Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rant/Anti-Bullying PSA

Just a word of warning, if you're ever planning on getting pregnant, planning on saying the word "baby" or planning on breathing ever  . . . don't go onto "The Bump" community boards. Please.

"The Bump" is a pregnancy and baby-related website that is the sister site of "The Nest", a website all about being homey and housewifey.  They are both related to "The Knot", the wedding site which most people have heard of.

I thought I'd check out The Bump for information about pregnancy etc., since I'm curious right now. That's when I found "The Boards" ::cue scary haunted house music::

I thought message boards were a place where people go to ask questions, get support and meet people going through similar situations.  Instead, it is a virtual "Mean Girls" that promotes online bullying, so that sad and discouraged women can take out their own insecurities on poor, defenseless posters.

There are a core group of women that sort of run the "Trying to Conceive" board, women that have been on this particular board for seven years or more, post at least once every three minutes, and sit at their cubicles with the window minimized, pretending to do work.  Or maybe they're sitting at home in their pajamas, not having enough self-respect to hide the fact that they are sitting on an online message board that has become their life for 24 hours a day. For every useful post they put up, there will be ten other posts that "flame" a poor person.  "Flaming" is when you directly insult someone for not knowing any better.  If you have not posted at least 30 times a day and have not been trying to get pregnant for 9 years, then you are considered a "newbie" which is the equivalent of a sorority pledge. Or garbage.  Be prepared to be hazed and humiliated.

For instance, a newbie will come in and post something like "Hey guys, I have a question. How do I know when I'm ovulating?" Her question will be met with a barrage of "flaming", telling her to get off the board, read a book, etc.  Many of the regulars will ask "where is your chart?" because if you do not use and chart your body temperature every day, along with every bodily sensation and weird fluid that seeps from your body, you're a waste of their time.

Similarly, if a "regular bumpie"(one who has logged at least 30 hours a day on the site) posts this:  "Hey all, I just wanted to let you know that my nipples are inverted and there is glowing green sludge coming out of my vajayjay" she will get a standing ovation and  comments like "omg I love you, you're my hero thats so exciting!"

The WORST offense that a newbie can commit is to announce her BFP on the board.  What is a BFP?  Go look it up on the TTC (trying to conceive) board glossary.  That's right, they speak in a different language so that people who don't have a printout of the glossary with them can't understand what they are saying.  Anyway a BFP is the ultimate goal, its a "big fat positive" pregnancy test. If a newbie posts "omg you guys, i got a bfp!" instead of "Congratulations, that's what we're all here for!", she'll basically get a chorus of bitter women "flaming" her and making her feel bad and guilty about getting pregnant.  Its almost like these hardcore "bumpies" think that their fertility is actually related to how often they post on the boards. Like, the more you post, the more likely it is that you'll get pregnant.

Just so you know, most of the women on these boards are supportive, friendly and informative.  There are just a select few that rule the roost and are WAY too into it.  And no, I was never personally "flamed", I never actually posted. I just learned this from observation.  And sadly, I keep going back to the boards just to hope to see one of these "newbies" flame back and tell these ladies where to stick their pee sticks.

Here's an example:
Note the sarcasm and snarkiness.

Here's a hint ladies, you're probably not getting pregnant, because your on the internet 24hrs/day.  Creeping online is not sexy. Go do your husband.