Mommy Wars 2.0

Well. If you’re in the blogosphere, you know all about the Mommy (and Daddy) wars.

What started off as Stay at Home Moms vs Working Moms, has changed to Older Moms vs Younger Moms, Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, Fluffy vs Disposable, Pro-Vax vs Anti-Vax, Cry It Out vs Don’t Cry It Out, and well, everything in between. Basically anything parents can and will disagree on gets labelled as a “Mommy War”.

Well, there’s a new Mommy War, which to be fair, is expected when you stick 180+ women in one Facebook group whilst pregnant.

Which is where I found myself last October when looking for advice on one of BabycentreUK’s birth boards, being added to a Facebook group with a load of other pregnant women all due around the same time as me. It was fabulous. Full of first time mums, and second time mums, and mums with three, four and five kids, mums with pets, single mums, and well, all sorts of mums. And then it went to shit. Which wasn’t surprising with 180+ women who are all roughly 6 months pregnant.

It went to shit, and well, I got the blame. Because I asked for a group that had guidelines and more administrators to manage the dramas that unfolded. And well, the administrators, added 2 more people to their team (great) and then implemented a load of very strict guidelines, which then exploded into a lot of arguments (not great).

One of the new rules was that members were only allowed to post about pregnancy or baby related things, and therefore anything Off Topic must be kept to a minimum and that repeat offenders would be given a warning, and therefore 3 strikes and you’re out.  Well this didn’t go down too well. Especially not after closing the group to new members and then having a new member added who was notorious for OT posts elsewhere. It ended in people being nasty and mean and accusing people of bullying and then all of the admins resigning off the group, including the groups creator. When that happens, Facebook automatically shuts down the group. So, that happened.

So, one by one, Facebook threw all of the members out, and they lost all of their scan photos they’d shared, and bump photos they’d shared, and the stories of when they got their BFPs (Big Fat Positives) and all the other stories.

People tried to gain access and couldn’t, the administrators of the group blocked all of the people who disagreed with what they did. Included yours truly. I was blocked because I told them to do what they did. Apparently.

Isn’t it odd how people interpret what you say. To justify their actions and the consequences.

Me asking for guidelines CLEARLY meant that whatever guidelines were put in place meant that they obviously read my mind and plucked the exact wording out of my heavily hormone ridden brain. Brilliant how pregnancy affects you isn’t it? Did you know that being pregnant means you can read the thoughts of other pregnant women? No? Ha! Me either! But apparently it’s true. Which is why I found myself blocked by 3 silly women who blamed me for their own actions. Who then proceeded to tell everyone and sundry about what I did, omitting the part where they did anything wrong, and causing me to be blocked my more women who’s hormone saturated brains couldn’t stop to think for themselves or take the time to remember that every story has two sides.

The best part was I’ve still got all of the original messages. Sadly I didn’t think to take screenshots of the drama that ensued.

And boy was it a drama! One admin accused one lady of sending her an abusive Private Message but when asked to provide proof, refused to do so and instead kicked the lady out of the group and blocked her! One lady then tried to explain why this was an issue, by saying that anyone could accuse anyone of anything by saying it happened, but it doesn’t mean it actually happened and people shouldn’t be so quick to believe it without actual proof. She then get kicked out of the group too and blocked as well. It was like an episode of Harry Hills TV Burp, when Harry Hill says “Well I like this pregnant lady but I also like this pregnant lady, but which is better *and not a fucking liar*, there’s only one way to find out…..FIGHT”

<there was meant to be a photo of fighting pregnant ladies here but I couldn’t find one to use that I didn’t have to pay for, so you’ll have to use your imagination>

So in the process of this group falling apart and chucking everyone out and losing everyones photos (which some hadn’t backed up), I started another group.

I selected a few ladies to add, and quickly told them to add everyone who they could recall in the original, barring the administrators who’d blocked me and had been pretty nasty to quite a fair few of the ladies. Sadly we couldn’t recall everyone, and people were still being added 2 weeks later. Someone else also had the idea of starting another group and so we ended up with two groups with most of the same women in it. Then someone else made another group, and eventually there were 5!

And then after 4 months it all started again.

But I’ll share that another time. So stay tuned!



Social Media Pregnancy

Today a conversation was brought up on my online pregnancy support group.

How would you react if a friend or family member announced the birth of your child on Facebook/Twitter before you did. Likewise with posting a photo.

Now, it’s clear from my blog, Facebook page and Twitter account that I am very active online. I blog about my pregnancy, I tweet about the kickboxing Flump has taken up and my husband and I have posted photos of our scans on Facebook. So it’s probably obvious then when Flump makes his or her arrival in March that we will make some sort of announcement online with photos. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if I tweet or my husband tweets during my labour and if my sister in law and I post stupid photos during the labour. For obvious reasons I won’t be tweeting or face-booking during the delivery, I’ve heard that pushing a baby out of your vagina takes rather a lot of concentration and I know that I am multi-skilled, but that’s taking it a bit far.

However, a kind note to close friends and family. You will find out from us via a phone call or text message, rather than via Facebook or Twitter. (Now is the chance to ensure Daniel or I have the correct contact details for you)

Once we have told close friends and family, then we will make an online announcement.

God forbid anyone announce our child’s birth before us or post a photo before we do, because I will go nutso on you.

So tell me blogosphere, what’s your opinion on this question?

How would you react if someone posted details of the birth of your child or a photo of your new baby online before you did?

you are what you tweet

Have you ever actually stopped to think about what you tweet before you tweet it? Whilst Social Media is a fantastic tool, it’s also a pretty dangerous tool. It really surprises me how many people haven’t actually read the Terms and Conditions set by Twitter.

Many people seem to think that whatever they tweet is not allowed to be used by others, for example, a screenshot of someones tweet.  Twitter is a public forum and what you post (even if your account is a protected and locked account) is still public domain.  This means that at some point, your tweet could be seen by billions of people. After-all, you hear about tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc, all going viral. This is because you share it with 100 people, and those 100 people then all share it with another 100 people, and then those people all share it with another 100 people, and so on.

So people, “you are what you tweet” – remember that. Otherwise you could become uncomfortably uncomfortable when your tweet is shared with a rather lot of people!

Always double check your tweets before publishing and ensure that you’ve made every effort to say what you mean and mean what you say, so that others can’t misinterpret what you’ve tweeted.

Blogging Conferences

The best part of blogging for me isn’t page hits, or comments (although they are nice) but rather the community of bloggers that I interact with.  I interact with some fabulous bloggers on a day to day basis and they are from all kinds of backgrounds. From different countries, the USA, Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Hungary, Austrailia, you name it.

There are the “mom” bloggers, the “dad” bloggers, the “humourist” bloggers, the “political” bloggers but generally it’s just people who blog and most of them at some point on their own blog cover every single topic from parenting, sex and food to politics and current affairs and they are all fabulous.  I’m still finding my way, and there are always things to learn, ways to improve.

Every year for the past 3 years I have followed my favourite bloggers, reading their posts and tweets and facebook statuses about going to conferences, BlogHer, Blissdom, Mom 2.0, Dad 2.0, BlogHer Food, SheCon, Type-A Con, there are so many conferences! The one thing they all have in common?  It’s that they are in North America. Problematic for me, living in London and not being rich. The cost of attending just one of these conferences in my lifetime is pretty much next to nil. It’s just too costly for me to go, even with a sponsor, which is a WHOLE other story.

Then last week a UK blogger that I interact with posted a tweet about going to BritMumsLive. A conference for “mummy” bloggers in London. HOLY SHIT.  A CONFERENCE IN LONDON. Oh. Wait. it’s called BritMumsLive. I don’t have kids. I think to myself, “is it wierd to go to a conference for “mummy” bloggers when you’re not a “mummy”?

I really want to go to a conference, to hear people speak, to interact with other bloggers in person. Why?  Because there is so much I can learn and also, it’s interacting with the people I’ve built up an online rapport with over the last 5 years (mostly). I sent a message off to BritMumsLive asking if you had to be a “mummy” to attend and they said “no, all bloggers are welcome!” Cue my heart going pitty-patty with excitement. A Blogging Conference in my own city!!!

Whilst I’d love to go to BlogHer, the cost for me is phenomenal, compared to BritMumsLive (see approximate costings below).  So guess where I’m going next year?!?

BlogHer vs BritMumsLive
*hotel in London is optional


Data, Data, Data

I recently upgraded my phone contract. It was due for renewal, and as much as I loathed changing contract, I really did need a new phone.

I had an iPhone 3G for 2 years, with O2. 600 inclusive minutes, unlimited text messaging and unlimited data. I upgraded that phone to a 3GS, same contract. It was a good contract.

It may come as no surprise to many people that I use my phone a LOT.

I use it for emails, for phone calls, for text messaging, for taking photos, for Facebook, for twitter, for games and well, this list can be endless.

So when my phone was up for renewal, I looked around. I wanted the latest iPhone, but the deal wasn’t that great. I got more minutes and still unlimited text messaging, but they stopped doing “unlimited data”. Instead you get 500MB of data per billing month, with free unlimited wifi. No way in hells bells is that enough for me.

Looking around nothing else was any cheaper or any better elsewhere, so I decided to bit the bullet and stay where I was (less hassle) and just upgrade. Now I get 900 inclusive minutes, unlimited text messaging and 1GB of data as well as unlimited wifi. I pay a few pounds more than I did, but it was the better deal. It was even better that I sweet talked the sales guy into waiving the charge of the handset. Go Me!

This data malarkey confuses me. Being a girl who never had to worry about data, I just did my thing and, well, didn’t worry.
Now I have to worry AND limit my usage (which my husband will only say is a “GOOD THING”). So with this in mind my brother-in-law (well not really, but kinda) introduced me to an app called Onavo. Apparently Onavo is an excellent app for reducing data usage on your iPhone. So I got it. I now constantly check my data usage to make sure I’m not using too much.

I checked it today and this is what I got;

~ iPhone – 221.80 Mb

~ Onavo – 263.69 Mb

~ O2 – 323.07 Mb

How can I have 3 different sets of data usage for the EXACT same period?

Either the iPhone software that Apple have put on my phone is really buggy and doesn’t work OR the Onavo app isn’t reading my usage correctly OR O2 is scamming its customers.

I’m confused interwebs.