From Cradle to Grave, Social Media Changes the Circle of Life


These days, brands will do almost anything to catch the attention of millennials, the most coveted demographic bar none. But as these digital natives become full-fledged adults—bank accounts, babies, buying homes, oh my!—they might not realize just how much they are indoctrinating their social media habits into their legacies. 

Take, for example, their kids: This generation of newborns is the first to be brought up by parents who grew up with Facebook—hence the overload of baby photos and videos that’s probably taking up your newsfeed this very moment. 

Whether you find it annoying or cute, it’s certainly a fascinating phenomenon, and as the young Dutch designer Laura Cornet found out, one that’s easily capitalized upon.

As part of an art experiment for her graduate thesis, Cornet created four baby toys, including one that lets a baby take selfies and post status updates immediately to Facebook, as well as tiny fitness-tracker booties. Her “line” is called “New Born Fame.”[more]


“Nearly half of newly born babies are visible online within the first day after birth,” Cornet says on her website. “I wouldn’t want that, but my research showed differently. A lot of people didn’t think of it as a problem.” 

The designer says the goal of the project is to “make people think about the use of social media, and how this influences the life of this new generation. What is considered to be okay, and when does it go too far? And, even more important: who is in charge of that decision?”

As CNN reports, some parents have confused her social commentary with commerce, and have reached out to the designer to inquire about how to purchase the toys for their own tots.

Speaking of “creepy” and “necessary discussions,” as CNN puts it—how to market end of life services to a generation for whom there is no place that’s off-limits for a selfie?

This week, a Houston, TX-based funeral business called Distinctive Life announced its plans to woo millennials with America’s first mobile funeral showroom, the Houston Chronicle reports

According to Jeff Friedman, Distinctive’s founder and CEO, the funeral industry must change with the times as Generation X and millennials look to the great beyond. “There are destination funerals, services in bars, baseball games, hot air balloon shows,” Friedman says. “The days of six pallbearers and sad organ music are probably coming to an end.”

With its tagline of “Modern. Meaningful. Mobile,” its traveling showroom is part of the company’s larger goal to appeal to younger adults, who are increasingly interested in alternatives to traditional burials, including cremation, biodegradable options—even shooting into space.

The funeral home hopes to “take the pressure off” of the planning process, and is morbidly modern, complete with iPads for browsing the full collection of offerings from urns to caskets and more. 

If these quirky developments are any indication, we can officially say that when it comes to selfies, no space is sacred.

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