• Wed, Jul 11 2012

STFU Parents: Moms Who Reveal WAY Too Much About Their Bodies On Social Media

Parent overshare isn’t always about the kids. Sometimes it’s just about us. Considering how complex and often gross our bodies can be, it’s no surprise that some moms feel compelled to share updates about their pregnancy or labor, as detailed in these columns from last year. And to a certain extent, I can understand that. After several months of carrying a baby it can be easy for a woman to forget that her friends might not want to know how dilated her cervix is or that she’s lost her mucus plug. Lines get blurred and before she knows it, she’s describing details that are commonplace to her, but uncomfortable for her friends.

That said, something I’ve been thinking about lately is the degree to which women overshare about their bodies. Back when I started STFU, Parents, posting about having contractions seemed bold, but now, a few years later, it’s not really a question of whether a woman is posting about having contractions so much as what else she’s posting about in relation to those contractions. It’s almost as if oversharing has become the norm, so women are more inclined to give precise details and take the TMI (Too Much Information) to WTMI (Way Too Much Information), seemingly without shame. Whether it’s because they want to commiserate, vent, or simply think the subject of their bodies is a normal thing to discuss on Facebook, the level of “TMI” has been taken up a notch (or five) and continues to trend toward the extreme. Here are six examples that illustrate what I mean.

1. Full Term TMI

Mentioning that you’re uncomfortable in the final stage of pregnancy is understandable, and most people sympathize with the realities of acid reflux. But is it really necessary to go into detail about the vomit spin cycle occurring in your throat? This is what a pregnancy journal is for.

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  • amy

    The stitches may have been… erm… lower down. Heh. Don’t ask me how I know about checking out stitches DOWN THERE!

    • STFU Parents

      True — It’s been fixed! :)

  • Heather

    Umm… I agree with Amy. The first thing I thought when I read that is: That woman did NOT have a c-section. Second thought: gross.

  • Katie

    The one that decided to do a running commentary of her hospital stay was just totally over-the-top ridiculous. No one cares in that much detail what you went through other than maybe your husband and your mother. I guess she’s trying to get some sympathy, which is understandable, given the situation. But she should have tackled it differently.

    Also, anytime someone talks about their uterus, it makes me a little uncomfortable.

    • LiteBrite

      Even my husband and mother wouldn’t want that much detail about my hospital stay.

      I don’t have a problem talking about someone’s uterus; however, I’d prefer not to do it on Facebook. :)

  • Ladycrim

    I’ll confess: I had a tubal ligation a few months ago and did post about it on FB. I did so because it was a major life decision – my biggest one so far – and I felt it significant enough to merit mention. I promise, I did not give the gory details of the procedure!

    • Heather

      That kitty in your profile pic is so adorable! I’d let you post anything in my news feed if I could keep looking at that sweet cat.

    • Ladycrim

      Thanks, Heather. Kitties make everything better, amirite? :-)

    • LiteBrite

      I had a cervical biopsy done last year, and I also posted about it on Facebook. I didn’t go into great gory detail, but I was pretty careful about how I worded it. The only reason why I posted about it at all was because it was negative, and yeah, I was damned excited about THAT.

      And yes, kitties absolutely make everything better. There is nothing in the world like falling asleep with a purring cat at your side. Cats rule.

  • Jana

    I personally hate the meme, or whatever you call it, about how stretch marks are beautiful. I don’t want to see some stock photo of stretch marks, I don’t even like seeing my own.

    • kate

      I concurr!!

    • kate

      I concurr!!

  • Bianca

    I wonder how often Debbie whips out the ‘hate to be a Debbie Downer’ line. I get the feeling it’s her go-to joke

    • Sarah

      LOL – “go-to joke” made me laugh.

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  • Heather G

    I’ve actually always been bothered by how “sanitized” people are in reporting things. I actually want to hear the real details on things – I value authenticity and experiencing life with others. Some friends of mine were killed in a car accident – it was frustrating to me to only know they got “killed in an accident” and not know what injuries they actually sustained, and how they actually died. I can’t stand euphemisms like “He died of old age” – I want to know – was it his heart? A stroke? What was it? No, I applaud people who are willing to talk about their lives as they really are, and not necessarily in broad brush strokes. Life is messy enough that we shouldn’t be shocked by the gritty details. I don’t want others to sanitize their suffering before relaying it to me.

    • Bianca

      But if you’re close enough to the people then you will find out from them in person about those kinds of details. If you’re not that close, then it’s none of your business – OR you should ask them outside of facebook. Those kinds of things don’t belong on facebook, where friends of friends can sometimes see things you’ve commented on. I would never want to share full details of deaths of those close to me on facebook and I think to do so would be highly distasteful and disrespectful, especially if all it’s doing is satisfying the curiosities of someone not even close enough to the victim to be finding out firsthand.
      But anyway, I really don’t see how you can equate details of a death to details of baby vomit etc.

    • irritated

      Exactly, if you are not close enough for them to discuss it with you in person. Then you are just being nosy and it isn’t any of your business. People forget all the people they “friend”. Add a store or restaurant and everyone that works there may be reading your private life.

  • irritated

    WTF? Why are so many of the comments people defending their choices to also put TMI about private medical procedures on facebook. Obviously, the point of this blog is to show you this is not appropriate, not to give you ANOTHER wall to post your private medical info on. I wish I could set this up to be a filter for friends…..

  • Monica Thompson

    I really don’t get the ladies who feel the need to talk about their cervix to everyone on Facebook…and when I was pregnant I really didn’t get the people who actually asked about my cervix! Unless you’re my OB do you really need to know that information? Gross!

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  • Victoria

    Virginia seems a little sanctimonious on the last one.

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