Perhaps one of the most obvious ways that the internet and the proliferation of viral videos and content have changed our world is that now we’re hyper-aware of what other people are doing at all times.
Should you choose to participate in the omnipresent show and tell that is social media, you’re likely aware of the vacations, the new jobs, the engagement photo shoots, the breakups, the graduations, the babies (oh, all of the babies), and so much more. Especially when it comes to all things visual, other people’s lives might look curated to the point of perfection. Of course, through all this, the most you can do is keep being your best self (and turn off the screen if people’s posts are bringing you down).
With all of this content and sensory input every second of the day, we’ve also opened the Pandora’s box of rampant criticism. In the past, our private lives were private. Some of your family, friends, and old school chums might never even have known what you were up to, which left you more freedom to do as you pleased without worrying about what people would say or think.
If you still don’t care about this criticism, often coming safely from the other side of the screen, more power to you! But when these attacks rise to the level of becoming serious or even legal complaints, it might be time to start worrying.
I’ll say it. Aside from news and weather bloopers, one of my favorite forms of video humor on the internet are collections of babies (or pets!) trying things for the first time. From bacon to ice cream to lemons, their range of reactions and incredible faces that even Jim Carrey would be jealous of are priceless. These videos are even more heartwarming when you know (or assume) that the families or guardians with them are giving them said foods carefully and safely. After a few moments, the babies seem their happy and buoyant selves again (yes, even after biting into a lemon).
But sometimes, even with the best of intentions, these cute videos may go too far. While enjoyable to some, they raise major red flags for others.
Rosie Tries Wasabi for the First Time
Since this video was first uploaded a couple weeks ago, it’s become a viral hit with millions of views across Facebook and YouTube. On Unilad’s post alone, it has over 14 million views, 211K shares, and nearly 195K positive reactions (‘like’, ‘haha’, and ‘love’).
In the video, we see a cute baby—Rosie—sniffing and gawking at her mom’s wasabi (AKA horseradish, but that’s another story). If you’ve ever tried wasabi, you can probably imagine what happens next, but baby Rosie reacts in a way that makes for viral video gold. Watch it first for yourself to see what your initial reaction is.
Can you only watch it once or do you need several views? Do you like the video? Or do you think there’s something amiss about it?
Needless to say, some people were very alarmed about what they saw in the video. Even though the post on YouTube clearly states “No babies were hurt in the filming of this video, she was given water after this and was just fine!”, viewers were not pleased.
Facebook user Cheryl Klepper wrote, “Someone needs to turn this video in to authority for CHILD ABUSE! Everyone knows you don’t give babies or children of any age who wouldn’t know any better just by looking at or smelling given them to taste or hopefully not to consume. The kid does not know there are food that may smell OK but tasting them is another matter. Wasabi burns, and when it does burn the mouth it could also choke the kid.”
Vikas Nainani commented, “Not only is that not adorable, but I’m sure that’s borderline abuse. That poor girl. She also wasn’t really ‘warned’, more like coaxed into it. Why would the mum laugh at her reaction?”
Although Rosie herself longingly said “Wasabi!”, she is just a small child and couldn’t have known any better. For that reasons, critics of the video ripped into the mom for allowing her baby to try the food and clearly suffer the consequences. But are they in the right?
The websiteParenting for Healthy Babies does warn that “you need to be very cautious” when introducing your child to any spicy food, but then it goes on to list the health benefits of the plant. Other experts say that giving your children a variety of foods at an early age can prevent them from becoming picky eaters.
Other commenters who supported the video went on to point out that children in other cultures eat spicier foods daily, and that wasabi was highly unlikely to cause a problem. Some pointed out that the parents crying “Child abuse!” were likely the same ones who feed their kids fast food on the regular.
What do you think? SHARE this article with parents of young children to see what they think!