Facebook Adds 'Expecting a Baby' Status
A new status update brings up new questions about pregnancy etiquette online
Having a baby? Facebook wants you to make it official by using the new “Expecting a Baby” option in the timeline format’s Life Events section.
Sharing the big news couldn’t be simpler. Parents-to-be can identify (or not) the baby’s gender and due date, add a photo and “story,” schedule the update for future posting, and control who can see it. You can even specify “who with,” though before you tag Robert Pattison or Brad Pitt as co-parent, Facebook wants you to know that the Baby Daddy (or Baby Mommy) in question must approve.
The posting of ultrasound photos and pics of growing bellies on social media is nothing new, of course. But doing so in such a formal way is. And this leads to a very important question: what’s the etiquette on making announcements on Facebook versus spreading the news face to face?
“I love social media, and it’s my primary way to communicate to friends and family … HOWEVER, I believe you should tell your friends and family first, in person, or by e-mail or phone, before you post anything to social media,” says Amanda Austin, mom and blogger at It’s Blogworthy.
Elaine Alguire, the blogger behind The Miss Elaine-ous Life, thinks turning to Facebook friends before real life friends and family can lead to problems. “My niece recently got engaged and there were pictures all over FB and she did the ‘is engaged to’ thing before she could even tell her grandparents, to whom she is very close. They found out through another family member who is active on FB. My mom was pretty disappointed that they learned of the engagement that way.”
And what about the sharing happy news that turns out to be not happy news a few weeks later? In light of miscarriages or other health issues, or the potentially awkward situation that your boss may end up reading about your pregnancy in her news feed rather than being told in person, Austin says waiting a while to hit that update button may be the best course of action. “We waited about eight to nine weeks before I said anything on Facebook, and that was after I’d talked to everyone I wanted to talk to.”
And one more thing? If and when you share the news on social media, Austin asks that you leave one item out. “Please, ladies, no more pictures of your pregnancy tests. You just peed on that.”
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