3 tips for sharing baby news online without annoying your childless friends #It worked for me#babies#friendships#social media December 30 2011 | Guest post by Kellbot By: jencu – CC BY 2.0 Like many twentysomething parents-to-be, my friends can be put into one of two categories: those who are absolutely thrilled to hear I'm pregnant and want to know every last detail, and those who are quite frankly tired of seeing nothing but babies and wedding photos on Facebook. And despite being a recently-married mama-to-be, I understand where they're coming from. It took a little work to set up, but I'm now at a place where I feel like I can easily spread my oodles of babyspam to those who want it while sparing those who really and truly do not care about the incredibly cute nursery I saw on Pinterest. First, I split my blog into two One dashboard, two blogs! My blog started out as a mostly technology/craft blog, but has veered into personal territory as I've settled down. I set up a new blog on a subdomain, and moved a few wedding-related posts over to it. For the tech-savvy who might want to do the same, WordPress 3.0 lets you host multiple blogs on one installation and best of all you can use the same login and dashboard to manage all of them. Moving forward, all things baby and home decor will go there, leaving my main blog dedicated to technology and DIY. Get a handle on Facebook updates Setting up RSS Graffiti on Facebook. I created a new Facebook page just for my Domestic Adventures blog. I set up an RSS application (the one I use is RSS Graffiti to feed posts from the new blog into Facebook, so my friends and family who aren't geeky enough to use an RSS reader don't have to remember to visit the new URL). Let people know about the changes Once everything was set up I posted a quick announcement on Facebook letting people know that if they wanted their babyspam and decor porn, they should follow the new blog. The setup seems to be a hit with both camps. I'll likely still post the most major news on my own Facebook wall (like when the baby is actually born) but now I have somewhere to gush about all things baby guilt-free. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Kellbot Kellbot is a crafty hacker who is in the middle of a three part crash course on becoming a grownup by getting married, buying a house, and getting pregnant all in the same year. http://home.kellbot.com PREVIOUS What to do with gifts you don’t want NEXT What's your goal this new year? Show/Hide comments [ 46 ] These are SUCH good ideas. I stopped making Facebook updates about my daughter when she was 6 months old and started a blog instead. I think some of my friends really appreciated it. 🙂 4 agree Reply In one way I can empathize with this perspective but in another way it kind of annoys me. I mean, if my friend's are annoyed by me sharing something in my life that is majorly important to me, it seems like a deal breaker. I guess I'm not quite sure where I stand here. Somewhere between not sharing every little thing your kid does while still sharing your kid. 4 agree Reply The biggest thing for me (As I'm just starting into that age where EVERYONE is having kids and getting married) is that your facebook posts are supposed to be about you – and your child is not an automatic extension of you. Now then, important (walking, first word, etc.) or funny stuff, I'd be thrilled to hear, but if someone keeps posting cute nursery sets that don't really have anything to do with them personally, they're going to get hidden (which is sad, because I generally thoroughly enjoy these people) I guess, just don't lose your identity online! 15 agree Reply I get what you're saying, but actually I do kind of consider my daughter an extension of myself. Just in the sense that my world–even though I am working again–definitely evolves around her and has for the 4+ months since we had her, and whatever is happening with her is in direct correlation with everything else in my life. Besides, people post about their job, their pets, their partners, etc and none of those are necessarily an extension of the person either. I think people should post whatever they feel like, right? I don't post a ton about my baby girl, but if people are annoyed at my posts, they are more than free to hide me, unfriend me, whatever. My actual real-life friends wouldn't do that, and as for the rest I wouldn't notice or much care if they did. 2 agree Reply @Amany- That makes sense, but I don't know about you, but lots of my "friends" on facebook aren't actually close friends. The co-worker from a job 4 years ago and that one guy I met at a party once probably don't care. Even my close friends who are in a different stage of life might not care exactly what my plans for breastfeeding are. (Granted, I am currently child-free, and will cut down on the friends-list chaff once I have kiddos of my own.) 1 agrees Reply I think for me, I limit my babyspam posts because I don't exactly consider my Facebook to be strictly about me and my interests, but more about interaction. Presumably my friends were friends with me before the baby and we had some things in common other than that we used to like talking about. It'd be sad to me if I lost that connection just because I have something new and exciting in my life. When I hang out with friends in real life, we talk about things that interest both of us, not just things that interest one of us. I feel like online interaction should be the same. 3 agree Reply I am a childless friend with multiple girl friends having babies. I love them. I like to know what's going on in there lives, including children. But there's a limit to that. Every day a post about the baby's poop or a new outfit/piece of furniture for the kid or what he or she ate today is too much. Just as it would be to much if someone went going on and on about their new car or hobby. I am friends with my friends for a reason; I like them, we share interest. But them having a baby does make me only limited, second-level interested in babies. So I applaud the author of this article. It is very thoughtful and I'm sure her friends will appreciate it. 1 agrees Reply I am childless, but I have many interests. Not all of my friends share all of those interests. While I may post about them from time to time, if I only posted about, say, science fiction, I wouldn't be surprised if my friends who are not interested in sci-fi started dropping like flies. It's all about balance, I think. 3 agree Reply When we started adding more animals to the family, I migrated most of my dog/cat/fish related posts to a new Twitter account to keep my Facebook page free from too much animal-clutter. While half my family and friends appreciate the animal posts, I had become one of THOSE pet parents. 1 agrees Reply I'm definitely one of THOSE pet parents and I have the feeling that once I have my baby in three months or so, I'll be one of those baby parents too. I don't post a ton on Facebook, maybe two or three times a week, but many of those posts are about my animals because my pets are cute and a huge part of my life. I know that most of my close friends like seeing pictures of the animals (because they often "like" or comment on things in a positive manner,) so I think I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing. I'm okay with people hiding me. I will try to keep my baby posts to things that are extremely adorable or big events though. Reply I filter pretty heavily on facebook even now – I have lists for my friends who are into basketball, crafty stuff, political news, etc. Kiddo stuff will be no different – milestone stuff will be for everyone, anything more than that will only be for my family/close friends/people parenting kiddos near my kiddo's age. 2 agree Reply My kid makes up approximately 60% of my Facebook clutter, but you know what? He is actually 100% of my life right now being a part-time working mama so if those who hide me for posting about the funny and cool shit my baby says or does, they can fuck off because I don't care if they got super wasted at the bar last night or if they have a really lame quote because I surely don't care. With that said, I do have a fan page for my personal blog to talk about all things baby, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, etc. but I always get praised and complimented from plenty of my child-free/single friends for all the cute, meaningful posts I have because I *don't* post every single day about every single dish I wash like most Mom friends I have. I have made a rule for my personal profile picture to always have me in the picture- sometimes with or without my kid. (personaly pet peeve = profile picture of anything else except yourself ; fur baby or human baby, ick) I'm a woman with interests, of course, but I'm also a mother doing her best raising an adjusted human being and have great stories to share in that journey. 1 agrees Reply It's not just a personal pet peeve – it annoys a lot of people when profile photos are not actually of the person doing the writing. Especially when you try to find someone through Facebook and are somehow supposed to recognize their pet/baby instead of their (gasp) face. Sorry, I know your baby is unique and unmistakable to you, but to non-parents, babies kinda all look alike! 1 agrees Reply Related: Katie Roiphe's infamous polemic Get Your Kid Off Your Facebook Page: Why do women hide behind their children? 5 agree Reply I am seriously tired of people trying to tell me what I can and can't put on my own social media page, blog, or other personal online space. I don't care whether it's kids, jobs, weddings, clubbing, food, coffee updates, religion, or politics. It's MY personal space and I will put whatever I damn well please on it. Choosing to hide/defriend me because of the lifestyle choices I choose to share with you online says more about you than me. 1 agrees Reply It's your personal space… that you're sharing with the world. It's not like your living room, it's more like your front yard. And yes, your neighbors are allowed to complain about what you put in your front yard. 1 agrees Reply Well said. 3 agree Reply Look, If no one posted anything that any person has ever complained about seeing on FB, then FB would shut down due to lack of content. It's not like my front yard, because no one is forced to look at my page if they don't want to. For the most part, you have to go looking for people on the internet, and then you get to choose whether to hang around or move on. I'm not interested in making my page about what you want to see. You have the rest of the internet to find someone or some page that suits your preferences. I have zero obligation to you. 2 agree Reply Look, I don't feel like my relationships with my friends are an obligation. 1 agrees When I became pregnant and got married (in that order) before a good chunk of my friends I was worried about isolating my friends, even those I only chat with via Facebook. I never announced my pregnancy or engagement online because I thought that would surely alienate my friends who weren't even remotely considering kids now. But it became tough. I was compartmentalizing my life and alienating people anyway despite my efforts. I definitely think it makes sense to filter (I don't want to see 12,000 posts about the minutiae of your life anymore than you about mine) but I refuse to try to hide this new part of myself by eliminating or segregating pregnancy or baby posts. My friends are going to see that side of me. Luckily I know that I have enough honest friends who will tell me to stick a pacifier in it if I just won't shut up about my kid! 3 agree Reply As I said above, I think it's about balance. I don't think anyone would begrudge one of their friends the occasional post about a milestone in their life. (And if they do, well, they're not much of a friend anyway.) It's just when every.single.post that a person makes is about their wedding/pregnancy/baby/pet that it gets annoying. 1 agrees Reply I have the same rule about profile photos as Laotian Mama — I have to be in them! Otherwise, I've made it pretty clear to folks that Facebook = where I post about baby stuff, and Twitter, Google Plus = where I don't. Mostly, this is because of who is on each social networking site. Facebook is almost entirely for family and far-away friends. Google Plus is where my physically-and-emotionally close friends hang out, and Twitter is mostly colleagues. It's a weird divide, but it's made it easier to have one place where I can just dump all the baby stuff. The OTHER thing I did was set up a Tumblr for the little dude (http://oscararchimedes.tumblr.com), where I post one picture/video/blog post a day. It autoposts to Facebook, but it's the best way to get pictures to distant grandparents and great-grandparents, and I can front-load a dozen posts so I'm not thinking about it every day. 1 agrees Reply I post about my kids very often. I post about other things, too– what I'm doing in school, articles, my work– but yeah, my kids are front and center in my social network life. I share their pictures, I share their big events and little moments. I'm probably on many hide lists, and I'm just fine with that. I've been a stay-at-home mom for more than 5 years as well as a student and other endeavors, so as far as I'm concerned, posting about my kids is as much "posting about myself" as anything else. 3 agree Reply Great post! Creating a Facebook page for my blog helped SO MUCH in terms of being able to gush without annoying people that don't care to hear it. Knowing that the people that read my updates clicked 'like' in order to do so helps me feel comfortable posting freely. I've even become 'friends' with a few other page admins, so I really feel like there's a place for everything now. Reply I try to post about my unborn child in a way that people will enjoy it, no matter what stage of life they're in. I keep my personality in the way I talk about my kid. I don't talk about her like, "Ohhhh, my little miracle is kicking around and giving mama heartburn! What a cutie!" Nah. That's not me. I talk about her like, "She's rattling around like a can in a truck bed. Also, she's becoming a physical imposition. That's right, I said it. Perpetual heartburn takes away all my fuzzy feelings." And it's true. Does it mean I love my kid less? No. Is it more entertaining for people? I hope so. It makes it more entertaining for me. No one, myself included, wants to hear me gush about my "little bundle of joy" in mommyspeak. 1 agrees Reply Your second example is definitely well-written and funny, but I would say you shouldn't assume that it will be more welcome. A lot of people struggling with infertility or miscarriages get seriously bothered when fertile people complain about pregnancies– they would kill for perpetual heartburn if it came with a healthy pregnancy. I know I felt this way after I miscarried my first pregnancy and was told I'd miscarried my second. (Side note, my sister in law tends to complain about her kids right in front of them because she's trying to be funny and appeal to the adults in the room… I'd suggest stopping this once your kids are old enough to understand!) Really, I think this just goes to show it's pointless to try to appeal to EVERYONE through our Facebook posts. 3 agree Reply For me, I think it comes down to this: Being a mom is not my most interesting feature. That feeling influences the ways I share about both myself and my son online. There are others who feel differently (ie, motherhood is their primary identity) which is awesome, and which is why some of us post about our kids more than others. I don't think this author is in any way condemning people who choose to share about their children online — she's simply saying, "I don't want my kids to take over my digital footprint, and here are some of the steps I'm taking to that end." 9 agree Reply Thanks Ariel! I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with sharing about your kids on Facebook or your blog! My decision to separate my family's online presence from my own was twofold. Since I'm a freelancer I have a lot of "professional friends" on facebook, and while my pregnancy isn't a secret, those folks *really* don't need to see every sonogram and nursery photo. Second, I have a few close friends who are having difficulty conceiving, and I know that even though they're thrilled for me it's hard for them to see everyone's big bellies and cute babies. Social networks provide new challenges for striking a balance between keeping in touch and oversharing, and everyone's social circles have different definitions of where the line is. For me, separating things makes sense, but it's certainly not a requirement! 1 agrees Reply Thanks for bringing up the infertility factor! My infertility is more of the social factor type (far as I know – once we get our act together, who knows what will happen) but I do feel a pang whenever someone new announces their pregnancy on Facebook. 1 agrees Reply This is a little different perspective and I know that it is rare and not something that most people have to worry about with their friends, but I am childless… because my partner and I are infertile. I love my friends. I love their kids. I would never ask them to stop talking about them and usually once the kid is about three months old the internal crying stops for me. But from that initial "Im Pregnant" status through every sonogram picture, up until those just after birth pictures just logging into facebook hurts. A lot. Again, I would never push this issue onto my friends. Im happy for them. But it gets to be a bit much. 1 agrees Reply UG. Yes. This. Totally this. I always did my best to take ownership of the emotions that came up for me when I was dealing with infertility (it's not my friend's fault that she had a baby shower when I'd been failing to conceive for three years…) but there's no denying that baby news is very difficult on folks dealing with fertility issues. 1 agrees Reply I have a few close friends who have been struggling with infertility, and I was very conscious of not wanting to rub my pregnancy in their faces. What I ended up doing was contacting these friends privately before I made the big announcement to let them know what was going on. That way we could have a conversation centered on their feelings, and what if anything I could do to make it less painful for them. The reactions I got were mostly positive. They were glad I was thinking of them, and appreciated me being sensitive to their feelings. In the end no one opted out of updates, but I made sure they knew that they could withdraw anytime without hard feelings. 4 agree Reply I have a lot of childfree friends and a few that are having trouble concieving. I love posting pics/videos/updates about my daughter but I understand not everyone wants to see them. First I made a fb fan page for all my daughters updates. Then I started getting a bit weirded out that you can't make fb pages private and I got slightly paranoid about icky internet creeps. So then I tried swapping to a fb "group" but that was even worse because it spammed ppl and you cant invite ppl and leave it up to them whether to join or not, they automatically go in so that only lasted a day. Then finally I made her her own fb account. I know that sounds weird but this way I can control the privacy settings, vet anyone who wants to "friend" her (eg weird randoms!), post as much as I like without feeling guilty of annoying people and I get to keep my own page clean. The other advantage is that there are many of my husband's friends/family I don't have as friends on fb and they can now follow her too, without hubby having to repost my posts. (Atm it's about 70% mine and joint friends/family and 30% non joint hubbys friends/family). When baby #2 comes along I will change the account from "daughters name" to "daughter and new childs name" so it will be the kids updates page. I was actually surprised how many people actually want to follow her progress. Sometimes my hubby will "share" a particular video from daughters page to his personal page and then a lot of the new friends requests come through from his friends, often childless ones I wouldnt expect would be interested. 2 agree Reply This is what we did, too. My family in SC is perfectly happy to see videos of him sitting and cooing every week, even though they look a lot like the last one, because they don't get to see him do it in person. My friends who actually get to see him (or simply not that into babies) don't have to get spammed another video that's nothing but him lying in the crib and cooing. 2 agree Reply Short term, I've made a bunch of facebook filters. I've got a "baby updates" filter for people who want to hear about every little yawn and sneeze, and a "body functions" filter for those who don't mind hearing about my boobs and uterus, bless them. The things that go on my main page are mostly the occasional thing I think will be at least amusing to everyone: the picture where my baby's doing the Dr Evil hand, the moment at 5am where I could swear my breast pump is saying, "vodka, vodka." Long term, we're planning to have an entirely separate website for baby stuff. Partially to spare those of our friends who are bored by it, but mostly so that Facebook doesn't own all our baby pictures. 2 agree Reply I have had a difficult year, we were about to start trying for our first baby but i was diagnosed with an illness that meant i had to put those plans on hold for a year & now we've been trying for a while & nothing is happening! It is sometimes really hard to go on facebook & see everyone (it seems like everyone!) announcing their pregnancies. I am absolutely so happy for them but at the same time it has been really painful to see their dreams coming true & i'm still waiting. I love seeing the cute baby pictures but i am over having to read about how many poos their baby has done on the potty by themselves! 1 agrees Reply Being childfree with friends having babies has taught me what my level of tolerance was. I really love hearing from my pareting friends, and I want to hear about how things are with them. I do have a few suggestions if you are afraid you're over-doing it. Logging into FB and having several babies tell me what a hard day of work they had makes me feel like a creeper, so photos of you or your kid AND you, please. If you wouldn't talk about it happening to you (vomited all over your new sweater, color, smell, or texture of your last poop) please don't post it about your kid. Please please PLEASE don't photograph poop, boogers, organs and injuries. Pictures of kids who are scared or in pain are not appropriate (ex; acquaintance photographed her baby when she got an IV and when she had her ears pierced. The baby was struggling and screaming and clearly in pain. I found those images to be haunting). Posting comments to yourself of your baby / fetus talking to you is bizarre. Really bizarre. I find those "I don't party and drink because I'm a MOM" posts to be offensive, so please don't post things that imply that anyone without kids is irresponsible or immature. And the most important rule of them all: For every four posts you make about your child(ren) post one thing entirely about YOU. Before you had kids and after they've moved out, I was and will be friends with you, and I want to know how you are. 2 agree Reply Just writing in to say I appreciate your being self-aware and thoughtful, which is something so good for everyone, regardless of being a parent or not. As other posters have mentioned, there are (over)sharing limits for all, and giving people an opt-IN option is always excellent. I also like that you used the word "childless" when so often "child-free" is said. The latter is fine for those who self-identify (and I respect and understand why and how important it is to them) but for me, I find the more traditional word more fitting. I may or may not have children eventually but I hope to never be "free" of children in my life! 🙂 2 agree Reply I'm childfree, but have two nephews through my husband's side and another 'nephew' from my best friend growing up (he doesn't have siblings, and thats where I step in as the aunt). The biggest issue I have on facebook is when some parents post about potty training and other fecal matters. When I am eating breakfast surfing facebook I don't want a description of your child's bowel movement. For me personally, I would be mortified if I found out my parents were posting that on the internet about me. Other than that I love to hear peopl's good news! I love reading OBM to help me with gift ideas for my nephews, and how to be more understanding when it comes to my friends and family who are now parents. 🙂 Reply For me, there's a balance. I don't have kids, and I AM interested in hearing about my friends' kids, but, it can get to be a bit much. I love hearing about things like first words and humorous anecdotes. I love seeing pictures here and there. I DON'T want to see "I love my little miracle! He's such a charmer!" ten times a day, or how many days it's been since your kid was born. And yes, I have hid people who post like that. I want to be facebook friends with you, not your kid. That said, I want to emphasize friend lists! They're pretty easy to set up an use. Ask your friends who wants to hear every little detail, and who wants just the major events, and friend list them accordingly. I personally have an "easily offended" list that I exclude whenever I post an off-color joke, and it works great. When you post, consider, "Will my non-parent friends find this even remotely interesting?" and filter accordingly. 1 agrees Reply I'm the stepmother of a 2yo little boy and I do include him in my facebook posts, but not every post is about him. Sure, I'll post an update about some hella funny thing he does or milestones. But I'm not gonna post about his every move or bowel movement or every new word he incorporates into his vocabularly. While all these things are important to me and his father, I know most other people don't care. Because I know I don't care about every little detail of everyone else's kids. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends' and family's kids, but up until recently, I was in the "I'm so tired of seeing everyone else getting married and having kids" pool. It hurt even worse because I had been engaged and we were trying to conceive and then he broke it off. Honestly, it still hurts to see all the baby bumps and newborns because I still haven't had a child of my own. But I would never ask someone to refrain from sharing things like sonograms or baby bumps in their newsfeed, nor would I hide or defriend someone [no matter how close we are] for something like that. The only thing that really annoys the hell out of me when it comes to fur babies or human babies is people making separate facebooks for them. Facebook is supposed to be about having a place to share your personal life and connect with others. If you can't do it yourself, there's no need for you to have one. A dog can't use a computer or navigate facebook or twitter, and neither can a baby. The only updates you can put on a facebook like that are "Oh, I laid around in my basinette and watched mommy do the dishes and pooped 3 times in my diaper and daddy said it was so gross!" Seriously, let your pets be pets and let your babies be babies. They don't need their own separate space on the internet; they're perfectly happy being included in yours because they don't even know what the hell twitter or google+ is! 1 agrees Reply I don't have a child. Its not by choice.( 3 losses) At some points the rafts of babyspam on my FB means I have to block people entirely. Especially when it's ultrasounds and belly pics and wibbling. Actually, at one point I just left the country for three months( not entirely joking) to go study in a foreign country, and as a result,I didn't have to hear so much about it. And I could go "haha! i'm in a foreign country! Awesome!" Its great they're thrilled, but they all know I had to put them on block for a while. Most of them understood why I wasn't replying to every pic, a few ditched me, no loss then. It just gets to be emotionally draining. ( I've had to do the same with a lot of "single-interest" facebookers, but the baby stuff really does my head in. But I being the adult, can filter it myself. A few people are really good about putting me proactively on the no baby filter.much appreciated, that.) Reply I'm childless and to those people wondering why other people should be "policing" what we put up on Facebook or "downplaying" children if our life revolves around them, I'd ask you to really consider Dina's comment above – "if I only posted about, say, science fiction, I wouldn't be surprised if my friends who are not interested in sci-fi started dropping like flies." So true! You ALREADY filter what you put on your Facebook pages, don't you? We all have an inbuilt filter telling us that some things are inappropriate or boring or too much of a good thing – posts about your sex life, posts about the sandwich you ate, or seventeen status updates in a row about Star Wars, for instance. I don't have a great deal of tolerance for "boring" people who aren't central to my life – i.e people I went to school with, used to work with etc – so when someone is consistently boring me by being one dimensional, I simply unfriend them. I have an issue with "hiding", though in some cases (where it would be unthinkable to delete that particular person) I use it. My issue is that if I find someone's online presence boring or annoying and I don't want to hear about what's going on in their lives anymore then I don't have any business pretending to be their friend, even if it's a "Facebook friend" relationship. It might be silly but it comes down to some sort of integrity thing for me. So when I have someone posting every single day about the one topic that is consuming their life, some examples – and I will preface these by saying I am in my early/mid twenties and have friends who are married with children, and a lot who are not, and these – while not word for word and not using names – are actual experiences/facebook friends: 1) "Baby just got a new toy! She was so good today." "Love watching her play…she is getting so big" "Why won't she stay in bed lol" "Love when she tries on my shoes, good look babe" "Finally asleep what a terror she was today" 2) "OMG dress fitting today was a nightmare" "41 days to go!!!!!" "Lol love wedding shoe shopping can I buy them all?!?" "So sick of doing all this planning by myself!!" "39 days til the big day <3" "Is it so much to ask that I am treated like a princess on MY day? Grrr" "28 days now!!!!! So excited!!!!!" 3) "I don't mean to brag or anything but I have the best boyfriend 😉 " "I don't need to make a new years resolution I have everything I need already. Love you baby!" "SO SPOILT FOR CHRISTMAS OMG. I am so in love with you" "Grr why does X have to be so far away right now :(" "Babe miss you so much!" None of these status updates are offensive by themselves; a little boring maybe, in a "I don't know why that was newsworthy" way, but certainly none are anything I would 'unfriend' over. But when that is the ONLY content you are receiving from that person and it is a very constant thing then I make that choice. And, exactly as Dina says, it would be the same if it were science fiction as well. I just find myself losing respect for that sort of person – it's a sign (to me at least, and this is just me being blatantly honest to you all) that they're not a very well-rounded human being. If you still feel that this one-topic, stream-of-consciousness type posting is just "who you are", then okay. That's cool too! There are enough of both types of people in the world that neither side will really ever be friendless or alone, and will always have someone to "like" their status updates. I think all anyone is saying, and the point of this post – is be considerate. Not to other people, but to yourself – really CONSIDER what you're putting out in the world, and if you are happy with it defining the way that everyone else sees you. 1 agrees Reply Interesting article and comments — I agree with everyone who says this is a "balance" issue. While you can and should be thoughtful towards people who might struggle with not being married/having a baby/whatever, I don't think it should prevent you from EVER making posts about those big and important things in your life . . . And at the same time, if that's ALL you post about it, it really isn't "of general interest" at a certain point. There's a difference between announcing a baby's birth and "labor updates" every hour; or daily diaper changes. I chose not to post about my relationship/ engagement/ wedding at all except for posting photos after the fact, and not to post about pregnancy at all except for posting the ultrasound photo. I guess I felt that I would be asking for congratulations/a fuss, and I am a very private person myself, who didn't want all that. But at a certain point, it is big news to share. My major concern about parents who post about their children is when they share things that seem like they should be private; because I think children are entitled to privacy, too, just like adults . . . When my friends post about their children misbehaving or doing embarassing things, I feel uncomfortable for that child. 350 random people (to the child) shouldn't be "in" on every exposive diaper episode, or every time a child is sent home from nursery school, or broke a china plate, or refused to get on the schoolbus, or whatever. As a little kid, I would've been MORTIFIED (yes, even as young as 4) if my parents had publicly shared that sort of information! And this goes double for embarrasing pictures! 3 agree Reply I appreciate these tips! Since I feel that people signed up to be friends with ME, and I don't know why they may not want to hear about my pregnancy or child, so I started a blog when I announced my pregnancy. That way, people who wanted updates could get them and those who didn't – didn't have to see it. 1 agrees Reply Social relationships need to be fulfilling for both people in the relationship. When relationships become one-sided (lack balance), people, rightfully so, bid farewell out of self respect. In my personal experience (middle class, midwestern USA, the social circle who did not go to grad school) people commonly use their wedding/pregnancy as an excuse to no longer care about or nurture the emotional or intellectual needs of their friends or family. This commonly goes down hill into emotional vampire behavior, passive aggressive demeaning language, outright insults twords the 'lesser non-parent (or married)-person', narcissistic milking for compliments, bullying, social blackmail and hell to pay if ritual offerings – err shower presents- are not conferred to the Only Person Who Has Valid Feelings or Thoughs Anymore Because I'm a MOMMY or DADDY. My experience. It is because of my friends and colleagues from various grad schools (thus upper middle class and the 1%) who do not behave like this at all, that it becomes even more obvious that the above behavior is completely unnecessary. The baby does not need all those FB posts, naked photos, in-utero info-graphics, class war and cat-fights. Have the stomach to admit that you are no longer interested in even part time relationships with friends; only devout adoring attention, compliments on demand, and emotional pinatas to your every insecurity and of course, all those presents! (Why in Heck do I have to buy people wedding/bridal shower/baby shower/ baby birthday presents, when I never get college grad/housewarming/birthday/holiday or just because presents? Why are single people required to pay for other people's desired lifestyle? But that is a another whole thread on how moms take social and financial advantage of singletons and why we are sick of it; but it is part of the big picture of why we have started calling foul on some behaviors, it has all gone too far.) Reply Leave a Reply to Amany Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.