Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pre-gestational cyberbullying. It's a thing.

There is an interesting phenomenon going around Facebook.  I've termed it, "pre-gestational cyberbullying."

In other words, nosy people.  Nosy people who virtually butt-in to others' reproductive plans via Facebook.

It seems to be an epidemic, and I honestly don't understand it. 

For example, I have a girlfriend who is from a large Catholic family.  She and her husband have been experiencing some reproductive difficulties, but they want children desperately.  They've shared this info with close family and a few friends, but the majority of her family doesn't know - and they aren't afraid to tell her what they think about her childless situation.  Publically.  In writing.  Often.  

Another friend of mine has been married only 6 months.  She and her husband are not ready for kids, and yet her married-with-children friends keep encouraging her to get pregnant.  Each time she goes on vacation, they post: "What a great time to make a baby!"  If she's not drinking in a photo, they comment, "Does this mean you're pregnant?"

Even my sister - who is 22 and not married - has gotten posts saying, "You and [the fiance] would make beautiful babies!"

To all of this, I have to respond: WTF, Facebook commentators?  WTF?

While I'm sure inquiring minds want to know if and when it happens, the issue of making a human person is not one that should be subjected to peer pressure.  Perhaps high school has changed since I've been there, but I do not recall the cool kids passing out pregnancy tests and exclaiming, "C'mon, everyone's doing it!"  Granted, I lived in the pre-16-and-Pregnant era, but still...

This is a big, big deal!  Perhaps the most life-changing decision of all, not to mention one that can be touchy and painful. 

And, to quote pretty much every after-school special I've ever seen... No means no.  It doesn't mean pester some more until the answer changes.  It means you've been politely invited to mind your own business, so don't bring it up again, thankyouverymuch.  It may be uter-"us," but unless that us includes you, leave it alone.  For serious.

In general, though, I don't understand why people even ask.  Even before I became a baby-making obsessed mamma, I never asked anyone.  I knew that the contents of someone else's uterus was none of my business, and that asking someone if they were pregnant when they weren't was a quick way to make that person hate you.  Let alone trying to force their hand on Facebook. 

So really.  To the picture-commenting, uterus-watching, family-hounding Facebook friends: enough is enough.

Particularly if your subject is my 22 year old sister.  Just sayin'.

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