life, love, and maybe babies

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cutting the Digital Cord: Why Infertiles Should Consider Leaving Social Media

The election is over and the holidays are on their way. A time for family, egg nog, and over the top family posts on social media.

Eek.

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog post about getting rid of social media for awhile. And look, I rely on social media. It's how I stay connected to all of you. But sometimes it isn't healthy. And I need you healthy so you can focus on your baby making.

So here's the post I wrote, updated for now. Read through it, share it with your friend who just saw 3 posts in a row about babies, and then consider logging out and walking away for a bit. You just might be glad you did. And hey, I'll still be here when you get back. So there's that.

XO,

KIM


******
  • Sooooo blessed to find out we are expecting our 4th child in January! Guess that super birth control pill didn't work after all. LOL!
  • Ugh, I hate being pregnant. Someone kill me. #notplanned #16andpregnant #MTV #selfie
  • Why would anyone ever adopt? I mean, there are so many precious babies out there that need homes! #adoption #IVFisaSin

Look, we all do it. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, blogs - it's how we stay connected. It's a convenient and voyeuristic way of seeing what is going on with friends and family and even perfect strangers across the globe.

But it will drive you crazy.

When I was in the throes of my fertility treatments, I often found myself tangled in the trap of social media. I'd be waiting for my umpteenth blood workup and hop quickly on my phone to keep occupied. I'd be happily reading ridiculous political posts and the occasional rant about bad customer service from a carpet cleaner, and BAM, there it would be. Pictures of my cousin's brand new baby. Mocking me. Laughing at me.

                                                     

It's enough to drive anyone batshit, yo. Unfortunately for infertiles, we're already halfway to crazy, so it basically drives us straight to the nut house in our bathrobe and curlers.

And so, after many hours of debating and thinking, I finally did it. I suspended my Facebook account for three months. I cut the cord last year right before the holidays. At the outset I was concerned about missing all the engagement announcements and "Happy Holidays from the Murphys!" photos that were sure to be abundant during that time. But in retrospect, it was exactly what I needed at the time. 

So if you're an infertile and you can't take one more post about Sally Jo and her kid having green diarrhea, allow me to bestow on you the 5 reasons you need to let social media go for awhile.

1) It's distracting you from what's important

You, my friend, have protocols and schedules to follow. You have medications to take and happy thoughts to be thinking. And while it's lovely to see that your best friend is pregnant for the third time right before you leave for an RE appointment, it isn't doing you any favors. It's taking your eye off the proverbial ball (the ball being a baby). Instead of focusing on your own pregnancy journey, you're now having the "WHY NOT ME??!!!" conversation in your head.

                 

Instead of logging on to Instagram and seeing yet another picture of your colleague's newborn, try something else. Step away from the apps and go for a walk. Eat a banana. Or...if you refuse to delete these apps altogether, considering hiding those people you know that are pregnant or just had a baby (trust me, I won't mind). Focus on yourself and your journey.

2) It's making you grumpy

How many times has your RE told you that keeping a positive attitude and a light heart is vital to the fertility process? Every time you see a post about a baby, your heart clenches. Trust me, I know. You plaster on a smile and pretend it's all good. Your body knows better. It can feel the tension and the anger and the icky stuff. It knows the reason you're snapping at your barista for failing to make a non-fat latte isn't because it's early in the morning. It's because your insides are in pain from Fertility Overstimulation. (And yes, I made that up.)  

Your body is smart. It knows when you're lying to yourself.

3) Deleting social media might just improve your social life

Can you imagine how awesome your friends will think you are when you send them an email or a text to tell them happy birthday rather than a Facebook post? Or if you actually call them to see how the first day of their new job went? You might get a Friend of the Year Award.

When I first suspended my Facebook account, I didn't tell anyone I was leaving, I just went. Over the next few days, several people emailed or texted me asking why I'd dropped off Facebook. I explained that it was just getting to be a bit much for me and I needed a break. And you know what? Not much changed. The people that I loved reading about on Facebook started to email me or text me more often. I really didn't miss much of anything (especially those awesome political posts from random family members I barely speak to). 

I found that if something was really important, and a person was special to me, they found a way to communicate their news. And I didn't risk a Fertility Overstimulation episode in order to hear about it.

4) Your husband/partner will feel special again

I am so guilty of checking my stupid social media pages when Hubs and I are eating. What a terrible, atrocious, rude habit. But guess what? Once I deleted those apps, I had nothing to "check" anymore. I just had him. One night at dinner he actually said, "Hmmm, something's different. Oh, I know. You haven't looked at your phone once."

We were able to have a complete conversation without stealing glances at our devices. I felt more connected to him than ever. And really, when you're going through infertility stuff, feeling connected to the father of the child you're hoping to create is kind of a big deal. Attention must be paid.

5) No accidental advertisements

Twitter and Facebook and Google are smart little cookies. So if you've ever written an update mentioning the word "pregnant", chances are those sites think you're preggers. Subsequently, you will start to see ads for bottles, diapers and baby clothes in your Facebook feed or off to the side of your Gchat. Those sites aren't trying to hurt you, but it's still a knife to the gut when you see a Facebook ad for "Pregnant and scared? Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX."

                                

By unplugging those social media outlets, you once again start to take control of what you see. Remember, you can't see an advertisement for breast pumps on Facebook if you AREN'T ON FACEBOOK.

*****

Look, I'm not saying leave Facebook and Twitter and Instagram forever. Maybe just ax one and keep the other. I maintained a relationship with my Instagram the entire time I dumped Facebook and that worked for me. But protect your heart. Clean out the clutter that is keeping you from focusing 100% on making a baby. This is one of the most important things in your life and you don't want something as stupid as a Facebook update making you lose focus. After some time has passed and you feel like you can handle a rant about "Synthetic Babies" from your Aunt Ethel, consider coming back. But take it slow.

And in the meantime...don't give up cool infertility blogs. :)

XOXO friends,





1 comment:

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