When my daughters were born, my husband posted the happy news on the social networking websites Facebook and Twitter for friends and family to see. Of course, I have no memory of this due to all the drugs coursing through my veins from a Cesarean. As far as I know, there were no moment-to-moment updates or YouTube videos of the delivery–just that final post to our loved ones: the twins had arrived! After reading the July/August 2010 issue of Pregnancy magazine, I am relieved my husband didn’t reveal more. He would have had me to contend with after the drug-induced stupor lifted.
In the late summer issue of Pregnancy, the article “The TMI of Childbirth” poses the question of over-sharing in the delivery room–that’s “TMI” as in “too much information” for those of you who may be in denial that social media sites are taking over. The article takes the stance that less is very much more with such personal issues. Through technology today we can readily access the rest of the world at any hour with just the click of a button. The real danger is that sometimes it can feel like we’re doing things for the single purpose of being able to post something fabulous later. (No, I’m not saying people are having babies just to Tweet about it.) On the other hand, there really is no crime in wanting to share something with friends–or is there?
Being able to share our excitement in the moment keeps friends and family close when they can’t be there in person. No one would ever argue with the use of social media for that. However, not everyone wants a play-by-play of labor pain, an episiotomy, or–please forgive me here–the mucus plug! Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, texting (it seems pretty benign here), or YouTube, it might be worth recording something privately first. Reflect on it and live with the blessed event, edit a bit, and then send it out into the virtual world. If you’re a receiver of unwanted photos or video footage of your nephew’s birth, well, Pregnancy magazine also gives readers tips on how to graciously avoid those sorts of “press releases.”
In my humble opinion, protecting our own privacy can also protect that of our Twitter feed. But that’s just modest, ol’ me. What do you think? Did you give updates from the hospital? How did you share the happy news?