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Would you announce your pregnancy on Facebook?

Just because you can let the world know you're expecting, doesn't mean you should

You can now use Facebook to tell the world you're pregnant. But surely that's a step too far?

It used to be that you could guess someone's age by the music they liked, or the clothes they wore. These days, its their approach to sharing information on Facebook.

The demographic of Facebook users is scary. You may think it's principally a place for young people to use phrases such as 'LOL', 'OMG' and 'ROFL', but every age group from teen to grave is represented. And growth is larger in more mature age groups.

But the way we use Facebook, and social media in general, is very different.

I'll give you an example: when I first got engaged to be married (hard to believe, but true), my now wife and I told only our immediate family, hoping to be able to inform friends, extended family and colleagues at our own pace. No chance. A few excited - and lovely - public messages from our younger relatives, and the whole world knew. Far from savouring the experience of spreading the good news, we had to explain to some people why it was they'd heard from a third party.

In truth, no-one was particularly upset. But now Facebook has introduced an option to add an 'expected child', its estimated date of birth, and even a name. Yep, as of last week you can use Facebook to tell the world you are pregnant.

I'm conscious that I'm about to sound as old as the virtual hills, but I have to say: who in your life who needs to know that you're pregnant will be pleased to find out  via Facebook. Your employer? That's probably more of a face-to-face conversation. Your partner? Your parents? Not unless you're under the age at which you should be using Facebook anyway and you need a head start...

In fact, the only good reason I can think of using Facebook to announce such a thing is if you were in touch with the father but only in a 'Facebook' kind of a way. That would save some awkwardness.

But you can bet your life that the change of status on Facebook will become a part of starting a family in much the same way as relationship status updates have become a sign of commitment (or the opposite) in the dating game.

Social media and Facebook in general are incredible ways of disseminating information. But I'm not sure I'm always happy with that. You know: when it's my news, and it's of a genuinely personal nature.

Could be, of course, that being on the wrong side of 30 means I am simply too old to get it. But for the record: I'm not pregnant, it's just a paunch. ROFLCOPTER, etc.

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