When Good Online Support Groups Go BadThursday, January 29, 2015
Around the time I was diagnosed with PCOS, I joined several PCOS, TTC, infertility, and Clomid-related support groups on Facebook. I figured that it would be helpful for me to talk to other women who knew what I was going through, because even though I know I am far from the only one who has PCOS or infertility, it can sometimes feel isolating.
Generally, my experiences with most of these groups have been fairly positive. However, that is not always the case.
I'm going to go ahead and say up front that I know a lot of my issues stem from my own irritations and preferences, and do not necessarily reflect the other people in the groups. This is pretty rant-y and probably kind of petty, but I need to vent about it somewhere, and where better than my blog?
In one group, it seems like at least once a week, everyone goes crazy and starts spamming the page with selfies. Sometimes it's just to make them feel beautiful, sometimes it's to have people guess their age, sometimes it just happens and I have no idea why. Now, I am not really the kind of girl who takes a lot of selfies (I don't photograph well, so I generally just end up making weird faces so I don't feel bad about myself). A selfie once in awhile, sure, but the incessant need to take selfies that some people have is ridiculous to me. So not only is it somewhat irritating when all of a sudden my feed is full of a bunch of random selfies, but when everyone posts their selfie in their own personal post (which happens quite often), it causes actual questions and discussions to get lost in the shuffle, and I don't think that's very fair.
Perhaps it is to be expected that in a group filled with extra-hormonal women, there is going to be drama. This seems to be more common in larger groups, so I've been gravitating more often to smaller groups, which I find more supportive. It just seems so unnecessary to me to have people constantly jumping down one another's throats due to a small difference in opinion, but unfortunately, that's definitely not exclusive to support groups.
Now, I am all for being open about what you want to be open about. I know that I tend to overshare quite a bit. However, there is a very specific kind of support oversharing that gets on my nerves. I don't care if you want to talk about your sex life, or discuss how far your cervical mucus stretched. What burns my toast is when people think they need to share every.single.thing. You don't need to post your negative ovulation tests every day. It's ridiculous. I find it kind of ridiculous when people post POSITIVE ovulation tests, but I try to let that go since I know how exciting it can be when you finally ovulate. For the record, I have tried to hide/block the person who does this most often, because every time I even see that she has posted, I groan and roll my eyes, but all I've been able to do is hide her posts from my newsfeed; I haven't been able to hide all of her posts on the group page. Similarly, there are several people who post every pregnancy test they take, including the negative ones. I don't like seeing my own negative tests; why would I want to see yours?!? There are also people who post pictures of their toilet paper any time anything is on it. The first couple of times, I could maybe understand, but repeated photo posts asking whether or not everyone thinks your cervical mucus is fertile is overkill.
Am I Pregnant?
This is probably the one that happens most often. There are SO many posts every day of women posting pregnancy tests and asking if anyone sees a second line. Sometimes the second line is obvious, sometimes it's barely there, and sometimes it's definitely not there at all. While I think this can be overkill as well, I have sympathy for these posts, because I am definitely one of those women who constantly has line eyes. However, I realize that I am probably just imagining it when it is repeatedly something I barely see. I use Tom as an indicator now; if he can see it, it's legit. However, there are also women who mention all their symptoms and ask if they're pregnant when they haven't even taken a test yet. Why would we, strangers on the internet who are not in the room with you, be able to better determine the state of your uterus than an actual pregnancy test? It's so irritating.
I suppose some of this irritation with all these things could stem from my hormones, or the fertility meds, or any number of things, but I think a lot of it is that I just have a low tolerance for this kind of stuff. Common sense goes a long way, y'all.