Thursday

Online Overshare

Technology is changing the way we do everything it seems, but there is one area where I am not too keen on the revolution. While I am thankful for medical advancements such as the epidural and the invention of Skype so CeCe can see my parents on the computer, I think that social media is affecting our pregnancies in a way that has many negatives.

Did you tell your friends you were pregnant face-to-face or through Facebook? Did you talk about it, or tweet about it? Have you been declared the mayor of your OB's office because you've checked in there so many times?

I do like the idea of getting updates about my friends' future babies when life gets too busy for a personal report. But does the Internet encourage over sharing?

My first point stems from fear. We don't like to talk about the chances of miscarriage, but they are very real for far too many women. I remember my mother advising me to wait to tell people I was pregnant until I passed that window. But now we are announcing our exciting news to the world the second after we pee on the stick. For every person you tell you are pregnant, that is just as many people you will have to face if the unthinkable happens. The devastation would be enough without having to answer inquiring wall posts or DM's about your pregnancy.

Beyond the scary "what-if's," I also look at the intimacy of it all. Matt and I agreed that when we have a second baby, we are not telling anyone until my regular pants no longer fit. Nine months is a long time. Women are pregnant for the better part of a year (or what seems like one million years) so there will be plenty of time to share with the world past your first trimester.

Countless commentaries have been written about our generation's assumption that everyone wants to know our every thought. We are obsessed with reporting on our daily tasks and thoughts (note: "Mary is in the bathroom" is NOT something I EVER need to know.)

There is a line to be drawn. For example, I do not want to see a Facebook status informing me of how effaced your cervix is. I do not want to see a tweet updating me about how dilated you are, and I will completely understand if you do not immediately post pictures of your five-minute-old baby. It's like your uterus has it's own Blackberry. Go ahead and tell us you are in labor. Yay! Then put down your phone and immerse yourself in the moment.

I know this may read as hypocritical. I write a blog where I chronicled my pregnancy experiences. I just think there is a difference between keeping a journal meant to express feelings and empathize with others, and blowing up your news feed with daily pictures of an expanding belly starting at week three.

What do you think, readers? Do some women take it too far when sharing personal information in social media? Or am I just an old-fashioned grouch at age 23?

2 comments:

  1. Savannah3:44 PM

    Though I agree with you, sadly, I'm afraid I am one of those women. However, due to our special circumstance, facebook updates are one of the very limited ways I can share our pregnancy with my husband (who happens to be on the other side of the world!). Sadly, facebook chat is the way he had to find out we were pregnant to begin with! He was under "lock down" for travel back to Afghanistan and didn't know when he would next lay eyes on a phone. It was also the way he was able to see our ultra sound picture and video for the first time. Granted, I think that his announcement to the world at 3 weeks, "I'M GOING TO BE A DADDY AGAIN!" on his status before we could discuss timing was NOT the way I pictured our "big reveal", but in his defense, he was excited and that is the ONLY way he could be able to contribute to telling our friends and family the big news. When I started getting texts saying, "OMG, YOU"RE PREGNANT??" From people I've not spoken to since graduation, what is there to say? "I don't know what he's talking about?" The secret is out! Better join in before there are new facebook messages... "OMG, who's the mom?"

    Though I try not to share TOO much, I do think it's a blessing to have the opportunity for both he and I to "experience" this together. Sometimes, for guys over there, hearing that their wife is not puking for the first time in 3 days, or that Baby Gaga says that their little embryo now has knees is the best news they've heard in a while.

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  2. For me, social media was a way to share my pregnancy and the birth of my child with family that was too far away for it to be feasible to be present. I tried to not share too many of the not-so-pleasant details. But I can understand the urge of a woman, especially a new mom, to want to broadcast everything to the world. I also can see how for some, that just isn't what they want to share or see. I suppose that's why Facebook has that nifty 'hide feed' button :)

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