Struggling to Conceive Parents Complain of "Facebook Envy"
November 4, 2010
When you were pregnant, did you post frequently about sonograms, baby kicks, and bump photos? Turns out your infertile friends may have hidden you from their feeds out of pregnancy envy, according to the Washington Post.
The Post writes of the jealousy and bitterness in couples struggling to conceive when they are inadvertently ambushed by friends and family announcing their good news in social media. Sharon Covingon, director of psychological services at Shady Grove Fertility, says more and more patients want to talk about this "Facebook envy." "I tell them [to go on] a diet from Facebook for a week," she said. "They understand their friends aren't trying to cause them harm, and they don't want to wish them ill will, but they end up feeling angry, resentful, and jealous."
Sarah Hopper, 27, confessed she hides a friend the moment she finds out they're pregnant. But there's flaw in this system -- even if you have hidden a Facebook friend, you can still see their news on other friends' pages. Hopper found out about a pregnancy this way, and "went into [her] bedroom for 20 minutes and cried."
The "Facebook diet" may seem like a simple solution, but for lots of moms, it might cut them off from their network of supportive friends and family (and Parenting.com!) In many ways, social media can also help TTC moms by providing resources, networks and forums, like our sister publication, Conceive. But if you're playing in social media land, you're bound to get some exposure to some things that may upset you.
In-your-face fertility is obviously a hot button topic for those TTC. Have you experienced Facebook pregnancy envy? When you were pregnant, did you ever hesitate to share because you were scared of hurting an infertile friend?
Side note: Mom blogger a little pregnant imagined the news feed of a fictional infertile woman, "Anita Child," surrounding by super-fertile friends. If laughter is the best medicine, this will make you feel a whole lot better.