On the most recent episode of The Thrive Global Podcast, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington sat down with television and film actor, venture capitalist, philanthropist, producer and—the role that matters most to him—father Ashton Kutcher. In a wide-ranging conversation, Huffington and Kutcher spoke about everything from family, social media and privacy to sleeping, time management and what it means to truly relax.
Kutcher said he and his wife, actress Mila Kunis, refrain from publicly sharing photos of their kids, daughter Wyatt, 3, and son Dimitri, 11 months, because they feel that living a public life is a personal choice. They use a private social network to share photos and updates with the kids’ grandparents, Kutcher said.
“I’m Wyatt and Dimitri’s dad,” he said. “That’s my number one gig. Everything else is secondary.”
Kutcher continued, “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.’”
And Kutcher took that to heart.
“My wife and I have chosen a career where we’re in the public light, but my kids have not,” Kutcher said. “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, that somebody could potentially blackmail them with. It’s their private life; it’s not mine to give away.”
Huffington agreed, adding, “I actually love that, and it’s connected to what we were saying earlier, that the more embedded you are in technology, like, Sean Parker…or you being an early investor in tech, the more careful you are about allowing technology to invade your life.”
“I firmly believe that as society continues to become more transparent and public, what you realize is that everybody makes mistakes,” Kutcher said. “Everybody screws up and perfect people don’t exist. And I think that [the] more people continue to exercise judgment against other people, the more they’ll fear judgment of themselves.”
He continued, “They’ll become drastically risk-averse people, who don’t actually know how to go for it and try things, because they’re so worried about being judged. And I think that that’s the sort of toxic back-side of social media,” Kutcher said.
Now when he posts to social media, he told Huffington, he tends not to post opinions until he’s fully thought them through. And he only posts things about his work that he thinks his audience will find interesting and valuable.
“I think privacy is important, and I think that human beings are fragile,” Kutcher said. “Our emotional state is fragile, and I think that ideas are very fragile, and if you launch them out into the cycle of judgment too soon, you get hurt. And I don’t like getting hurt.”
To hear the full conversation, click here.