By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
"Well, it's cheaper than printing the due date, gender, and name on a t-shirt!" my friend Rachel said when I asked her about the new(ish) "Expected: Child" feature on Facebook.
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This feature, if used by Rachel, would announce a pregnancy to all 800 of her closest friends. "Plus," Rachel added, "it's faster." But is faster necessarily better? Do we need to announce every little detail of our lives on Facebook… including the status of our wombs? Surprisingly, every woman I asked about it responded pretty much like Rachel: "Sure, why not?"
And yet when it comes to other people talking about their intimate details, suddenly people get a lot more squeamish. Like the time my best friend told me that all their kids were named after the places they were conceived (and no, they did not have a little Serta running around). I went from thinking of Cheyenne as a cute name to trying to banish visions of her parents re-enacting Westward, Ho! See, perspective is everything.
It turns out, so is tact. As one colleague tells me the story: "a friend of a friend made a profile for her unborn child, and she would make status updates. They would read, 'I can't wait to meet everyone. Too bad my dad's such a deadbeat.'" This almost makes me wish I was friends with this fetus, so then I could comment: "Yeah, we tried to warn your mom, but she was dead set on making it on MTV's 16 and Pregnant."
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That said, when I went into labor with my last baby, I announced it on Facebook. I believe I also said how many centimeters I was dilated and how effaced I was. I'd be embarrassed by my cervical overshare, but one of my friends did one better by live-tweeting the entire birth of her daughter. "PUSHHHIIING! #ImSorryITookYouForGrantedMom"
For their part, Facebook says they created the new feature so that expectant parents would stop creating separate profiles for their babies-which is a violation of the Facebook rule that a user must be at least 13-years-old.
What do you think of the "Expected: Child" feature on Facebook? Take our poll!- It's too private! I'd never use it.
- It's okay to use it to share a few details, just don't go crazy with the ultrasounds pictures.
- That's what Facebook is for! I think this is a great idea.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.