How Social Media is Giving My Pregnancy Anxiety

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The slightest comment on Facebook related to my pregnancy leads to a slew of comments from women telling me about food cravings and birthing experiences. Never mind that all I shared was a comment from my husband about how I better not go into labor during the World Cup—an obvious joke, of course.

Sure I could turn off Facebook and social media, but the reality is, this is what I do for a living. My job is to be on social media. My career is centered around blogging and social strategy. I can’t turn off Facebook.

Instead, I obligatorily like the awkward maternity and newborn photographs shared daily by my friends on Facebook. I “swoon” over the creepy 3D ultrasound images shared via text message, Instagram and Facebook. I “gush” over the in-the-hospital photographs featuring half-naked mom and her blotchy newborn covered in goop.

Call me crazy, but I remember when Facebook was a time to share your work successes, your college graduation photographs and the first picture of your latest apartment or lunch gathering with friends. Sure we’re growing older, but I remember a time when true private moments were kept as such.

While pregnancy is a magical time, and something to be thought of as a gift, it is also a time that should be shared with those you love. Unfortunately, social media has made it impossible to keep such moments among just the loved ones.

I do believe that pregnancy is preparing me for motherhood—but not in the way I anticipated. Pregnancy has taught me to cancel out the “noise”—as my husband refers to it—to stay centered in who I am and to ignore the unsolicited advice that will accompany years of parenting.

Though I could turn off my Twitter, it’s just not that simple and so I must accept the woes of being pregnant during a time of social media obsession and accept this as my first true parenting challenge.

2 COMMENTS

  1. You do realize that you are privileged for these to be the “anxieties” of your pregnancy, right? There are women who hope they and their baby both survive pregnancy. Social media is the last things on their minds. There are also women who worry how they will feed, clothe, and provide for their babies.

    Concerned your baby shower won’t be worthy of Pinterest? I can tell you, I survived the horrors of a baby shower not worthy of Pinterest. It’s because my baby shower didn’t exist because my baby was delivered via emergency c section in the second trimester. My baby and I almost died.

    I wake up in the middle of the night having nightmares that I’m pregnant again. If I got pregnant again, I would focus on a healthy pregnancy and certainly not think for a second about my appearance on social media. If women enjoy celebrating their pregnancy in that way, let them… I’m happy and excited for them. I’m entertained by their creativity. But, to feel inferior or anxious over such nonsense and comes from a place of privilege.

    Remember, no one scrutinizes you as much as you scrutinize you. Most people probably won’t miss the baby shower pics that don’t make it to Pinterest or the pictures on Facebook or Instagram you choose not to share.

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