A friend of mine recently announced his wife’s pregnancy by posting a photo of her laying on the floor next to the oven which naturally had a bun in it! King of smooth Michael Buble got his little boy Noah to make his announcement and someone even got Will Smith to share her news.
While some might think this is all a bit nauseating and OTT I much prefer these tongue in cheek announcements to the now common-a-place practice of sharing scan images with the world. Of course I am delighted for anyone who has such amazing news to share and I have loved looking at close friends’ scans and sharing in their wonder and delight. What I am talking about it the indiscriminate posting of scan photos on social media so everyone including old school friends, colleagues and the milkman can see your insides. I recently had an endoscopy – should I post the photos of that on Facebook?
Whilst you may want to shout your fantastic news from the rooftops (and so you should) do you really want people who are practically strangers to see a photo of your womb??? Would you whip out the scan photo to show these people if you bumped into them in the street? By its very nature Facebook has led to oversharing but showing your insides to everyone seems a step too far. It’s the high tech version of strangers patting your growing your tummy – a practice which is thankfully dying out as people learn to respect each other’s personal space but to my mind if you overshare your scan photo you can’t be upset if a passer-by touches your belly without asking.
Then there’s the one upmanship that follows on from this kind of oversharing. A friend of mine received a Christmas card with her friend’s scan photo turned into the stamp – really? I am sure the postman doesn’t want to see that!
I have friends who are struggling to get pregnant, can’t have children or have lost children through miscarriage and still birth. I am not saying these people aren’t delighted for other people who get a visit from the stork but I imagine scrolling down your Facebook feed and seeing scan after scan posted by different people is a too real a reminder of what they have lost and so desperately want. I think it’s a common mistake we all make on social media – we forget we aren’t just talking to a close knit group of friends. Even if your privacy settings are nailed down, most people are communicating with 100s of people.
I think we all owe it each other to just think a little bit more about what we are posting and the effect it could have on someone miles away who you once went to school with or met at a party. Of course Facebook is the natural place to announce such joyous news but please less photos of your inners and more of your smiley, youthful, well rested faces before they disappear forever!