So it seems more and more common for people in this modern world to opt out of having children. Many are choosing to pursue their careers or passions instead of devoting the vast majority of their lives to guiding the transformation of a tiny person who doesn’t know anything into a grown up asshole who thinks they know everything. Or, in Japan some people are marrying virtual people. I don’t want to be to presumptuous here but, unless there’s been some really big advancements that I haven’t read about in the past 5 minutes, those relationships are probably not going to make a child. Well, they’re not going to make a biological child. They might make a virtual one. But is that really the same as having a child with a human woman? We’re getting to some Blade Runner/Ghost in the Shell territory about the value of artificial life here guys, which is some pretty heavy shit for what was supposed to be a funny article.

Where was I? People not having kids because they’re too obsessed with their own lives. Well, it seems that there has been a steady rise in the number of children born to social media conscious parents.  Everyone’s favorite literary genius/crazy person Brett Easton Ellis said the following in his opinion piece for Vanity Fair:

If there doesn’t seem to be an economic way of elevating yourself then the currency of popularity is just the norm now and so this is why you want to have thousands and thousands of people liking you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler—and you try desperately to be liked. The only way to elevate yourself in society is through your brand, your profile, your social media presence.

These savvy parents are tapping the veritable gold mine of having children for likes, upvotes, retweets and clicks more effectively than ever before. Just ask that family that releases those videos where they’re all singing and stuff, the “Eh Bee Family” over on Youtube. You think that if Sarah and I just started singing Disney songs half decently we’d have over 700,000 Youtube subscribers? No. We wouldn’t. What’s the difference? They’ve got kids. And they’re capitalizing on it.

Of course, the real place to cash in on your children for meaningless internet currency is in the form of animated gifs. Your kid doesn’t even need to be talented or cute; he or she just needs to fall over. They don’t even need to hurt themselves, in fact, it’s probably better if they don’t. Nobody wants to laugh at a child falling over and then find out that the child broke their legs. If we see the little tyke get up and run around some more we will have peace of mind (and hopefully the kid falls over again very soon, especially in the same gif).

I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking that you could probably get the same number of hilarious/adorable gifs out of a puppy or a kitty or maybe in rare cases a very accident prone bunny. I see where you’re coming from, but think about it; most pets only stay adorable and awkward for a pretty short period of their lifespan.  A kid can be awkward and hysterical for easily 5 or 6 years before they become ugly and coordinated children. Think of how many times a kid will fall over in 6 years! As parents you just need to make sure that you’re following that little internet gravy train around with your camera phone at all times.

To find out just how easy it was I decided to ask a new parent about it myself. The names of father and child have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participant.

Me: So, you’ve got a kid, and we’re friends on Facebook, why don’t I see more videos of your kid falling down and knocking stuff over?
Scooter: Oh, we’ve got videos, we’ve got lots of videos. The wife doesn’t want me to share though; she says they might be scarring for my little boy Bowman down the road.

Me: Oh come on man, that’s so lame. They can’t be that good, can they?
Scooter: No, they’re pretty great. There was one time where he stacked his blocks up on a shelf then bumped into the shelf and the blocks all fell onto his head. Then he turns to the camera and says “Mama, the blocks HATE me.”
Me: That does sound pretty great.

Me: Are you jealous of parents that can freely share their child’s super funny mishaps while you sit around placating yourself by sharing videos that are only “cute” and “adorable”?
Scooter: Every day. Every single day.

Well, there you have it. It seems pretty conclusive from this one, totally not made up interview, that if you don’t share your children hurting themselves with the internet your entire life will be filled with regret.

So before you consider not having kids, consider how much joy those kids falling over might bring to us, the internet.

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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