OK, this is going to be a divisive one - even more divisive than my views on the old-timey baby name trend. (Who knew parents took it so personally and super-seriously? I was joking, people!) What I want to discuss today is... sharing your ultrasound pictures on Facebook and other social media.
I get that it's a lot more efficient than a labour-intensive, old-fashioned pregnancy announcement. (Like, um, the phone, or email. How antiquated.) A status update, tweet, Instagram or photo upload of what's kicking inside your uterus is, indeed, fast and direct. Plus, all the celebs are doing it. (See Michael Bublé, Shakira, Beyoncé, and more.) Celebrities, of course, have their own unique ideas about boundaries, privacy and being the centre of attention. But I think that's changing quickly. Anyone's who's seen more than their fair share of ultrasound photos and positive pregnancy pee-stick photos (GROSS!) knows what I'm talking about. I'm kind of amazed - and a little bit uncomfortable with - how widespread this trend is.
I'm not anti-social media. I tweet, I instagram, and I joined Facebook in 2004, when it was only available at a handful of universities. It's easy to forget that back then - less than 10 years ago! - there was no photo-upload option, no newsfeed, no chat function, no poking. The profile was the main thing. University kids used it to procrastinate in the computer labs and libraries between classes. The idea of a "wall" that anyone could write on was sort of mind-blowing.
A few years after joining Ye Olde Book of the Face, I distinctly remember spotting a former classmate who'd changed her profile pic to something that was obviously her in a white poofy wedding dress. I remember saying to my boyfriend (now husband), if you're posting photos from your wedding, then you are definitely too old for Facebook! We laughed together and agreed. I thought it was a young person's thing, and that we'd age out in the post-college years. But boy, was I wrong. Instead, Facebook grew along with us. (My husband and I uploaded our own wedding photos to Facebook last year.) And now that we're in our 30s, I can examine the inside of a near stranger's uterus every time I click on my newsfeed - a side of sonogram with my breakfast tea and toast. It's weird, right? For instance, I've never met or spoken to my high school boyfriend's wife, but I've seen inside her uterus. Creepy.
Friends I know and love in real life (and who otherwise have normal ideas about online privacy) are posting their ultrasound photos left and right - it's not just long-lost former high school classmates. They're so excited, and full of hope, and they want to share the happy news. But I'd waaaaay rather see the ultrasound pic on your fridge at your home than broadcast to the world wide web. Because if I know you well enough to be in your kitchen, I really do want to know about what's going on inside your womb. (I'm also already plotting what kind of freezer casserole I'm going to drop off at your door when the baby's born.)
I think the ultrasound upload is happening more often now because we're starting to think in pictures instead of text-only status updates. And modern childhoods are photographed endlessly, so why shouldn't a baby's life in pictures start before he or she's even exited the birth canal? (I often have a hard time putting my iPhone camera away, especially when I'm hanging out with my adorable and photogenic little nieces. It drives my camera-shy husband crazy.) There's simply a human instinct to document and share things you love with others, and to delight in watching the "Like" clicks as they roll in. But I do know FOR SURE that I'm going to draw the line at sharing the inside of my reproductive organs with the interwebs.
What do you think? Is tweeting or posting an ultrasound picture over-sharing, or totally normal?
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