The That 70s Show star opened up about his concerns for his children in this social media saturated world, admitting he hopes to keep them away from the “cycle of judgement” online life can bring.
“The right to choose”
Spoiler alert – His rule is that kids have a right to make their own choices about privacy, when they are old enough, so he and Mila try not to share photos of their kids online at all!
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis met on the set of That 70s Show, and went on to marry and have two children together, 11-month-old Dimitri and 3-year-old Wyatt.
The pair have guarded their children’s privacy closely – except for that one time when Ashton accidentally revealed more than he intended about their youngest kiddo and this time – and Ashton’s recent interview with Arianna Huffington shed more light on the philosophy behind this approach.
First and foremost he said he and Mila are seeking to protect their children – and let them form their own digital footprint, under advisement, when they so choose.
“I’m Wyatt and Dimitri’s dad. That’s my number one gig. Everything else is secondary,” Ashton said on The Thrive Global Podcast.
“My wife and I have chosen a career where we’re in the public eye, but my kids have not. I think they should have the right to choose that and I actually don’t think that they should have images of them as children that are out there.”
“The cycle of judgement”
Ashton is acutely aware of how easily privacy is lost and hopes his children can sidestep the scrutiny invasive celebrity coverage can bring. Not only does he think the entitled attitude the media has towards celebrities’ children is not okay, he’s aware that being under the microscope can damage the way we view ourselves. It’s not what he want of his kids.
“It’s their private life; it’s not mine to give away. I think privacy is important, and I think that human beings are fragile. Our emotional state is fragile, and I think that ideas are very fragile, and if you launch them out into the cycle of judgement too soon, you get hurt. And I don’t like getting hurt.”
Privacy is the new black
Ashton told Ariana that he and Mila use a private social platform to share photos and updates with the kids’ grandparents and other family and close friends, rather than exposing them to the prying eyes of the public on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
Sadly, the couple’s own blanket rule doesn’t safeguard the kids from invasive paparazzi pictures when they’re out and about. Despite best efforts, these kinds of pics seem part and parcel of celebrity life where privacy seems the exception, rather than the rule.
“I was on a panel with [former Facebook president and Napster co-founder] Sean Parker, and he said, ‘I believe in the future, privacy will be the new celebrity,” Ashton noted.
While their careers don’t really allow for Ashton and Mila to stay away from the public eye, it’s this idea that privacy is luxury – and an awareness of the damage social scrutiny can do – that’s helped shape the couple’s carefully considered “no-photos please” approach to sharing images of Wyatt and Dimitri.
Does this make sense to you? Do you think all kids – not just celebrities’ kids – have a right to privacy online?