“Just finished my first walk in my stroller after getting all bundled up,” writes Owen Metzger, on his Twitter account. “Nice day out there. Now ready for a nap.”
Metzger is still too young to walk, but he’s already leaving his very own digital footprint, part of a growing trend among parents who set up Twitter, Facebook, and even email accounts for their toddlers – sometimes when they’re right out of the womb.
“I think it even might’ve been the day Owen was born – or the day after,” said Owen’s mother, Erin Metzger. “My husband just came up with the idea.”
Erin’s husband, Ryan, works at Microsoft and hatched a plan in the hours after Owen’s birth to set up Twitter and email accounts for the newborn. On top of that, Ryan registered Owen’s own URL to make sure no one could snatch it up before they did.
"It'll definitely be easier to track him down and kind of keep up with what's going on in his life because we're able to get the official names," Ryan said.
Establishing a baby’s digital identity – in between changing diapers – appears to be a growing trend among young parents, trying to establish a digital identity for their children.
"The domain name is like 21st century real estate, 21st century identity,” said Warren Adelman, president and Chief Operating Officer of GoDaddy.com. “As a result, they want their kids to have it. So yeah, more and more parents are making sure they get that [domain name] for their child at birth.”
The Metzgers say they hope Owen’s website and Twitter accounts not only serve as a digital baby book for friends and family, but hope the accounts help their son transition into the tech industry, if that's the path he chooses.
"Only time will tell how far it gets, but I think just having that foundation that we set up for him hopefully will help him succeed with that," said Ryan.
While GoDaddy.com doesn't track specific URL registrations for babies, the company recently cross-referenced all new domain names with the most popular baby names of 2011. The result? The number is up significantly from 2010.