For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been made extremely aware of a new trend that’s driving people batshit crazy on social media. It all started, as most Facebook trends do, with a relatively innocuous and broad concept. “Facts About Me” appealed to (or at least encouraged activity from) everyone, with the promise that any halfway narcissistic person could amuse (educate? impress?) his or her friends by listing a string of random personal facts. Not that everyone wants to know these facts, per se, but they could range from favorite foods and books to tidbits about one’s childhood or career. The number of facts displayed was determined by likes, or something, and if you “liked” the person’s update, he or she would then give you a number so you could go create your own list.
As silly as these listicle exercises are, they can be funny or revealing, and I understand why people participate in them. But as with every freaking fad on Facebook, the concept quickly splintered into more specific niches such as “Facts About Books I Love” or, in the case of moms, “Facts About My Pregnancy.” Because moms are the most active posting group on Facebook, newsfeeds went from including the occasional generic “Facts About Me” status update to featuring multiple “Facts About My Pregnancy” updates, slowly causing the average Facebook user to go insane. What’s interesting about the dozens of submissions I’ve received are the many similarities and differences that reflect women’s experiences with pregnancy and labor. It’s no secret that women who have carried children have a certain “bond,” and reading through the submissions, it’s easy to see why. Even though every woman has her own tale, her own journey to labor and delivery, there are universal commonalities that all women share. It’s precisely this set of traits that motivates women to share their “facts” and drives their friends to fill my inbox with frustrated observations.
And it’s not just non-parents who are wondering about these lists; like any category on STFU, Parents, both parents and non-parents have been wondering why their friends are relaying their pregnancy stories in bullet points on Facebook. One person wrote, “Her kid is five, and her Facebook friends have already heard all this stuff before. Why is she telling everyone this private information again?” While the women participating in the “Facts” fad might feel a special connection to other mothers, everyone else is wondering why they’re broadcasting details about their past morning sickness and cervix dilation. Some people were so perplexed, they wrote in to complain.
Since when am I not God? This reader’s got me pegged all wrong!
Oh, I’ve done more than see them; I’ve printed out all 50+ submissions and bound them in a book to give as holiday gifts to friends and relatives!