Thursday, February 17, 2011

She's Not Serious Is She?

This morning I sat down to do some blog reading before taking the Zephy to school and clicked over to see what Loralee was talking about today. (If you don't read her blog, you are seriously missing out.) Today, the post she needed to write led me to be the most pissed off I've ever been before 8 am in my life.

This is what she read in the Annie's Mailbox column from yesterday:

Dear Annie: My son showed me the Facebook page of a 20-year-old acquaintance who is expecting a baby with her boyfriend. An ultrasound showed that the baby was seriously brain damaged and would likely die at birth.  
This gal named her unborn baby and created a website journal of her pregnancy. Some of the entries were about her doctor appointments and shopping for a funeral home. Others were rants about fights with her boyfriend and his forays with other women. Her page includes professionally taken photographs of her lifting her shirt to expose her very pregnant belly. 

I was appalled at the publicizing of such a heart-wrenching, private situation. Am I just old-fashioned? -- A Private Person 
Let me bullet point my anger at this letter for you:
  • This woman is upset that an unborn baby was NAMED even though they know the child will not be born alive. I seriously hope she didn't even consider naming her son until he was born and she knew he would live. Otherwise? Hypocrite.
  • She has a problem with a woman journaling about her pregnancy because she knows this child will not live. She's not allowed to talk about her doctor appointments? She shouldn't be reaching out for support for having to pick out a damn funeral home for her UNBORN child? It's not fair for a parent to outlive their child. It's EXTREMELY not fair for a parent to not get to take a child home from the hospital. 
  • She cares that this woman posts things about her relationship to her PERSONAL blog? A little corner of the web where she goes to reach out and help herself deal? I hope she's never complained about her husband/significant other to any of her friends. It's the same thing as blogging about it.
  • What woman (myself exempt) DOESN'T take pictures of their (GASP!) bare, very pregnant bellies? At least she was wearing a shirt. I've seen ones that are completely topless. Also? Who gives a rip if they are professional photos? Is she not entitled to spend her money in whatever way she sees fit? 
  • Will someone please explain to me why this situation HAS to be private? Or is it the fact that it's a VERY heart wrenching story that offends this lovely piece of work. She wants the internet to only be full of sunshine, lollipops, and unicorns shitting rainbows? Oh how I wish that life was ALWAYS unicorns and their rainbow poop. 
Dear Private: The fact that something so personal is put into cyberspace and broadcast to everyone is, unfortunately, a common occurrence these days among young people who have no concept of privacy (or good taste). What used to go into a locked diary is now fodder for the world. However, this girl is going through a sad and difficult time, and sharing her story undoubtedly brings her comfort. 

And again, watch my bullet points of fury...

  • Blogging is "unfortunately" a common occurrence? Clearly, you don't realize the amazing powers of the internet and it's citizens who don't try to eat goats trip trapping over their bridge.
  • I get the no concept of privacy. I know very well that there are people who really DO post too much to the web, but now the young people have NO TASTE? It's tasteless to talk about a truly devastating part of life? 
  • NO TASTE?! Sorry, maybe this offends me very much because I probably fall into that generation of young people. I'm not quite 30, but obviously not a teenager. I resent the fact that this "advice columnist" is stereotyping a very large group of people. I'm pretty sure if this woman ends up in a nursing home, all of her care staff will have a facebook account, and MANY will have blogged in their lifetime. It's usually best to try to avoid pissing off the people who one day will be administering your medication and wiping your ass. 
  • Why does it have to go into a locked diary? Part of the problems from the past stem from the fact that families didn't used to talk about the difficult things. Everyone had to keep it to themselves. I'm pretty sure it's why a vast majority of Americans have standing Prozac prescriptions. Blogging is WAY cheaper than pharmacy co-pays.
  • I'm not sure that this woman can truly understand that it's not JUST going to bring comfort to this lady. It does do that, but it will also prove to her and OTHERS going through the same situation that they are not alone. I'm sure everyone can agree that it can feel like you are the only person in the world going through tough things, and it's so amazing to find people who is dealing with the same thing. It's like going to a support group, except there's no bad coffee and stale donuts. (Well, unless that's the kind of thing you keep in your house.) 
What I truly think the response should have to been to this letter is:
Dear Private,

Yes. You are old fashioned. This young lady has EVERY right to talk about her extremely difficult story to any corner of the internet she deems right for her. Be that Facebook, a blog, message boards. It's her choice, and you can't expect her to censor herself to keep YOU from being uncomfortable.
You do not have to visit her sites if you do not approve of what she is posting. You can click away and forget you ever read about this woman's story. That is the beauty of the internet. There's a place for everyone. Including the douchebags. 

2 Thoughts on This:

Tiff said...

I heartily agree with your bullet points of fury. And I think this is some of the most powerful writing I have ever seen, Sara.

Stacey said...

Wow. Just . . . wow. I find it interesting that Private Person's way of dealing with her disgust was to publicly call out the young woman.

Oh, but it was in the paper. The old fashioned way.