social media

Social Media Shade

SPOTTED: Tina and Joe are on the razor-edge of a break up and I have all the scoop. What happened, you ask? How do I know, you ask? Because of Social Media Shade. Her passive-aggressive posts and his social media purge reveal everything they are trying not to look like they are trying to reveal. It is going DOWN. It used to be that if you wanted to shade someone, you had to show up at the soda shoppe with their best friend or a Letterman jacket. Not today: you can do it with the click of button! Here’s how I (and, let’s face it, everyone) can tell:

1. Shady quote posts about how love will let you rise again after you heal.

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Guys, this isn’t about me, you know, this is just, a general inspirational quote that I happened to find (wasn’t searching for) and is applicable at any time, and not just after a break-up/getting fired/getting in a fight with ANYONE.

2. Low-ball “My life is complete” photos, usually captioned about all the wonderful people in your life (and definitely NOT captioned: “Not pictured: A Snake.”).

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See?! See how freaking totally happy I am and how I have to many friends and go out all the time? See? Also, I am hot…. so….

3. Just clearing your social media of the person.

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This one takes so much time and work (scrolling through Insta? Hello!) but some people have the motivation.

4. The subtle details.

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Changes in: relationship status (it disappears entirely, usually), profile picture, removing all personal details (even job/school/location) so as to disguise removing the relationship status. It takes more detective work, but it can be spotted.

5. Dramatic shift in tone and interests.

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Another sly one. See, you can’t just stop posting on social media – people would think you died! Instead, you attempt to drown out your prior posts about the person or job you are breaking up with and flood your accounts with new content: I’m journaling/hiking/biking/wine tasting, and now you forgot all about that thing I’m no longer mentioning. Also usually included: posts about self-reflection and becoming a new person, doing new things.

How Pregnant Are You On Social Media?

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With all the talk about asking your boss to pay for your birth control these days, I thought I would take things to the other end of the spectrum and talk about another issue plaguing our society: over-sharing pregnant women on social media. We get it, you are growing a human being inside of you and that is a pretty big deal, and probably exhausting. I’m super happy for you and maybe your thirteen Facebook posts a day are your way of documenting this magical time in your life, I don’t know. But I do know that there is such thing as over-sharing on social media, and pregnant women (and what they will soon become – new moms) tend to be a pretty big culprit in this area (though not ALL pregnant women – thank you!).

To find out how pregnant your social media platforms are, just take this simple, quick quiz. And remember, we all over-share sometimes, but it’s never too late to stop.

1. Is your profile picture your ultrasound photo? 3 points

2. Is your cover photo your ultrasound photo? 2 points

3. Are both your cover photo and profile picture your ultrasound photos? 15 points

4. Is your round, nude pregnant belly your cover photo? 20 points

5. Are there any nude (or look like you could be) maternity photos of you anywhere on the internet? 25 points

6. Are at least two out of your four most recent Instagram photos pregnancy-related? (this includes photos of your bump, swollen ankles, baby clothes, and/or food you’re eating thanks to “eating for two!”) 5 points

7. Have you complained on social media at least twice in the last week about stretch marks, cravings, lack of sleep, or “feeling enormous!”? 5 points

8. Are you more than three days passed your due date? -5 points

9. Have you made more than two statements to the effect of how you can’t imagine your life before you got pregnant and everything in your whole world is now and always will be for this infant? 7 points

10. Do you have a Pinterest board for every phase of this adventure? (Ex: Maternity Clothes, Pregnancy Food and Exercises, Breastfeeding, Nursery Decor, DIY Babyfood, Potty Training, Early Education, etc.) 10 points

11. Could I or any of your other 863 Facebook friends tell you when you had your last doctor’s appointment? 5 points

12. AND the appointment before that? 8 points

13. Does my news feed get clogged with updates on how big your little fetus is – daily?! (He’s a grapefruit?! Ohmygosh!) 10 points

14. Could your friends/followers tell you when to go to the hospital, thanks to your updates every time you have a contraction? (“Um, your status three minutes ago said you had a contraction, and now this one? You need to get steppin’ girl.”) 12 points

15. Did you make your announcement on social media the second you found out about the baby in your tummy, even before you told you mom/husband/boyfriend/sisters? 20 points

16. Did you make the announcement with a photo or video of a positive pregnancy test? 15 points

17. Have you ever made a statement on any social media platform about the grossest things you’ve experienced due to your pregnancy? 30 points

18. Could I, a virtual stranger, except that one time we took geometry together in ninth grade, fill out your intake forms at the hospital for you, just by browsing your extensive medical information you’ve shared on social media? 25 points

Add up your points, and heed the advice below:

First Trimester: 0-35 points

You are barely showing your pregnancy on social media! You may be hiding it, or you may realize that not everyone needs to know every detail of your nine months of growing a person. Congratulations! I hope you maintain this perspective well on into motherhood. You might want to take some pics of the baby, ya know, for the scrapbooks. But that’s all, really.

Second Trimester: 36-75 points

You might be over-sharing. Consider adding some diversity to your posts, like talking about the gorgeous weather, or a really fun place you recently went (NOT the doctor or birthing class). Finally, before you hit ENTER and share some news, think about maybe just texting it to a couple interested friends instead, like 2/3 of the time. That way they will feel special that you are including them in your journey, rather than annoyed at reading the same stuff on their Facebook feed every day, like a commoner.

Third Trimester: 76 points and up

Okay, everyone knows it: you are definitely an over-sharer. You not only need to stop posting about your pregnancy, you probably need to take a sabbatical from social media all together. Don’t worry, no one will miss you hour-by-hour status updates, letting us all know what you are craving. In fact, some people may thank you. And you can come back when you have the baby, but be warned: social media is not the place to announce every diaper, tear, smile, and nap. They have baby books, and cameras, and phones for a reason.

When you are tempted to make a post on social media, follow these simple steps:

1. Ask yourself who would get more use out of this information: that kid you sort of had a crush on in middle school but never even danced with, or your doctor? If it’s the doctor, don’t post it; proceed to the doctor. If it’s the kid from middle school, I don’t think you understand the question.

2. If the answer to number one is “Meh, not really that crucial,” then ask yourself this: did I post virtually the same thing (status update, photo, video, or link) yesterday?

3. If the answer to number two is “Yes,” then send it to your mom via a private message. If it’s “No,” then save it for later, and come up with something else to post about.

Friends and connections on every social media platform thank you for your consideration. And we’ll gladly post a “Congrats!” on your wall when the time comes, if you’re into that sort of thing.

-debarbibee