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[C4EMD] Chapter Eleven

The Cybertraps of Labor, Birth, and Birth Announcements

[C4EMD] Chapter Eleven

[Note: This is the eleventh chapter of my 2017 book, Cybertraps for Expecting Moms & Dads. It is available to paid subscribers of The Cybertraps Newsletter. The Introduction and Chapter One are available to all readers.]

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When my sons were born in the early to mid-1990s, the digital landscape was very different. Cell phones were still a rarity, and text messaging was in its infancy. The first message SMS was sent on December 3, 1992, just over six months before my eldest was born). [11.1] The World Wide Web was just beginning to worm its way into public consciousness and social media was nonexistent.

Those days, of course, are long gone. Today, any couple with a smartphone available during labor or delivery has the ability to provide family, friends, or even the entire world with a running commentary or even live video of the birthing process. If you and your partner have taken the time to sit down and draft a social media plan for your pregnancy (see Appendix A), then the odds of unpleasant surprises or unnecessary technology-based conflicts popping up during labor and delivery are greatly reduced. Of course, given the speed with which technology changes, it can be difficult to anticipate everything that new parents might face in the future.

Any couple who discussed and planned their social media activities before July 2016, for instance, would have had no way to anticipate the possibility that a bored partner might take a photo of a Pokémon Go Pidgey hovering above the bed where his wife was lying during labor. He was fortunate: His wife apparently just laughed and rolled her eyes. [11.2] Or who could have imagined that the game would spark its own “Awkward Pregnancy” moment? Giving new meaning to the phrase “long-suffering,” one expecting mom allowed her husband to paint her belly like a big Pokéball to help entertain their young daughter. The video of the family playing Pokémon Go together is kind of adorable, really.

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