I’m sitting on the couch not feeling 100%. Yesterday I pushed it too far. In other words, I had cankles by bedtime and fell sleep while my husband was mid-sentence. This morning between watching my stomach move and shake like a giant water balloon, I nursed achy shoulders and a bout of nausea. This is where I am at today. I want to sit down, I want to put my feet up, and I am doing that.
Here is what I don’t want to do: I don’t want to post my pregnancy on facebook. This has been a little surprising to me as certain parts of my life are public. I use my Facebook for work. Therefore, when I speak, post blogs, connect with students or share information, it has always felt a bit like work.
My time on FB has waned in the last 7 months. Bombarded by advertisements and seeing pictures of someone I don’t know (and am not friends with) that a friend “liked” clutter my newsfeed. I feel weighed down it by it.
Last week, a classmate of mine shared her teenage child’s view of posting on Facebook, “She is very sensitive to what I post, so I always ask her, and I rarely post anything about her out of respect.” Mind you, this is her view, and I’m not saying this to shirk people, but rather it got me wondering: just because we can post, should we?
I’m not talking about the occasional family photo, vacation pic, etc. I’m talking about what this article brings up (click here). That our managed, public, socially networked lives are beginning to feel like a job; one that I can’t keep up with anymore and I am not sure I want to.
What do I gain by posting so much? Or taking pictures of every perfect moment? I don’t want to measure my worth in ‘likes.’ I want to live my story. I am beginning to wonder if Facebook is boxing too many of us in?
This issue has become pressing in managing my first pregnancy. I thought for sure I would want to post a belly pic or make a public Pinterest board for the world to see what I’m going through and what I look like doing it. But this was of course before I was growing a human. “Because so and so did ____ (maternity pics, belly pics, cooked 300 frozen meals and made homemade baby food before the kid was born, etc.)” started feeling less like inspiration and more like mandates that someone told me I needed to do — and then post about it.
Here’s the reality now: If I were to really show you, I would most likely look like I did last night: my feet propped up with two pillows, my mouth wide open with my eyes closed in utter exhaustion. This is my maternity photo shoot.
(sneaky hubs took this in my first trimester)
I don’t care if my friends have photo shoots or put their ultrasound pics up. If you want to put pictures up or cook a ton of meals, fine by me. This is not about you. It’s about me. And I’m tired of people asking why I don’t “put it up on Facebook.” Because Facebook isn’t my life. If you want to see my belly, stop by my house. We’ll have lunch. We’ll have a conversation. Email me privately. That’s the way I want my pregnancy to be. I get to do that.
More so, I want some things to be kept sacred. The line of what needs to be public and private has drastically changed since I grew up. And now that I am entering a new chapter, I can’t help but think of my son when he is 12 asking me, “Why the heck did you put that up there?” I don’t have his permission. I haven’t even met him yet and world wants full access to him and our interests to make sure they can cater to our consumerism. I’m not buying it.
Our son is a part of our family, not something to be owned by a public company. Because I have drank the kool aid to some extent, I understand that what I post is owned by Facebook. I also get that FB is a great tool for keeping in touch. But keeping in touch and having a relationship or full access to a person’s life are entirely different things. What I put up can never be erased; it will always be somewhere, out there and I don’t know where that is – which concerns me.
I use my facebook differently than people, so this isn’t a judgment on others as much as it is an accountability measure to myself, my story, and my family. I want to think about what I’m posting and why. The post should not be my first reaction to life, being present to what is happening should. What have I missed of my friends’ stories by thinking I know what is going on because of their profiles? What conversations have I missed out on because I grabbed my phone to take a picture? What real emotions have been taken for granted? What is life like outside of the instagrams and the status updates? That’s where I want to live.
So will I never post anything again and judge everyone for what they put up? If that’s what you heard me say, then you missed the meaning in this message. There are things worth sharing and things worth keeping close to my heart. I am still figuring out what those things are. For now, it has meant being quieter, taking moments for myself and with Nate, diving into school and sharing life with my students.
It has meant not posting about my body because a picture of my body is not all of me. I am equally fascinated and haunted by the pregnancy journey and people’s *need* to witness it, touch it, have access to it, and have so.many.opinions.about.it… (still processing this).
For sure we will announce baby boy’s arrival at some point in the distant future, but only after cherishing those few precious moments by ourselves. Moments meant to be ours. Moments a picture or status update can never capture. And nor should they because they are sacred.