I am writing to ask that you stop suggesting I have a baby. It’s true that I’ve been married nearly a year, and though you may think that relationship status, married; gender, female; and birth year, smack in the middle of childbearing range makes for a winning combination for baby advertisements, I’d like to remind you that my husband and I do not require offspring to harvest our Farmville crops.
In most cases, the ads you’ve posted next to my newsfeed are spot on. My current favorite dress is the result of an ad for that hip mail-order clothing boutique you often display. I appreciate reconnecting with friends from high school and college. Without your subtle, square suggestions, I would go on years without even thinking of people who, thanks to you, I can now call friends.
I should also thank you for the integral role you played in those first few electrifying days of my relationship with my now-husband. Because of you, we discovered commonalities like our Texas childhoods and love of beer. You also pointed out a mutual friend, and even though the mutual friend told now-husband that I may or may not be interested in men, it made for interesting first date conversation. Once that was cleared up, we made it official by alerting our Facebook community that we were in a relationship.
You’ve been in the loop through it all, Facebook. I updated you when we hooked up, when we shacked up. When he put a ring on it, I posted a video, a new relationship status, and countless status updates. There was much excitement – and much to update you and all my friends about – so I can understand if you, like many newlyweds, are now feeling the lack of post-wedding excitement. I, however, am enjoying wedded bliss, sans offspring, and the only current plan I have of expanding my family involves something with four legs that says “woof.”
Ads suggesting vintage baby attire, kids crafts, and organic onesies started appearing within days of my relationship status update to married. At first, I thought your advertising algorithms had been scrambled, but after a few weeks of baby ads, I realized there was no mistake. Pink and blue and bubble fonts have become a new—and I suspect permanent—part of my Facebook experience.
I will acknowledge that there are some people who have used Facebook to aid in their family expansion, like this couple in San Francisco who harnessed their Facebook network in makin’ whoopie. But these cases are few and far between.
I’ve been prompted to finally write you now because of an infertility ad placed prominently above the other ads. It promoted something that could help me get pregnant faster and naturally. Do you know that my relationship status has been set to married for nearly a year, yet still, I have made no mention of offspring? Really, Facebook, it takes some nerve to assume that married women about my age are, on the whole, in the business of making babies. Even my mother knows better.
Besides, other women are getting this ad, too, women for whom infertility has been a long and painful journey. I’m happy to click on an ad for a dress, but for the aches and pains of body and spirit, have some manners. There are things that even Facebook should leave private.
When the time comes that my husband and I decide to expand our family, I can assure you that you will be among the first to know.
Jessica Not-Knocked-Up-Yet Belt
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