; of these, 97 percent said they post pictures of their child; 89% post status updates about them, and 46 percent post videos.
According to award-winning British journalist Linda Geddes, the stats are problematic because putting your child’s pictures on the internet is inadvertently putting them at risk.
“Every time you post about your child on social media you are helping to create for them a data-rich, enduring and potentially problematic online profile,” Geddes wrote in an article for The Guardian along with several opinions from experts who advised to exercise caution.
“There are two things to be careful about,” says Victoria Nash, acting director of the Oxford Internet Institute. “One is the amount of information that you give away, which might include things like date of birth, place of birth, the child’s full name, or tagging of any photographs with a geographical location – anything that could be used by somebody who wanted to steal your child’s identity.”
“The second issue is more around consent. What type of information would children want to see about themselves online at a later date?”
Recommended: Your Selfie Obsession Can Kill You
Laura Cornet, the woman behind the selfie crib project, feels her products shouldn’t be a problem because the parents are the ones in charge, not the infant.
“The baby isn’t old enough to be aware of it, but if the mother decides, it is accepted… I am not against this type of technology,” she was quoted as saying by the Business Insider.
“I like the possibilities a lot! I just think some parts of the use of these new technical things aren’t explored enough from a social or ethical point of view.”
Learn more about the “selfie mobile” in the video below: