Some people say the only way to stop online harassment is to stop going online. Well, we aren't going anywhere. Reclaim Your Domain is Refinery29's campaign to make the internet (and the world of outside it) a safer space for everyone — especially women.
Last night, the couple, who enjoy entertaining friends at their home on Long Island, joined Samsung and Dacor in NYC to unveil the new Modernist Collection of kitchen appliances. While there, Refinery29 sat down with them for an open conversation about their texting habits, favourite emoji, and the changes they hope to see in social media as their kids grow up. The biggest takeaway? Social media education needs to be the new sex education.
Below, their unfiltered thoughts on our online lives in the year 2017.
R29: Do the two of you have any texting habits?
Hilaria Baldwin: "We text all the time, like when we're not speaking face to face, we're texting."
Alec Baldwin: "Or even when we're not speaking, we're texting."
HB: "We get mad at each other and then we're like [makes texting motion] 'you shouldn't have said this.'"
AB: "And afterwards she's like [makes texting motion], 'Do you want to apologise to me now?'"
R29: Do you send a lot of emoji and gifs?
HB: "Every once in a while I'll get an emoji from him, but I'm the emoji person. When you have words, it's just: I'm just going to send you an emoji right now — you're not worth more than an emoji right now."
R29: Do you have a favourite one?
AB: [Gesturing to Hilaria] "Spanish flag. Flamenco dancer."
HB: "No, no, the one that I use the most..."
AB: "Literally. What is your symbol on your phone with your friends?"
HB: "Oh yeah, they all have the flamenco dancer. But now there's a girl doing a cartwheel. I always do the laughing crying [face] on Instagram and I feel like I overdo it and I think about it every single time and I'm like, oh, I shouldn't do that, and I do it. But now that they have the sideways ones too, that [feels] different enough."
R29: As your kids come of age in the next 10 to 15 years —
HB: "Oh, I have so many rules already. Is that where you're going? I have so many rules."
R29: Do you have any rules for their online lives?
HB: "They'll have passwords to everything. Their doors will be alarmed. I want a thing where it's like, 'Warning, warning, warning, Rafael is leaving the room.'"
AB: "Let's not kid ourselves. By that time we will have chips implanted in our children that will tell us everything they're doing and where they're going."
HB: "No, but I think it's important to teach them how to use social media. It's kind of scary to hear all these horror stories. We don't want any of them to get taken advantage of."
AB: "We don't even know what it'll be 10 years from now, but right now devices with our children are really a functional leash that we use to control them. So, if my wife is with our infant son and our daughter Carmen, and we want [Carmen] to sit so my wife can take a shower, we'll give her the pad to watch a show for the 10 minutes she's in the shower and then take it away."
HB: "Or, in the morning, our baby sleeps with us. If [Carmen] wakes up at like four in the morning and she won't go back [to sleep] and I've been up nursing the baby — I don't sleep. I literally don't sleep. I'll sleep for maybe an hour or two hours in a row and then I'm up."
AB: "We haven't slept for two years."
HB: "No, four-and-a-half years my friend. I've been pregnant and nursing for four-and-a-half years. And if [Carmen] wakes up at 4 a.m. in the morning and I don't have to get up and make her pancakes or something I can bring her into the bed, and I hold on to her, and I hold onto the baby, and I can give the device to her and you can get just this much [pinches fingers together] more sleep."
AB: "Thirty minutes is golden. It's golden. Do you have any pot in your bag that we can smoke? Because we were thinking of smoking pot to get some sleep because we never sleep."
R29: Is there anything you hope changes about social media and the way that we use it as your kids get older?
HB: "There's so many different places to go that it's always confusing. There's this app and this app and this app. That's a lot for me in terms of keeping my brain focused. [Alec] got Carmen a Twitter account and I'm like, 'Twitter's not going to exist then.'"
AB: "I wanted to lock up her name. I did that as a little gift to my child. That's a joke. But anyway, my point is I think that's a very good question, and beyond bullying, the obvious issues about bullying online and so forth, I want eventually for schools to teach about [social media]. What it is, what it isn't. What the pitfalls are, what the benefits are. All these things have benefits. I have a Facebook page. I'm almost never on it. And then all of a sudden I'll get the notification on my email and it'll — bling! — and say today is Bob's birthday. And I'll go, wow, you know, I haven't spoken to Bob in a couple years and I'll just shoot a little email and say happy birthday. [These things] have their place. But I think that like sex education and drug education, this is the next thing we need to teach kids about in schools."
HB: "And also how to relate to a person, person to person. We use the word 'phubbing' in our home, we'll do it to each other."
AB: "Phubbing. She's like you're phubbing me."
HB: "I think we got it from SNL. It's like snubbing, but phone snubbing. I'll be talking to him and he's texting or reading Twitter."
AB: "No, no. I am a genius. I'm hanging on every word you say while I'm doing other things. I'm not a multitasker. I'm a gigatasker."
HB: "I don't think we're present enough for the people who are actually with us in the flesh."
AB: "But we have gotten a lot better. We'll go to dinner and she'll bring her phone — she has to bring her phone because the kids are with the nanny — and I'll leave mine at home. I used to have my phone on all the time and sleep with it next to my head when Ireland was a child. Now Ireland is grown. It was the weirdest thing for me to lay down and [realize] everyone is here with me in this house that I need to worry about and I can turn my phone off. It was a miracle."