Sunday, June 2, 2013

Facebook landmines

A dear friend had shared this article: When Facebook suck! on my page- and I'm touched that she had thought of my situation, since she knows I had repeatedly hid some people on Facebook.  

After reading the article, I'm telling you- if I was that good in writing, that's exactly what I would have written sometime ago! Although, I admit I do hide certain people who is pregnant or over-sharing of their children on their posts (or restricting number on new feed). I know how much some parents love their children, but must they talk about their kids every 10 minutes on Facebook?! Or over-share 20-50 photos daily of what their kids do?
"His first accident-heeheh"
"see how she's so cute sleeping with her Barbie!"
"His first car!" (with 11 photos, taking all angles of the car, no less.)  

You get the idea... I had to hide or de-friend one or two last year before/after the hysterectomy surgery for my own self-preservation (fortunately, one understood, the other didn't, unfortunately). I do understand that some parents find joy in sharing info of their children, although a hundred-thousand photos in a month? Don't you think that's a tad too much? I admit occasionally I feel a concern about one's intentions (even good ones) for sharing photos with friends, friends of friends, or even to public. After all, have anyone truly considered that one might use your photos of children for their own profit/purposes that may not be...nice? Last fall, a friend came crying to me, being very upset, that one of her Facebook photos of her child daughter had been "stolen," and it had gone viral as a meme.

I do share info about infertility now and then- but not often..since I don't want folks to feel like they're 'walking on eggs' if you get my meaning. I was flabbergasted when someone, I thought, as a good friend, claimed that I share posts about infertility "8-10 times daily, woe is me." I had to check my feed to see if that's true biz, of me over-sharing. I even asked a friend who is quite objective, without explaining why I wanted her to do so, to check numbers and what I share in a week, in the last three weeks. Love her, but she reported, literally "17 Star Wars memes, 8 Johnny Depp memes, 6 tiny house posts, 21 positive/feel good quotes, 3 infertility posts, one infertility meme, countless geek crap (hmmmm, I take that she doesn't like geek stuff, huh?) and...." I told her that's enough. Well, even *I* would get sick of myself if I do that much as that person claimed! The purpose behind my sharing is to help increase awareness for infertility. After all, according to the U.S. census 2008, there's a finding: slightly less than 50% of women (18 years old to 44 years old) are child-less (by choice, or circumstance). One in five encounters infertility (and I know I'm preaching to the choir here..) 

Back to the point, The friend shared the article to show support, and that's significant. What's wrong with wanting to share information, or to be an ally? It's all the same, as in the idea for cancer awareness or MS support or education to watch out for symptoms of depression.

And in long run, advocacy for awareness of infertility helps me heal as well. Face to face, being public and being supportive of each other (my tribe), instead of sweeping it all under the rug, hence leaving it to fester and increasing risk for relapsing to bitterness, avoiding emotions, pretending it all didn't happen- that's not healthy for me.

I chose this path, of being a public face for infertility, childlessness not by choice, and for deaf women who may or are already on the path that put them without children to raise. To give hope, and to reassure that they are not alone. By sharing my story, and by posting articles and quotes now and then on Facebook, I'm saying, "I may be down sometimes, but I'm not out."

That's all I can do.... I refuse to stay in bed forever, I refuse to pretend that it didn't happen. I refuse to put a deadline on the grief as some folks think it should be within 1 month to six months- grief is NOT a straight path.....there's good and bad days, there's some moments it's okay to cry, and there's times it's okay to laugh. There's times to step on the soapbox and speak up, and there's times to sit with friends, debating Star Trek vs. Star Wars. And that's why it's important to acknowledge that sometimes Facebook has its plus and cons, when one is infertile. One has to practice self preservation, and that's on you. To walk away, or to take a hiatus from Facebook, or to hide people. Don't chew people out if you're hurting- they have as much right as you to share what they want to post. Just hide them if you're not comfortable. I could go on and on about this since this just happened to me, but that's a post for another day. 

And oh yeah, referring to that article I read today, it's okay to be THAT woman sometimes.