Pregnancy is the ultimate miracle of life happening within a woman, it’s a deep, meaningful, wondrous phenomenon. Unlike facebook – which is shallow by definition – it’s about the illusion of friendship – you can collect hundreds or thousands of so called “friends” without the need of ever seeing them face to face, or calling, or even ever actually meeting them.
What happens when we mix the deep with the shallow? Here’s my story.
AVOIDING FACEBOOK ATTENTION
When I was 2 months pregnant I wanted the whole world to know – such was my exhilaration. But after having read several pregnancy books I decided to wait with the announcements until I passed the 3 month mark, after which the risk of miscarriage significantly decreases. I could do that but I still needed to read, analyze, educate myself and…share. But how do you share without letting the world know? I did a little research and I hit the jackpot – I found a secret facebook group for July 2012 mommies (that was back in December 2011). I was thrilled! All those ladies due the same month as I were sharing their experiences in a “private” setting. Since the group was secret, none of my facebook “friends” could see what I was posting, they couldn’t even see that I belonged to it! It was perfect.
FEELING THAT YOU BELONG
The topics were very much linked to the pregnancy stage the ladies were in. First the discussion was about how to announce that you’re pregnant and about morning sickness. Then came the pictures of the first ultrasounds and the growing bumps. Any question asked was answered within minutes. Then the group started expanding and changed it’s name from July 2012 mommies to 2012 mommies and the discussions became more varied: the pregnant ladies were still posting their usual pictures, which were now more likely to be from baby showers or professional bump photo sessions. New mamas were posting the pictures of their newborns.
MORE THAN YOU WANT TO KNOW
I was following the development of the group with great interest, occasionally getting inspiration for another blog post and often using the forum to check the popularity of my growing website. At a certain point I was a little baffled by the extremely detailed real time hospital reports about how many centimeters the ladies were dilated, how the hospital staff was treating them, how far apart their contractions were. It was interesting to read but also felt a little “off”. I thought to myself: how can a beautiful act of giving birth to your child, which I imagine as one of the most miraculous moments of the family’s life, become the source of a real time report, open for strangers to see? I even posted this question on the forum. The moms doing the reporting complemented one another on their multitasking ability, others remarked that it helped distract them from labor pain. Ok, whatever works, I thought to myself.
FACEBOOK GROUP MODERATOR HAS A BREAKDOWN
In June the founder of the group announced she was going to labor reporting all the details of the process. Her posts attracted hundreds of cheerleading comments. After what I understood was a 24 hour labor, in which things did not quite progress as expected (imagine her frustration!) she announced that she would be deleting the group and changed it’s name into “delete group”. The ladies were shocked and worried but within 10 minutes another support group was created and all the mamas were invited over, so there was no real damage to the participants. Or was there?
Why did the founder of this group, suddenly decide to delete it while in labor? Did what gave her comfort for 8 months of her pregnancy now become the source of frustration? Did she not manage to progress in labor because she felt pressured by all those updates she was giving? Was the “post” button in reality a button of destruction of her tranquility and relaxation she so needed to birth in love and joy? Or was it a way to distract herself from labor pain?
WOULD YOU GIVE A REAL TIME REPORT FROM THE HOSPITAL ON HOW YOU ARE PROGRESSING IN LABOR?
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