I don’t currently have a baby, but if I did, I would be Zooming with my baby all the time. Would Zoom be too much technology for a little baby? I don’t think so. We’re all on Zoom so much, we probably register everything as Zoom these days anyway. Babies might be more comfortable on Zoom than in person. Many adults are now like that.
With covid here, and with no sign of covid ending, it’s difficult to have in-person visits. Sure, many of us are vaccinated, but that’s not 100% protection. Zoom Thanksgivings and Zoom Christmases are still a possibility for many families. Why wait until one of these holidays to have your baby Zoom with family?
When many of us were babies, before we met relatives or our parents’ friends, we got to listen to a lot of phone calls. Maybe your nanna lived in another state or country, but every Sunday morning your mom was calling her while making breakfast, her head tilted to balance a cordless phone. You could hear nanna’s voice and hear your mom’s “nanna voice,” and when you met nanna for the first time, she already felt familiar.
Many people find out about a baby’s birth now through a text message. No call in front of the baby, no elated voices in the distance, just written language that the baby is years away from being able to read. A birth with no memories.
I have lots of friends and family members on Facebook who, besides “likes” and comments, I rarely get to talk to anymore. I am a working girl, and many of my friends are as well, or at least I can assume that they are very busy with their families. I don’t really approach very many people for a Zoom session.
If I had a baby, however, I would be Zooming all the time. I would contact every single Facebook friend and let them know individually on Messenger that they now have a new friend, my little baby, and that the baby is dying to meet them.
I sense that new parents are eager to post a photo of their new baby, and that new photo with a little blurb often gets hundreds of likes. Parents often describe social media and reactions to posts like these to their babies. “Peggy Brown loved your picture,” they tell them. The baby has no idea who that is. “She lived down the hall from me sophomore year in college.” The baby is not going to remember that. “She really liked Weezer, and she always wore Converse Allstars.” The baby doesn’t know what either of those things is.
You can sense babies’ confusion in Facebook photos of them, that they are on social media, and perhaps they want to be social, and yet they have no idea who anybody is. You can feel the conglomeration of random stories in their minds of the people whom they have never met. You can sense that they are drawn to some things and repelled by other things, and yet they are uncertain in their feelings, which are often their parents’ feelings described to them.
You only need a minute with a friend on Zoom for the baby to really learn a lot about them. “This is Peggy Brown,” you can tell your baby. “Hi!” she says. “Peggy, it’s so nice to see you, and I’m so excited for you to meet little Sally!” you say. “I’m excited to meet Sally as well!” she squeals. “Peggy and I lived down the hall from each other sophomore year in college,” you say. “I remember that you really liked Weezer, and you always wore Converse Allstars.” “That’s true!” says Peggy. “I remember that you always wanted to have a baby, so this birth is such a blessing. I am so happy for you,” Peggy adds.