Did you hear the news? Facebook’s expecting! Just when we can’t handle yet another pregnancy announcement, we find out that our beloved social network has potentially millions of buns in the oven.
Facebook added this new “Expecting” feature with virtually no notice to their users earlier this month. Facebook users can now add to their profile family members… who are in utero.
I’m on the fence about this feature, I won’t lie. My gut reaction when I first read about this was one of disdain. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, maybe the “Expecting” feature isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Why Facebook’s “Expecting” Feature Sucks
Dodging the Announcement Bullet(s)
Facebook is a pregnancy, birth, and ultrasound photo minefield for an infertile person. We are right smack in the middle of Baby Birthin’ Season too, so the deluge of newborn photos are bound to flood our friend feeds right now.
As if we didn’t have enough to gingerly step around, Facebook now adds yet another mine in our virtual path as we’re just trying to get the quick scoop on our friends’ lives online. Believe me, I know how hard it can be to feel like everyone else is getting pregnant but you, and Facebook’s “Expecting” feature only rubs more salt in the wound.
The Facebook “Expecting” feature also brings up the big white elephant in the room. Perhaps because our community is acutely attuned to chemical pregnancies, miscarriage, and stillbirth that this new feature seems like a risky gamble to commit to this “Expected” status online. We know that loss does indeed happen… think about how the mother-to-be would feel to have to change that status, to add to her pain already? Worse yet – what about a stillbirth?
Superstitious or not, announcing a pregnancy prior to the second trimester is a risky chance to take, especially on a platform as broad as Facebook’s.
I have to step in and don my political hat for a moment. I’m particularly uncomfortable with the “Expected” feature on Facebook because it inadvertently assigns personhood status to children in utero. Remember, from a political perspective, assigning personhood status to an embryo or fetus is a threat to third-party reproduction, something many infertile people rely on to build their families.
I think what really doesn’t sit well is that a human life has been casually relegated to a Facebook relationship status. It feels trite and flippant.
Why Facebook’s “Expected” Feature Might Not Suck
- Mashable notes that this feature keeps folks from violating Facebook’s Terms of Service when they create profile pages for their unborn children.
- After that initial sting of seeing the announcement, it’s suddenly even easier to click that “Hide” button for those people from whom you just can’t bear to see continued pregnancy status updates for the next nine months.
- Hopefully a downtick in those “creative” pregnancy announcements. Maybe less of the lone pee stick and first ultrasound photo shots?
- Should we be so blessed to resolve, another interesting and quick way to share the news with our friends.
- …? Yeah, that’s about all I’ve got.
Okay, so maybe this “Expected” feature just rubs the ALI community a little raw, maybe strikes that nerve a little too much for us.
What do you think about Facebook’s new “Expected: Child” feature?
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