Your Fetus Doesn't Need Facebook

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In my Facebook newsfeed, I saw that one of my friends added an unborn child to her profile in the "friends and family" section. It creeped me out. Is this really necessary? What's next -- deceased relatives? Pets? Am I just being miserly? 

Enough Is Enough

Oh, that Facebook. Always pregnant -- with ideas! In terms of deceased relatives, FB already offers memorial pages, and I think we can all attest to being friend-requested by our co-worker's cat (or equivalent), whose hobbies include "sitting on the computer" and "reading Garfield comics LOL JK I can't read." In other words, the future is now, my friend. And yes, it involves Facebook fetuses. Expectant parents can add unborn children to their profiles, as well as a name and the due date, if you're into that. Take heart, though, at least there's not (yet) an option that notes when a lady is on her period or apps that report on your digestion (probably because people voluntarily supply that information already).

No one ever said social media has to be useful all the time. If that were the case, then why would more than 700,000 people become a fan of "Ugh... I know what I wanna say. I just can't explain it"? Or why did I just watch the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam for 20 minutes even though no puppies are there? No, really, I want to know.

That said, it does seem potentially problematic to add "Expected: Child" to your Facebook family tree. What if something tragic happens? As my friend Carla put it, "I know many people who have miscarried, two in their third trimester, and I can't imagine having such private information then shared (and therefore inviting comment on) when you have to change this setting, especially for people with huge numbers of friends they don't really know well."

Then again, announcing your pregnancy on Facebook is exceedingly common, on par with those barfy "We're engaged!" relationship status updates. And the option to merely check a box to indicate that you're knocked up seems far more preferable than creating a separate page for your impending offspring, especially because it's technically against FB's rules for anyone under 13 to have a page. Not that that stops anyone.

All in all, this "womb with a view" option seems mostly harmless, a streamlined way for lazy people to share the good news with hundreds of people in one very small gesture. 

Not to be outdone, Google+ is rumored to have created a feature that allows you to instantly sterilize yourself after a predetermined amount of pregnancy-status-induced groans and eye rolls. 

I'm not sure what happens to your status after the due date passes, but we can probably rest assured it won't be as awkward as this:

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Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at AskAnnaSF@gmail.com. 

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley and @ExhibitionistSF or Facebook

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9 comments
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Shana
Shana

How could no one have commented on the FB conversation between "April" and "Brad"? Seriously, that's funny shit, "breeder" or not.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Typical breeder "Look at me!  I'm PREGNANT!  Big freakin' deal, like we aren't already overpopulated.  Women should be judged on the contents of their character, not the contents of their uterus.

Guest
Guest

Oh, I know!  So typical, and how silly to be excited about having an actual human being growing inside your belly.  I mean, chromosomes combining to form a brand new unique individual with his or her own unique fingerprints, never seen before and never to be repeated.  Wow.  Er, I mean, heh, typical breeder.  Right.  I wonder what it feels like to have a baby kick inside your tummy.  I bet the moms can't help but wonder what that child will be like, what they'll grow up to accomplish, what unique contribution they'll make to the cosmos.  But, yeah, big freakin' deal.

Dravenskaya
Dravenskaya

A fetus is not a person... yet. I agree also that it is ill-advised to publish your potential child's page and pretend they ARE a real person (out loud) when you have NO idea if the pregnancy and birth will go OK! It's just setting yourself up for a complete mental breakdown if something terrible does happen!

Fidelityae
Fidelityae

How do you know that a fetus is not a person? There is absolutely no evidence to support your statement...in fact there is much evidence to support the fact that a fetus IS a person.

Guest
Guest

Dravenskaya:  Yes, I hate it when my friends actually bond with and parent their toddlers.  After all, they're just setting themselves up for a complete mental breakdown if one of those little brats gets hit by a car or gets cancer or something like that.  They should really just hold back till those kids can fend for themselves, because they have NO idea if things will go OK.  Plus, even though those fetuses have human DNA and are growing into little human beings, and even thought they have heartbeats and brainwaves, they really should not be considered human beings because that would just be really inconvenient for anyone who wanted to abort one. 

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Womben with babyrabies are insane to begin with.  And the oxytocin makes 'em truly nutso, thinking that their miracle baby is the only thing that matters.  Look at how Demeter was ready to let everything on earth starve if SHE didn't get HER daughter back.  No one cares about THE children, they care only for THEIR children.

Guest
Guest

Elizabeth, you are so right.  They should not even be allowed to vote.  And Demeter is a perfect example of a real human being, not the exaggeration of Greek mythology.  People act like that all the time.  Especially when they have superpowers.  Frankly, I would not be caught dead hanging out with Demeter and her crowd.  Poseidon, Hades, Zeus, Hera - they're all alike. 

Casey Burchby
Casey Burchby

As if our friends' kids aren't annoying enough AFTER they are born. This takes uncomfortable online parent-child dynamics to a new level of dysfunction.

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