@sk Jamie Varon: Is it Okay to Tweet While My Wife is in Labor?
My wife is due to have our baby any day now. When she goes into labor, I want to document the process in real time on Twitter, which I think would make compelling reading. That probably sounds horrible, but I'm a writer, and like many writers, my life often serves as material. I mean, how could I not write about one of the most dramatic things that will ever happen to me?
Of course, it's not just about me. While my wife usually supports my weird writing experiments, she's not so sure about this one. What do you think? Should I put the iPhone away during my son's birth, and not tweet?
Laboring Over Twitter
Dear Laboring Over Twitter,
The thing about you live-tweeting the birth of your child is that it's sort of like amateur porn. You don't really want to see it, but you can't exactly look away, either. However, because all of us on the internets seem to have a sick fascination with the very ordinary lives of others, I'm sure you'd find an audience for this disgusting string of tweets.
I do have some rules for you, though:
Absolutely do not, under any circumstances, post any Twitpics. No, we do not want to see the baby crowning, or your poor wife covered in sweat. No, we do not want to see the baby while it's covered in slimy goo. We just don't. If we wanted to kill our sex drives altogether, we'd just find a long-lost sex tape starring Rosie O'Donnell.
Save us the gross details. We don't want to know that anything other than a baby came out of your wife's vagina. Keep it clean. Don't ruin the miracle of life by telling us what has been extricated from her body. Just, ew. Seriously. Ew.
Tell us only the following details: when your wife went into labor, what kind of drugs they gave her, how long she was in labor, and the gender and weight of the baby. Other than that, you are in danger of giving us way too much information -- and we might be forced to unfollow you, which I believe is a fate worse than death these days. We want to assume that the birth of your child smelled like flowers, didn't hurt your wife a bit, and that the baby came out looking like a mix of Scarlett Johansson and David Beckham.
If you can follow these rules and keep the nasty details to yourself, then live-tweeting the birth of your son is a total green light. But you may want to hold your wife's hand instead of frantically typing away on your iPhone, considering that she's, y'know, DESTROYING HER BODY FOR YOUR CHILD. Take a note from Gavin Newsom, who, after the birth of his daughter, wrote, "Jen doing great. Not sure she is happy I am on twitter." I bet he was on diaper duty for a solid month after stepping away from the miracle of life to get in a good tweet.
Because I'm sure, as your wife is writhing in pain, she'd love to look over and see you face-deep in your iPhone, saying to her, "Hold one second, honey. I need to tell Twitter that you're crowning." Yeah, she'd love that. Totally. Asshole.
Got a question to ask Jamie about Facebook or Twitter etiquette? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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