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Making Facebook less infantile
Baby photo overload? A web tool to the rescue.
Brandy Caswell, 28, turns to Facebook to keep up with her friends. But in the last year or so, she found that her newsfeed was being overrun with baby photos, documenting everything from nap times to diaper changes.
"I don't need a play-by-play of a typical day with your kid, " said Caswell, an administrative assistant in Austin, Texas. She won't have that problem anymore, thanks to a new Web tool called Unbaby. me, which replaces the baby pictures on Facebook feeds with things that people prefer to see, like photos of cats, sunsets and bacon.
The tool seems to have struck a nerve. Introduced Aug. 1, Unbaby. me has been cited by Web sites like Slate. "If you are a childless 20- or 30-something whose friends are all popping babies like muffins, " read a Forbes article, "you don't need me to tell you why this is a brilliant, and sanity-preserving, idea. "
Chris Baker, 29, a copywriter in Manhattan, said the idea arose from a conversation with his former coworkers Pete Marquis, 26, and Yvonne Cheng, 31, lamenting that their Facebook feeds were being hijacked by oversharing parents.
The three sketched out an idea for a Google Chrome extension, and spent two weeks developing it. "It's like a certain part of the brain gets activated where they feel this crushing desire to share with the world their little creations, " Baker said. As of Wednesday, Unbaby. me had garnered nearly 300, 000 views, and had been downloaded more than 19, 000 times, he added.
Yet Unbaby. me is just the latest skirmish in the protracted rift between certain urban young adults, sometimes labeled "hipsters, " and their slightly older brethren, "hipster parents. " In Park Slope, Brooklyn, child-free patrons at Greenwood Park, a beer garden, recently took to Yelp to complain about all the children running amok and presumably cramping their style.
There are already blogs devoted to mocking oversharing parents who, for example, post photos of their placentas. (" You used to be fun, " reads the tagline. "Now you have a baby. ") A tongue-in-cheek clothing line called AntiBaby sells T-shirts, hats and baby bibs sporting slogans like "I'm not pro-abortion, I'm anti-baby !"
Unbaby. me has provoked some predictable backlash among parents. Writing for TechCrunch, Sarah Perez begged "non-breeders" to relax. "Excuse me while I go work on an app that removes those incessant pictures of your pets. "
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