Facebook Wants to Know if You’re Pregnant; Adds “Expected: Child” to Profiles

Are you expecting a child? Are your Facebook friends pregnant? If so, today is your lucky day: Facebook adds “Expected: Child” to Family and Friends lists.

Are you expecting a child? Are your Facebook friends pregnant? If so, today is your lucky day: Facebook adds “Expected: Child” to Family and Friends lists.

What better way to grow a social network than to get users when they’re young? What about getting users who aren’t even born yet? That’s what Facebook is doing with its new Expected: Child category. Now, parents-to-be can add Expected: Child to their profile by going to “Edit my profile”, selecting “Friends and Family” and selecting “Expected: Child.”

This new addition is likely in response to the growing number of Facebook pages created by soon-to-be parents for their unborn children. It goes without saying that nothing is too sacred for Facebook and that “over-sharing” in the social media era is becoming an obsolete concept. However, the addition of the Expected: Child feature, no matter how practical, raises some concerns.

Not all pregnancies run smoothly. While excited and optimistic soon-to-be parents are eager to share, network, and gain support from their extended community, the information could backfire if there are complications. As if dealing with such a private matter isn’t hard enough, these people will also have to cope with their (overzealously concerned) Facebook community.

Moreover, what is the etiquette for announcing a pregnancy on Facebook? Surely, it isn’t the best way for your mother to find out. Or your best friend.

Finally, it seems to push the envelope even further on the issue of how much information is too much information in a social media space.

On the one hand, at a certain point, pregnancy becomes obvious in real life. So, why not announce it on Facebook? Facebook is, after all,  inherently social, and if Facebook had its way, everyone would share every person detail about their life all of the time.  Futhermore, people already announce their marital status and post pregnancy pictures (details which used to be private). A baby announcement can easily be made via a status update. If anything, the new feature seems to simplify the process.

On the other hand, even if it isn’t Facebook’s responsibility to protect people from themselves, and even if the feature is practical, one can’t help but feel that unborn children shouldn’t have official spaces in social media.