establishing your child's online identity

Question:* when you have a kid, do you register their name as a domain name, a gmail address, or anything? To be held in trust until age whatever when you turn over the password? At what point, from 1990 to 2050, did/will this become standard practice?

Is using an email address or domain name that your parents registered for you uncool? Are there social conventions for choosing online handles yet, what are they, or what will they be?

*Not to go all cyber-punk on you, but


  1. Hmm, I hadn't thought about this. Kids seem to like choosing a made-up online name & email address (one not based on their IRL name) and I'd actually encourage that. Kids aren't particularly savvy about keeping their online identities "clean" so it seems like a good idea not to use a real name until they're old enough to be responsible about using it.

    That being said, it wouldn't be such a bad thing to reserve real-name stuff ahead of time. But who knows whether Gmail will be around in 25 years, and who wants to pay for a domain name for 25 years on speculation?

    Anyway, my surname is uncommon enough that I'm not too worried about my kids' names being taken :-)

  2. I've been reading applications from high school students for a summer research program... and one of the emails listed was something along the lines of '' .... so yeah who's to say that what you "choose" for your kid will be what he/she wants?

    I've seen lots of parents saving website domains or blog names for kids, but I've not ever heard of them snagging email handles.