One of the Best Gifts for Your Future Baby is Digital and Free

Every week, like everybody around me, I am getting older, that’s nothing new and nothing really imaginative to say as a first sentence of a post. However, with communications facilitated by social media, it seems like every week I hear the news that the girlfriend of an old friend of mine will give birth to a beautiful 9 pounds baby. Each of these times, I feel much older than only a week older since this situation is not part of my everyday life for the moment.

However, for any new parents, besides all the joy, the gifts and the baby showers which come with the newborn, there is also the hard task of choosing the baby name. And personally, how many times do you hear your friends saying the name of their baby, and you just tell yourself: “that’s so common” or “that’s so awful”! Most of the time, you stay polite and once arrived back home you have a short discussion with either your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, dog or cat, about how the new baby’s name sounds so ugly to your ears and how the parents did a poor job of choosing the “right” name. On my side, when talking about a newborn name, as an online marketing “freak”, all types of different digitally-oriented questions popped-up to my head:

1. Is he already on Facebook?
2. What do we say about this newborn on Google?
3. Is he already tweeting?
4. With who is he/she already connected to? To celebrities or to all-star burglars?
5. Is his/her full name short enough to be typed in a tweet?
6. Is his/her name easy to recall for his/her future portfolio “URL”? Is this URL still available?

Little kids having fun
Little kids having fun

Even if my list of questions sounds more pathetic than poetic to some of you, I personally feel that the task of choosing a name for a future baby is a hard one. On a rational perspective, it’s much more like choosing a name for a new brand, you want the name:

(1) To reflect the personality of the child (which you suppose will be aligned with yours);
(2) To be unique (nearly absent when you run a research query on Google or any social media websites, see Namechk);
(3) To be common enough (so it doesn’t sound like a new planet name and other kids with get fun of it);
(4) To be easily pronounceable (similar to point 3).

What a hell of a brainstorming task! Personally, if one name satisfies each of these conditions, I would go for it. Is my name qualifying for all of these four conditions? Not really for condition 3, simply “Google” me with “Jean-Francois Belisle” and you will find out that I’m not only what I claim to be in my “Who is Jean-Francois Belisle?” page, I am also a University Professor in Latin America History at University of Ottawa, the director of the “Association des Galeries d’Arts”. Oh, I forget, I am also an author who wrote the books “Town House, Country House: Recollections of a Quebec Childhood“ in 1990, “Annie-la-rousse” in 1991, and the testosterone-packed book entitled “Parler en male” in 1999.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it seems like I am either positioning myself to be invited to one of these baby names brainstorming sessions or either to be kicked out from all these festivities due to my digitally-oriented point of view. But anyway, any additional thoughts on the topic? And what would my life had been if my name was Erasmus Belisle?

Jean-François Belisle

Erasmus de Rotterdam, since I thought a picture of Erasmus would be interesting here
Erasmus de Rotterdam, since I thought a picture of Erasmus would be interesting here

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Comments 12

  • J’ai une amie qui a fait un Ph.D en psychologie sur ce point : “(1) To reflect the personality of the child (which you suppose will be aligned with yours);” Ce qu’elle a identifié, c’est que les parents imaginent / fantasment la personnalité future de l’enfant et attribuent un prénom qui, pour eux, a cette connotation. C’est important de noter ici que la connotation est très personnelle: pour moi un “René” sonne comme étant très droit, très honnête mais réservé… comme mon grand-père René Picard l’était!

    Ensuite, par un phénomène de transfert ou de projection, les parents attribuent cette personnalité à l’enfant. Dans mon exemple, si j’appelle mon fils René, je vais le percevoir comme droit, honnête mais réservé, et ce même à un âge où il est encore beaucoup trop jeune pour avoir ces caractéristiques.

    Le phénomène est complexe : si son entourage le voit comme droit, honnête mais réservé, il risque de le devenir! On est donc passé d’un fantasme à une réalité.

    Pour tous les autres points: 100% d’accord. J’ai moi-même ma propre adresse et je trouve ça bien pratique!

  • Nice to hear from you Etienne and thanks for your comments, that’s quite interesting to know. However, I must admit that I voluntarily simplified the condition you mentioned: “To reflect the personality of the child (which you suppose will be aligned with yours)”, since each issue related to personality psychology is generally a complex one in itself. The phenomenon you’re describing is interesting in the point that your collective self at a young age is thereafter absorbed in your actual self. I got some similar findings for my Master Thesis some years ago about Metaverse’s (Virtual worlds) presence and identity, which led to a forthcoming publication in Psychology & Marketing.

  • For sure, when choosing a baby’s name, we have to consider the Internet. But, choosing the wrong name for a child is not irreversible. Nowadays, we can change our name. You just need to justify WHY! (See this article)

  • Thanks for your comment Florence. I agree that we can change our name, but changing our name implies changing a part of our past identity and also many difficulties when it comes to updating our status in many governmental agencies & services.

  • I just wanted to add a link about an interesting article/joke ‘40 Baby Geek Names That Will Actually Work!’ http://rominaa.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/40-baby-geek-names-that-will-actually-work/’

    – Glitch-

  • Lol Rémi, from now on, I renamed myself as Analog Belisle.

  • I’ll call my son Google Demeilliers for 5 reasons :
    1- Everybody can count on him because he knows and finds everything (especially girls but my wife might not be happy)
    2- I do not really like Asia (except food) and it’d be a great opportunity to protest against China Reglementation
    3- it “refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by 100 zeros” (My son is the number 1 and the others are 0, meaning he leads a legion of losers and it sounds good to me)
    4-Worths Billions of dollars
    And finally, someone called Google : Priceless

    Cheers

  • Amazing name Xavier. Your point 1,3 and 4 are incredibly convincing. However, related to your point 2, I don’t know if having this kind of name would be good for traveling to Asia for business purposes for your future son Google. In some way, its similar to having a long beard and trying to cross the border, its possible, but its harder, I already tried and after waiting for a long time at the boarder, I then shaved my beard when back home, but for a name its different, it sticks. Anyway, keep on thinking “out of the box”, I find it funny.

  • Erasmus Belisle LOL.

    Does the name reflect the personality or does the personality reflect the name? That is the question!

  • Brilliant question Bob. Well, the name reflect the projected personality by parents, and thereafter the personality might reflect the name, same as a proteus effect behind an avatar (http://www.scienceandsex.com/multi4dl.html)

  • You forgot to consider one important thing 🙂
    Expectant parents have to check the initials, of their future baby, to make sure the name, middle name and last name do not spell something undesirable. For example I think Freddy Ashley Trump would not enjoy his initials that spell F-A-T.

  • Interesting post !

    It seems like overtime it will become a reflex for all parents to be and I have to say that I went trough all the steps myself when I chose my little girl’s name.

    Thousands of researches were made on the subject and it seems that choosing a name for your baby is by far one of the most important decisions you will have to make. It seems like that the name has a major impact on the life path of a person.

    • The appreciation of your name has a direct impact on your self-esteem
    • A name that is liked will engender positives reactions from the entourage.
    It will encounter more warm human contacts.
    • A name can stigmatize a person the same way as the physical aspect of the person can do.

    In addition to the new 3.0 reality, choosing a name for a person is a decision that you cant take lightly !!

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