“So on Saturday morning I was trying to figure out how to hide my bump with L’osban, when @bankywellington says ‘Why not just announce it today? You can just post a picture of both of you saying #TreeADem. I’m like ‘During your intro? Won’t that be much?
Anyhow much later, I walk into the venue and 2 people looked me up and down and said congratulations – operation hide-the-bump failed. So, long story short, we quickly decided to take a picture and announce things our way.”
The above was the caption of a picture on Tolu Oniru-Demuren’s Instagram page, explaining why she announced her pregnancy on the same day as Banky W’s engagement to Adesua Etomi. If you read the caption again, you find that the only reason she and her husband announced that day was to beat any other person who might have wanted to announce their pregnancy before them, especially in this age of social media.
This phenomenon of pregnancy announcement wasn’t an issue in time past. Why would you be going around telling people you were pregnant when they will eventually know you are pregnant, because obviously, you can’t hide a pregnancy?
However with millennial moms, the pregnancy announcement is now a thing, and to be denied the honour of announcing your own pregnancy could lead to a third world war.
And in some instance, it did lead to a war. For instance, two of my university course mates have stopped talking to each other, all because one person posted the other’s pregnancy before she was ready to announce on Facebook.
These are two people whose birthdays are just a day apart. They were, until recently, very good friends, not social media friends oh, but a friendship that was maintained several years after we finished University.
I will call them Sharon and Senami. Sharon got married just as we finished University, and we all attended her wedding in our Aso ebi and had a nice time. She went on to have her babies.
On the other hand, Senami suffered some heartbreaks and Sharon was there to help her friend through those trying times. One was married with children, one a single lady, but their friendship stayed strong.
Cupid’s arrow found Senami about two years ago. It brought her a beautiful man and we witnessed their love play out on social media. Not long after that, they got married…and then it was radio silence.
I mean, she practically disappeared from the Internet. Not a post, comment or like. That was very unusual for her, and I asked about her a few times from her close friend. “Senami is fine” was the response I always got, until Sharon posted a picture of them together, with Senami rocking an obvious bump and congratulating her.
For someone who was popular on social media at one time, you can just imagine the loads of congratulatory messages that flooded the comment section of that post. Senami didn’t respond to any of them. Sharon had the honours.
It was a bit odd, but honestly, I didn’t attach much importance to it, until Senami gave birth and shared her baby’s photos, while directly dicing Sharon for announcing her pregnancy without first seeking her permission.
This social media brouhaha leaked into real life oh. My sisters, Sharon didn’t show up for Senami’s baby naming ceremony, even though she was invited.
Both friends have been behaving like cat and dog over this business of pregnancy announcement.
We are all age mates, and it’s a bit surreal that this is an issue in the first place…but I totally get how Senami feels. It’s her pregnancy, her story to share, not someone else’s, not even when that someone else is her bestie. Again, this is trouble only a millennial like me would have to deal with, but I jumped on the pregnancy train a bit early, so I didn’t have to deal with this drama.
While I may never know why Senami chose not to share her pregnancy news on social media, the fear of losing a baby and having to deal with the attendant questions was the reason Shola and her husband kept their news off social media.
They went the traditional route. They didn’t tell anyone they were finally pregnant after 6 years of trying. Shola still kept up with her social media runs, but her bump was safely kept out of view. People who saw her on a regular basis, knew she was pregnant because they could see her bump, not because she told them.
Until one lazy Saturday afternoon, when they had been lounging around and talking to the bump, their phones started buzzing. They ignored at first, but it was incessant, so they checked what the drama was all about.
Behold, Shola’s sister-in-law had announced her pregnancy, tagged her in the post, showed off the bump, shared what she knew of their infertility challenge, thanked God on their behalf, while encouraging still TTC couples not to lose hope.
Different emotions raced through Shola’s pregnant body, but anger was dominant. In the end, they decided to ignore the unsolicited public announcement and Shola’s husband was to talk to his sister.
Let’s just say, when the baby finally arrived, even before Shola was out of the theatre, her baby’s picture was on the Internet, no thanks to her sisters-in-law who were super social media crazy and needed the dopamine to exist daily.
It was an angry Shola who told her husband’s sisters, in plain language, that what they were doing wasn’t welcome, even if it was their brother’s wife and nephew involved. Since then, they have been careful about jumping the gun.
They now only share photos Shola has shared of her son, even though they have also made it clear they find it stifling but it’s not their call…not theirs at all.
Tips for sharing other people’s news on social media:
It should go without saying that one of the first rules of social media etiquette in terms of announcements is YOU DO NOT announce someone else’s news before they do.
This includes adding a photo to your Facebook or Instagram page, and writing a message of congratulations on someone else’s social media page.
If you are not sure they have shared the news, have a quick look at their page, ask them if they’ve made it public news yet, message them privately, or simply don’t say anything at all.
If you find yourself to be one of the few that have been told of the news prior to a social media announcement, congratulate the happy couple and revel in the glorious news with the lucky family, but most of all? Keep it quiet.
It bears reiterating. If it’s not your news, don’t share.
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2. Instagram @toolzo