Isn't the process of picking out a name for your own baby so lame? I mean, so many options, how's a person supposed to decide? Books are such a drag, and websites are so hard. God, it's seriously like almost not even worth becoming a parent. Thankfully, one startup has finally come up with a solution to this terrible problem, which is to crowdsource your decision via social media. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?
Basically, Belly Ballot gives you a system for tapping your social networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest in order to get feedback on your favorite name choices. Friends and family can vote, provide "helpful" input and commentary, and even offer suggestions for other awesome names (such as Catnip Moonbeam or perhaps Seymour Buttz) before you ultimately broadcast your final choice.
If you couldn't tell from my unnecessarily snarky opening paragraph, I'm not exactly a huge fan of this idea. To each their own, of course, but I can't help wondering what the existence of this website says about our increasing reliance on social media to get anything done.
Now before you accuse me of being hypocritical, I will fully cop to jumping on social media to ask for advice on what movie to blow my date night budget on, or whether or not Gone Girl is worth reading (Twitter consensus: yes). I've posed a few more serious questions here and there, too, although a 140-character limit does tend to put a damper on a Deep and Meaningful Conversation.
I cannot imagine, however, leaving the job of naming my kid up to social media. I mean, is it just me, or does that sort of seem like something the parents should handle without asking for Twitter votes? Maybe I'm just focused on how impossible it would be gain any kind of consensus on an entirely subjective topic -- or how much I'd hate to hear comments crapping all over my name choices. "Well you could name him Rick ... if you want him to be a cat-torturing serial killer with a balloon fetish."
The trend towards crowdsourcing in social media is great news for marketers, but I'm not certain it's particularly helpful for the rest of us. On the one hand, we all have a better chance at being exposed to new perspectives and diverse opinions ... on the other hand, is it possible that this 24/7 access to public opinion is eroding our self-reliance and confidence? Every time I see a nervous new parent who posts a nonstop series of seemingly obvious baby-care questions on Twitter ("My baby is hungry, should I feed him?"), I wonder, just a tiny bit, what would happen to all of us if the Internet blew up one day.
Belly Ballot is a cute and innocuous enough service, but just reading about it reminds me to have a little more faith in my own choices. Yeah, it's fun to ask the hive mind for advice every now and then, but some decisions should probably just stay at home.
What do you think about crowdsourcing important personal decisions like what to name your kid? Would you ever do that?
Image via Belly Ballot