The first rule of social media club is: don’t talk about other people’s BIG news – until they do.
That’s just a given, right?
But for mum blogger Kirsty McKenzie it seems one pal didn’t get the memo, and announced Kirsty’s pregnancy online before she got the chance to do it herself.
Describing the experience as “emotionally gutting”, Kirsty explains how after 12 months of trying to conceive, she and her husband were elated to finally have news of their pregnancy to share with the world.
They decided to tell close family immediately, but wanted to wait until long after the first ultrasound before making the big social media announcement.
Oh, you know the one: the ‘we’re having a baby’ status, the bells-and-whistles video announcement, the sly Instagram shot of a burgeoning bump.
The one that garners likes and comments from literally everyone, starting with your nearest and dearest, your acquaintances and colleagues, people you went to school with, and even that one person you had a 5-minute conversation at a party 7 years ago and now feel obliged to like all their profile pics.
But for Kirsty, someone beat her to the punch and experienced the glow of the big reveal on her behalf. As she explained:
“Then it happened. I logged on to my Facebook feed to see that someone else had decided to announce my pregnancy for me.
“I was not only emotionally gutted, I was also incredibly nervous. We weren’t ready yet. The pregnancy still didn’t seem ‘solid’ enough yet.
“It was too early. What happened if I miscarried? I wasn’t prepared to make that additional announcement down the track.”
Kirsty also revealed that once their baby was born, the same thing happened again, though this time 2 people made the announcement for her.
“The baby we’d waited so long to announce, was announced for us. We learned the hard way.
“So when the time came to announce the arrival of our second bub, we both not only temporarily deactivated our social media accounts, but we added the caveat to our messages and phone calls, ‘Please keep our news off social media until we’ve announced it’.
Kirsty’s now expecting baby no 3 – and made sure to share the news her way, without (to quote Monica from Friends) having ‘her thunder stolen’.
And she’s also offered her advice to anyone tempted to pop a ‘congrats’ message on Facebook before the big reveal:
“If in doubt, have a quick look at their page, ask them if they’ve made it public news yet, message them privately, or simply don’t say anything at all.
“There may be numerous reasons why people have made the choice not to announce their news. They may have a history of infertility, miscarriage or stillbirth, and the thought of making their precious news so public is unnerving.”
What we think
Now, here at MFM HQ, we have definitely seen this kind of story before.
For us, it seems pretty obvious that you keep completely mum about a pregnancy online until the news has been made ‘public’.
But we also reckon since there’s no clear ‘guidelines’ as such on baby news and social media in general, the whole thing is a bit of a minefield.
And what about when the baby’s been born?
One MFM writer knows through the grapevine that an ex-colleague has recently welcomed a baby – she’s even seen a picture of the new arrival on someone else’s phone – but is reluctant to get in touch with the new dad at all in case she’s not supposed to know, as the news has been kept completely off social media and she hasn’t been told personally.
Another MFM staffer knows a family member is expecting because her hubby told her – but she’s also not sure if she’s supposed to send congrats via text, email, private Facebook message – or keep completely quiet – for the very same reason.
Have your say
What do you think’s appropriate when it comes to social media announcements and congratulating someone else on their pregnancy? How would you feel if someone announced your news for you? Let us know on Facebook, or in the comments below.