GateHouse — You know what Facebook could use is an increased level of unprovoked information about people’s kids, and before any of you jumpy gophers who leave a Facebook tab up “at work” to pounce on posts/comments like rabid animals get all “snarky” and “sarcastic” and “busy with quotation fingers” I know I put kid pictures on Facebook all the time too; I am not saying that I never do it or you should never do it, particularly if hypothetically your child was all sweet pushing his baby brother around in a stroller or that baby has a particularly lively reaction to your eerily accurate Swedish Chef impression. I am just saying that oh my God seriously if I see another child I don’t know sitting on a toilet I am definitely canceling the Internet service of the elderly neighbor/nonprofit I’m stealing wifi from, which is either “rutner house” or “Beaufort County Orphanage” or “linksys” or “linksys” or “linksys” or “linksys.”
(Incidentally this is where my 8-year-old would roll his eyes and go, “Don’t listen to him, Dad’s being sar-castic,” not that I would put that on Facebook or anything EVEN THOUGH IT’S UNBEARABLY CUTE AND YOU SHOULD ALL KNOW ABOUT IT.)
And yet here we are, thanks to the Consumer Electronics Show, an annual gathering of people to whom I would normally ascribe a dumb, nerdworthy nickname like “coding goobers” or “zittlywankers” or “Parrotheads” except I’m sure that any one of them is capable of building a nanorobot 14 molecules high that could kill me in my sleep using an endoplasmic reticulum. If you haven’t read up on this thing take a look online; seriously, it’s like a “Star Wars” convention for nerds.
Well, make that nerds and their parents: Because of CES we will soon have access to a device that will weigh your Precious Little Angel and auto-fire the results to Twitter and Facebook, saving you the trouble of weighing your child on some vintage hand-cranked lead-painted off-the-grid scale from Service Merchandise in 1983 and using a whole separate app to bore everyone to tears manually.
The Smart Baby Scale is produced by a company called Withings, which has, in the past, invented a device called the WiFi Body Scale, which auto-tweets results every time you step on a special scale because the Withings company is staffed exclusively by black-hearted Nazgul who want everyone to hate them on primal, pure level usually reserved for Dane Cook or Newt Gingrich.
Just kidding, Withings, this is actually pretty genius, setting up a system by which you either force yourself into fitness-by-accountability, or launch into the greatest fiesta of binge Dairy Queen-eating this world has EVER SEEN. (“@Jeff’swifibodyscale Um someone has been trying to work out some latent confidence issues with basically a beach party of large chocolate shakes hasn’t he, Chubbs?”) They also make an blood pressure app/device for the iPhone and iPad, which is pretty accurate but kind of hard to operate while driving.
See, this I just don’t get. I get putting baby pictures online; I get posting your kid’s stats and grades and report cards and pictures. (I mean heavens I’m not going to look at them, God never ever, but I get them!) But— and help me out, Facebook Users of America Or Other Nations If You Found Your Way Here Around Your Country’s Internet Censorship — is sharing baby weight really a thing? Do parents keep up with that? I have enough time navigating the usual passive-aggressive parental games of oneupsmanship about sports and GT attendance and reading level, do we do this with weight now too?
The Smart Baby Scale sells for around $180, which is $169.99 more than the last scale I purchased in my life, which was in 1997 and came from I think a Jewel or a Walgreens and also it was quickly broken. But seriously, $180! For a scale that talks to Twitter! It’s important to note here that approximately four American states have money to educate the children whose weight-gain issues will soon be broadcast all over Facebook (which means they’ve already been sold to every major corporation in America and the government of Dubai) and yet this is OK, spending hundreds of dollars on a device that sends baby-weight updates to your mom in Indiana?
(Incidentally the SBS can also track, chart and broadcast the length of your baby, via a device called a “roll of measuring tape,” which is sold separately and retails for $599.99. Please make checks out to “Jeff Vrabel.”)
Jeff Vrabel did not have to look up endoplasmic reticulum, and he resents the implication.