15 things moms overshare on Facebook
Now, it might seem obvious to many of us that the timing, positions, cervical changes and other such tawdry details involved in conception are not meant for public consumption. Unfortunately, it is not obvious to all of us. From announcing your “baby-making season” to sharing each intimate step along the way, your intention and attempts to conceive are not fodder for Facebook, people. They are not.
-- By Katherine West Slevin
Conversational images were created to reflect the nature of the story; not actual Facebook posts
For anyone who has been there, we know there are some pregnancy details (some) that, for the continuation of the human race and the sake of your friends’ gag reflexes, are best kept to moms groups or shared with your sister. For instance, Facebook doesn’t need to know the color of your mucus plug or to hear tales of your hemorrhoids.
Now, this is likely to be hotly contested but I stand by it. Unless your uterus got up one night, borrowed your laptop and independently signed up for her own Facebook account, she shouldn’t be making appearances on social media. This sentiment extends to the classic black-and-white ultrasound pictures, but it’s especially true for the sepia-toned 3D variety that feature the likes of a melting Claymation baby or those that vividly reveal your fetus’s sex. Those images are great to share with close family and maybe the occasional friend who drops by the house, but not for your work colleagues or your high school math tutor.
Call me old-fashioned. I just don’t believe that every minute of every life-changing moment needs to be captured and shared. Your Facebook friends, who typically include your barely memorable high school pals and professional acquaintances, don’t need the play-by-play of your labor (“6 cm, only 4 more to go!”). They can wait until the deed is done. Plus, what is happening in your labor that wasn’t happening in mine, that allows you to give status updates mid-contraction?
Graphic birth stories
No one, least of all me, is denying that the birth of a child is a beautiful and amazing event. I will happily share my birth story with anyone who asks. And therein lies the difference: anyone who asks. Your 300-plus Facebook friends did not ask for a front row seat to your labor and delivery. They didn’t ask for a recap of each birthing position, the gory details of having your cervix stretched to 10 centimeters, or (god forbid) a shot of your precious bundle crowning. So please do everyone a favor and save it for those who ask.
If I had to choose just one thing for moms not to share via social media (or in any other format for that matter), this is it. For anyone who has been subject to a surprise placenta post, particularly those heart-shaped Valentine’s Day placenta greetings, you know what I’m talking about. Two words: just don’t.
Their children’s achievements
I’m going to try to break this gently. Not everything your little miracle does is a milestone to be publicly documented and proclaimed. Case in point: my daughter finger-painted for the first time today and I took exactly 11 pictures to immortalize the event. Overkill? Probably. But what I didn’t do is post those 11 pictures on Facebook, thereby prompting hundreds of friends to hide my updates from their feeds.
We’ve all done it. Silently cursed the old biddies shouting into each other’s hearing aids at our favorite coffee spot, the Fourth of July revelers, or those pesky kids (inconsiderately) hollering at the park—all while our little angels are trying to catch some needed zees. But here’s the rub: just because we decided to have kids doesn’t mean that the world is now obligated to keep quiet. Moreover, expressing your rage and sense of entitlement on Facebook just makes you sound crazy.
I’m not saying that having a newborn (or toddler or teenager) isn’t hard. It is. It’s hard, and exhausting and, quite often, gross. And despite what the weekly tabloids would have you believe, no, you are not supposed to be sporting a bikini with baby happily on your hip, waxing poetic about the wonders of motherhood (freshly showered and primped, of course) four weeks after giving birth. But instead of venting your (justified) frustration and doubts on Facebook, pick up the phone, get in the car and reach out to a live friend who can really listen and offer comfort instead of an emoticon.
The full monty
Remember when your mom sat on the couch with your prom date, college sweetheart and/or future spouse, flipping through the family photo album and giddily pointing out the dreaded full-frontal and bath-time shots? Now multiply that by everyone your parents ever knew. Naked shots of your kids are cute, often funny, but best kept in the family.