The world inside the Internet is kidnapping virtual babies and new virtual parents are raising them as their own. Confused? It seems that people are finding pictures of their children, mostly babies, online with different names with people claiming to be their parents in a new role-playing phenomenon oozing out of one dark corner of Instagram.
According to Fast Company.com on Sept. 23, one mother said she got a call from a friend who recognized her baby online. The baby was given a new name and she had a new virtual mother in this role-playing. The baby had a made up birthday, weight and siblings in an entire new virtual life.
This role-playing has gotten detailed beyond anyone’s wildest imagination with people play feeding, swaddling, changing and even reprimanding these kids seen in the stolen snapshots. It is a virtual reality world of fantasy, but who are the people playing this rather disturbing game? One surprising aspect of this stolen baby picture ring of virtual moms, is that they are from regulated spaces like BabyNames.com.
According to Jezebel today, many of these virtual role-playing mothers seem to be teenage girls. There’s even a virtual adoption agency where these moms can adopt one of the online pictures of a baby and rename them.
The women participating in the role-playing are all-too happy to explain the theory behind this game or at least why they personally were draw to this. One mother who had a colicky baby who screamed all the time found a coping strategy in the role-playing game.
She created her dream kid online with a happy and really adorable baby. This role playing includes showing off your baby’s nursery and even your home, all borrowed of course from someone else.
While borrowing pictures of someone’s material things and calling them your own for this role-playing is a bit strange, it isn’t as creepy as stealing their kid’s image and changing their name making the child their own in fantasy land.
Many parents feel violated when they’ve stumbled across little Sally who is now Elvira and now the daughter of someone else, who also has a fake name. One woman reports how she got a phone call from a friend saying they think they just saw a picture of her child renamed and attached to a new mother online. Psychiatrist Gail Saltz tried to put this odd role-playing phenomenon into prospective saying:
“It’s more exciting to be testing these fantasies online and not in their minds because there’s some follow through online and yet they’re behind the safety of their computer in their bedroom. This is another variation of that. These role players have a desire to try on the fantasy of being a family person, a mother, whatever it might be that they’re searching for a void they’re trying to fill.”
Just like the mother with the colicky baby. She wasn’t going to have that “perfect” baby experience she dreamed about, so she coped with this problem by creating a virtual “perfect” baby online. It still sounds creepy to see a picture of your child virtually kidnapped with a changed name living in a new world.