In an effort to beat the pants off of Google+ make Facebook as "customizable" and "personalized" an experience as possible, the social network is now allowing moms-to-be to add "Expected: Child" to their profiles, complete with due date and chosen name, under the same section where you can list family members. They must figure that this way, expectant mothers can better/easier/more quickly communicate what's going on in their lives (or their "status") with their Facebook friends.
I'm not a fan. It's just too ... impersonal and unnecessary. A pregnancy, to me, seems like a very personal, intimate experience -- not something you need to broadcast to 500 of your not-so-closest "friends." (Let's face it, Facebook friends may be your friends, but for most of us, MANY of them are really just your "friends.") Sure, you're excited and you want to share with people you love, but there are better ways to do that.
Like in person, so you can see their face light up! Or over the phone, so you can hear the excitement in their voice? Maybe even Skype, if you can't get together in another way. Isn't it just a bit anti-climatic to have your besties or your mother-in-law find out while scrolling through their News Feed, and the only reaction you get from them is a "Like"?
If I've got to learn about a friend's pregnancy via Facebook, I'd rather see that Rachel Beth So-and-So posted an actual status update that says something along the lines of, "DH and I are expecting!! Due date: 12-4-11 <3" or "30 weeks along now!" than see that she added "Expected: Child" to her profile. There's something awkward, technical, and way too hands-off about how that looks! Like it ought to say, "Expected: Amazon package delivery." It's a kid, for cryin' out loud!
Your bundle of joy is a real-live person who deserves more than an "Expected: Child" profile update. They deserve to be introduced with some real FANFARE to the Internet ... once they're born ... via Photobucket, Picasa, Snapfish albums! And your loved ones deserve to learn the news in a warmer, more personal way, too. Don't get me wrong -- Facebook certainly serves its purpose in bringing people together. But when it comes to something as significant as a childbirth, I just don't think social media will ever compare to old-school technologies that bring us even closer -- like a happy phone call or lovely baby shower.
What do you think about this new "Expected: Baby" profile option on Facebook?
Image via Peter & Joyce Grace/Flickr