Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The barren woman's hate list: item #8 - Facebook

The problem with Facebook is that it's full of people you don't really like or care about.

I want to qualify that statement for the select few people who know my real identity and are also friends with me on Facebook. What I mean to say is that I have 100 friends on Facebook. That puts me in a camp of people who, whilst not Facebook sluts, accepting friend requests left, right and centre just to boost their total, certainly have more Facebook "friends" than they have real, genuinely close buddies.

The majority of Facebook friend lists are made up of old schoolmates and fellow university alumni, ex-colleagues and people you worked in shops with during summers when you were 20. I haven't seen many of the people in my Facebook friend list for years; nor do I want to in several cases. But I know the ins and indeed the outs of their reproductive prowess - and in many cases I know what their reproductive systems look like on the inside.

I don't know what planet you'd need to be born on to have the remotest desire to change your Facebook profile picture to a scan photo. The profile pic is meant to be something that represents you - be that a photo or a cartoon, it should be personal and meaningful. It should not be a photo of the contents of your uterus. I elected to use a photo of myself paddling in the Gulf of Mexico as my profile pic. It never occurred to me to use the snap of my Fallopian tubes, taken by the radiologist during my HSG.

It's amazing how many people do it, though. It actually induces a roar of misery in me when I log on and see that "X has changed her profile pic" next to a grainy black-and-white thumbnail of an ultrasound.

Obviously the news of the pregnancy is not a shock, because the smug bastards have already announced that to the world through the medium of Facebook status updates. You know the sort of thing. "X is pregnant!" followed by 807 messages of congratulation; then for weeks thereafter, "X has morning sickness because she's pregnant", "X's back is hurting because of her big fat pregnancy", "X wonders if you're all aware that she's pregnant, isn't she BLOODY clever?"

I've considered - at some length - staging a protest by using Facebook to describe my own progress through the hell of infertility. "Helen is on her way to the hospital to have a series of unpleasant instruments rammed up her bits." "Helen is bleeding like a stuck pig for the 36th month since this nightmare began." "Helen is lying on her back with her legs up the wall as her husband's sperm trickles slowly but surely onto the pillow."

But that wouldn't be appropriate, would it? And not just because many of my Facebook friends are also professional colleagues. It'd make people uncomfortable, for one thing, and it'd force them into lavishing sympathy on me. It would just not be the done thing.

Which is exactly why Facebook shouldn't be used to crow about pregnancy. The people close to a pregnant woman, who really matter in her life - her partner, family, closest friends - should already know and care that she's pregnant, and should be giving her the love, congratulations and support that she needs. The majority of people on Facebook - the ones she went to school with ten years ago - couldn't give the remotest fuck, and nor should they. So stop bragging.


Angee said...

I totally agree with you! It drives me crazy when people whine about their pregnancy on facebook! I NEVER whine about being poked and prodded by the bazillion doctors! I may occassionally post that I updated my blog to fill people in on what is going on in infertility land but only so people know to stop asking when I will be pregnant. Maybe we should start putting that as our status and people would realize how insensitive they can be.

Laura said...

love it :)

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Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Really hits a nerve - you are not alone!

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious and SO TRUE!!! Facebook smugness makes me want to kill dead things and reproductive facebook smugness is the worst. F**K OFF PLEASE!

Pheebs said...

I just got my period this morning ... after a week of being absolutely positive that I was pregnant. And after a year of trying.
It’s so great to read that I’m not alone, and that all these feelings I am feeling (and can’t share with anyone) is completely common. So thank you for your blog. It helps take away the pain of the unwanted period .