Parents Who Post 'Funny' Kid Videos Cost Their Families Something Valuable (VIDEO)

CharlieYou know that "Charlie Bit My Finger" viral video? The one in which a kid inserts his finger into his younger brother's mouth and then exclaims, "Ouch! Charlie! Ooow! Charlie, that really hurts!"? Of course you do. We've all seen it. Most of us have even watched it repeatedly -- though it's unclear what's so captivating about the 56-second clip. Toddler Harry's adorable British accent? His baby brother's equally adorable chortle? The changing expressions on their faces? Their brotherly bond?

Still, it's hard to watch it just once through without hitting "Replay." And since the boys' dad, Howard Davies-Carr, posted the video of his sons Charlie and Harry on YouTube in 2007, it's been viewed more than 419 million times! (I personally am responsible for at least 25 of those times.)

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In an article checking in with the now-famous Davies-Carr family -- the kids' dad is an IT consultant, their mom runs a nursery school, and the boys have two brothers -- The New York Times reveals that the family has, in the five years since hitting YouTube gold, sought to "monetize" the video and the kids' insta-fame, and has made upwards of $158,000 so far. There've been "Charlie Bit Me" T-shirts, and other products -- "Charlie" apps, kids' books -- may be in the works.

The kids' dad, who apparently originally didn't intend for the video to be seen by anyone other than family, is said to have been careful, and not exploitative, in handling his kids' fame. And he does seem well-meaning. But as a mom, I read the whole thing as a cautionary tale. My kids are cute -- and in their toddler years, they did a lot of adorable, heartwarming things that my husband and I captured on video -- but I would never post those videos in a public forum. On the off chance that the videos struck a nerve and got widely picked up, I would hate to have my kids defined by one moment during their toddler years that I happened to capture on film. I know, I know, what's the harm? But somehow it seems wrong to sell family memories so cheap. (OK, maybe not so cheap -- $158,000 is a lot of beans!) I guess it seems wrong to sell them at all.

I don't mean to judge the Davies-Carrs. They seem like nice people, concerned parents who are as surprised as anyone might be to have found themselves in this situation. But I personally do not envy them their extended 56-seconds of fame. Those moments in our kids lives are precious and private and ours. I may not have $158,000 rattling around in my pocket. But I feel infinitely richer for not putting a price on my kids' cuteness -- or my family's privacy.

Have you ever publicly posted a video of your kids online, and do you feel it raises any privacy issues?

 

Image via YouTube

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