You may have heard on the Bookvine that we’re expecting our second child later this year.
The crazy thing is, having a baby is not that different to jumping into the social media sandpit.
There’s the gestation period, while you build your presence; there’s the newborn stage, when you’re learning and every day seems different; then there’s a blur of activity when you learn to crawl, walk, run and speak the lingo!
Here are some ruminations on the similarities and differences between these two states of being.
It’s all very exciting when you start an adventure like this, but the newfound responsibility and uncharted territory can weigh heavily on your mind, making you nervous about constantly tending to your small charge.
Most people preparing to take on such a project will experience the first three months in a state of constant queasiness, when every movement is like being on a rocking boat. Ginger tablets may help.
During gestation, the time spent ‘researching’ at your computer or thumbing relevant apps on your couch with a packet of double coated Tim Tams by your side may result in your going up a size (or two).
Going live will mean eight or more hours of hard labour, regular posting of photos to document progress in real time, a support crew to feed you ice by hand, and happy gas to dull the pain.
Both omniscient and omnipotent, this new presence appears before you at all times of the day and night, making you anxious around what to do next. Sometimes, it demands more love and attention than you thought humanly possible.
Once live, poor judgement will be rife due to sleep deprivation as well as a false sense that you are in control. You will never be in control again. This is evidenced when you say the wrong thing at the wrong time in the worst possible way (ref. EnergyWatch, York Butter).
Developing an Attachment
Your little presence takes on a personality of it’s own, and you become fond of it’s quirks. Inspired by the most routine of things, you become obsessed with photographing and life-casting food experiences, babble and silly jokes.
Despite the moments of undeniable cuteness, this new being is renowned for expelling vast quantities of putrid-smelling liquid if provoked, sometimes as if on demand (ref. Yumi Stynes).
Research shows that overexposure to your new presence can result in an inability to have normal adult conversations (“I saw that photo you pinned… so many likes!”).
Same Same but Different
Never fear, childbearing and social media forays aren’t exactly the same, as I’ve discovered.
Yes, Twitter makes us keep it brief, but babbling babies don’t seem to have that same 140 character limit.
And while you can exit from overbearing viral videos on Youtube with the click of a mouse, I can’t find the magic button that turns the sound down on a toddler having the mother of all tantrums in your favourite boutique.
Although, I’m yet to find a way to cuddle Facebook.
Have you discovered any other similarities between kids and social media? What are they?