Facebook Lets Expectant Parents Share the News with ‘Expected: Child’
By Brennon Slattery
PCWorldAug 3, 2011 8:23 am PDT
Facebook has added a feature that lets expectant parents add unborn children to the “Friends and Family” section of their profiles by selecting “Expected: Child” on the drop-down list. Typical of anything Facebook does, this feature — implemented so that parents-to-be wouldn’t break Facebook’s rules by creating a profile for someone who is very underage — has stirred controversy for the social network.
Some believe that posting Expected: Child on Facebook cheapens the experience of becoming a parent. TechNewsDaily spoke to an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan who said that it’s a “very clinical way” to share information — as if overzealous upcoming parents wouldn’t tweet-blast friends and followers the same data, just without the formality of an added profile.
More controversial is the inherent dangers of telling large groups of people — some of whom you may not even know — that you’re pregnant and then having something tragic happen. That, of course, is a risk some people choose to take when they share anything on any social network, so it shouldn’t raise as much of a stink as it has.
What I find most odd about Facebook’s Expected: Child feature is the grammar. Why the colon? The usage of a colon in that context usually means you get another blank spot to fill in more information, like “Expected: Hangover” or “Expected: Cat named Professor Wiggles.” If Facebook goes full-throttle and allows users to customize their profiles in that fashion — like they added civil unions and domestic partnerships to their relationship statuses — maybe it will truly be a better place to meet friends and self-express.