Thursday, December 12, 2013

In Response to Attention Seeking Facebook Posts

We've all seen those pictures floating around Facebook, someone holding up a sign saying something along the lines of; "1,000,000,000 likes and my mom will get me a puppy!" or "250,000 likes and my sister names her kid Darth Vader!" You know what I'm talking about. Generally I just roll my eyes and continue along my merry way. Today I saw one that stopped me in tracks. It made me hurt and angry, and not at  the person holding the sign, but at our society and the way we view things.

My first thought was; "It's just someone's idea of a joke." True enough, that is likely exactly what is. But, it's not funny in the least. I'm not even sure where to begin on this one. So many problems here. 

Let's start with the broad idea of these types of posts. Notability. The only reason people ever post these types of things is to get noticed. Obviously. They want to get people talking, of course it works, here I am talking about them! I find that in itself really sad. The ridiculous lengths people will go to to get noticed. Are we that starved for attention? Or is it that we dish attention out in such hearty portions that we're always craving more? It's so strange, all of this viral sensation stuff. It's actually really easy to be noticed on social media these days. All you have to do is take a crazy photo, make an alarming video, or publicly shame your kids, and BAM! Fifteen seconds of fame on a silver platter.  Honestly, it's so ridiculously easy and "mainstream" to have a bit of fleeting social media notoriety that I don't even know why anyone bothers. That's just me...I recently realized I'm becoming a hermit, so I'm clearly not in the mood to become a viral sensation for a quarter of a minute...I'm too much of a hipster for all that nonsense. Anywho, back to my point, I find this type of pleading for attention really sad. I find it even sadder that it's not coming from a lack of attention given to us, but more of an over abundance. Anytime that lessens or isn't enough anymore we then have to seek it out on these huge national and global platforms. That's really depressing, and a huge reflection on our culture. Not only that we are so used to receiving gobs of attention that we have to take to such displays, but also that we don't have better things to devote our attention to. Things are so fleeting in our culture that people like this guy are a dime a dozen and there will be another along tomorrow. So, the little bit of notability he's gained from this will be replaced by something similar in the morning.

After our need for attention is the need for approval. "I need 50,000 people to like this to feel important and validated for my desire for_____" That's really what these are all saying, isn't it? So funny that in a culture of "to each their own" and "don't judge anyone for anything" we care so much about what others-complete and total strangers-think. The whole premise of these types of posts is rooted in the need for attention and approval. We're a self centered lot aren't we? 

Now that we've covered the generals, let's talk specifics shall we? As soon as I read the words "I'll give you a baby..." I cringed. GIVE. GIVE?!?!?!? You GIVE someone a CD, an ugly sweater, a fruit cake. A baby is a living, breathing human being not an object to be given on the whim of someone else. Again, this is not an attack on this guy, I'm just using this example because it encompasses so much of the problems in our society. We view people as objects so much it's no wonder that we can easily equate a child to a sweater. Oh, I get asked when I'm going to "give" my husband a child, and my mother a grandchild all the stinking time. The answer to that is never. No, I'm not saying I'm never going to get pregnant or adopt ((this is a Catholic infertility blog for crying out loud)) I'm saying that I'm never going to birth or adopt a child to appease someone else's desire for a new title. Because a child is not an object, but a little tiny human being belonging only to God and themselves it's not really my place to go giving them away like I did a basket of fudge the other day, now is it? No. I may one day birth/adopt a child that will change my husband's title to "dad" and mine to "mom" but I am never going to "give" him or myself, for that matter, a child. A person is not an object to be desired and given. A child is a person deserving of love, care and respect from the moment of conception to the moment of death. Sure, they may depend on me for a time, or perhaps for their entire lives, but that does not give me ownership over them, and that does not make them an object to be tossed aside with last year's iPhone. I have never in my life owned an iProduct, just sayin'

Secondly, the concept that having children is something we do just because it suits us. Here's where I'm going to be a selfish person. I bleeping hate it when I hear people say; "We decided if we were going to have kids, we better get it done, so we did." or "I'll have a baby when___" I decided I'd have a baby approximately nine months after my wedding. That worked out well, didn't it? For those of us that would give their left foot for a chance at parenthood these things are really hurtful and inconsiderate. How do you think the woman that has been desperately longing for a child for the last ten years feels when you casually talk about whether you'll "give" your spouse a baby or not? It breaks her heart to hear you casually discuss how much power you have to determine when, if and how you'll have children just like you're picking out which sweater you'll buy. No, we shouldn't center everything we do and say around how others feel, but in situations like this it certainly doesn't hurt to take into consideration that while you just get to wake up one morning and decide whether or not you'll become a parent other people are waking up in a pool of tears from another night of longing and want for something you casually toss aside.

How very loving, and giving this marriage must be. She has the uterus, so she determines when the babies come? Yes, feminists, I heard that. Clearly I don't feel that we have any right to control when/if another person is born, but I also think that if you are going to make any life decisions in a marriage you need to make them together. So, I suppose if your fertility is something you're controlling then yes, it should be an equal decision. It shouldn't be JUST a woman's decision because she has the uterus. Could you imagine the uproar if I had posted a picture of ME holding up a sign that said; "My husband said 'I'll give you a baby the day you get 50,000 likes on FB' (Then laughed) Please like and Share!"? People would be livid! They would go on and on about my oppressive husband trying to control me, and "how dare he think he holds that kind of power, just because he has the sperm!" Double standards! Love 'em! Maybe that's part of why the divorce rates are so high in our country, everyone thinks marriage is all about them. Two people being self centered in a relationship is a recipe for disaster. It also completely goes against the concept of Biblical marriage, but I'm sure that's blindingly clear to those of you that care.

Also, adding to abortion culture much? The concept that a baby is an object to be decided upon just adds to the idea that a baby is an object to be decided against. So, if the baby comes and you aren't ready to give it to your husband are you just going to dispose of it? After all, it's nothing more than an object, right? This type of thing perpetuates the idea that babies aren't really human and aren't really worth preserving because they only suit our needs and wants. If they aren't coming in a time to suit us then we can just kill them, because they weren't what and when we wanted. 

In short, the message I get from this is selfishness. In so many ways. It makes me really upset to think about how many people think this way. They may not all hold up signs to prove it, but our culture in general feels this way. We feel that everything and everyone are meant to serve us and our purposes, and we feel that fertility is something we can and should control. God is the only one that can "give" you a baby. He is the only one that should be in charge of determining when they come. And marriage is a partnership. 


  1. So True.. I love the conversations that I seem to be in the center of often which is much of what you are saying. It seems everyone around me is either getting pregnant, talking of getting pregnant, (yes discussion) or should I quit taking my birth control pills... I just want to scream I GOT YOUR BIRTH CONTROL RIGHT HERE... I am the first to admit I can be selfish with these things.. I have desired (yes I said it) a child to love, care, and nurture for years... I would love to have the choice if i can or cant have children... I would like to just wake up in the mornings and know that I can have the choice.. but I don't..

    1. I know. It's really hard, and thankfully not many people have experienced it, but it hurts nonetheless!

  2. Ok not Anonymous.. I dont know how to work this thing... Amy R.

  3. Replies
    1. Meh, I've been accused of much worse! Thanks for stopping by and reading, and for taking the time to leave such an honest, thoughtful reply!

  4. I didn't see anything "dramatic" about this post. I don't like the image either. Attention seeking images, like this one, are seeking out drama and gratification. They aren't for a cause other than to draw attention to themselves. I agree with everything you said. A child is not a toy to be handed around. And getting pregnant is a huge decision. I hope the image is a hoax and no one actually basis a big decision like this on how many likes they get on FB.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts...seriously, I get so excited when I get comments! =)