6 Ways Technology Is Changing the Way We Name Babies

How addicted are you to your laptop and/or smartphone? Most moms are slaves to technology; they're lifelines on days when the kids are extra draining, when you want to talk politics over poop, when you need to connect with adults some way, somehow. 

Right now, you're digging baby names that can be easily typed on the right side of a standard QWERTY keyboard. Truth! And, yes, there's science to back up the so-called "QWERTY effect" ... words made up of more letters on the right side of the keyboard are viewed more positively. Crazy, huh?

Turns out technology is influencing your choice of baby names ... in more ways than one.

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According to Laura Wattenberg, founder of BabyNameWizard.com and NameCandy.com, you are under the influence of technology during the baby naming process. Here are five ways:

1. The QWERTY effect noted by researchers may arise from the fact that letter combinations that fall on the right side of the keyboard tend to be easier to type than those on the left. Since most of us are right-handed, letters on the right are viewed in a more positive light.

2. You're avoiding hyphens because computers mess up the punctuation. "We’re seeing more intercaps in names," says Wattenberg. "It used to be Mary Ellen or Mary-Ellen, for example. Because of computers, we’re seeing more MaryEllen."

3. These days, the popularity of a name is easily accessible on sites like BabyNameWizard.com and NameCandy.com ... and it has changed how we name babies. "It’s made parents competitive," said Wattenberg. "It’s a reverse arms race where nobody wants to be number one. That’s changing the total baby naming landscape because people are moving away from the names they really like if they're too popular."

4. Believe it or not, your cellphone contacts list influences baby names! There's an advantage of being early in the alphabet, according to Wattenberg. When you open up your contact list, you are see people with A names far more than those named with S. It’s a pretty big advantage when it comes to the social lives of people with A names.

5. Parents are choosing domain-friendly baby names. Wattenberg says parents are checking availability before committing to a name to get the "ultimate vanity license plate."

6. While there's been some hype that moms are naming their kids after social media (i.e., Hashtag), Wattenberg says that's pretty rare. The one "text speak" name that has crept up in recent years is "Ily," for I love you.

There's hope that one day our grandchildren won't be named Hashtag. #Ibelieve

Do you think technology influences your name preferences?


For great baby name ideas to find your perfect baby name match, visit Baby Name Wizard


Image © Oliver Rossi/Corbis

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