Tuesday, April 27, 2010

3 Application Suggestions for Facebook

There you are, scrolling along down the "Top News" on your Facebook account, and BAM! There's nothing like getting blindsided by a pregnancy announcement or picture on your favorite social media network, is there?

As the geeky wife of an even geekier computer scientist, I realized the other day that someone needs to make some infertility-friendly Facebook applications. So here, I present some suggestions for some new apps:

(And apologies in advance if anyone finds this offensive or insensitive as I poke some harmless fun at the state of infertility.)

1. The Pregnancy Announcement Filter

Surely this would be easy right? You could set up filters on all your news alerts to pull out anything containing the words "pregnant, knocked-up, having a baby, etc." You could have an even stronger setting that would pull out things containing more generic terms like "expecting" or "due." More sophisticated versions could have recognition technology that would filter out pregnancy photos and ultrasounds.

You could maybe have it corral all of these announcements into a separate folder or tab, so you can wait until your next CD1 to get drunk and read through them all in one blow.

2. SuperPoke - the Infertility Edition

I don't know if you were on Facebook when the movie "Juno" came out, but SuperPoke ran a movie-related campaign where one of things you could throw at a friend was, yes, a pregnancy test. It was all kinds of funny back then as we were just starting to think about TTC, but I can't imagine how I would've reacted if I had been dealing with my infertility at the time.

So to turn the whole thing on its head, I propose we have an "Infertility Edition" open to infertiles only where we can drown in the irony and throw at each other not just pregnancy tests, but opk's (both positive and negative), prenatal vitamins, tubes of Pre-Seed, packs of Clomid (in 50mg, 100mg, and 150mg varieties), sperm collection jars, Instead cups, Mucinex, salivascopes etc. (The sad thing is that all I had to do to come up with this list is look in my dresser drawer.)

3. InfertilityVille

I don't play online games like Mafia or FarmVille, so I may be totally off on this description, but I wonder if you could educate "civilians" about infertility through one of those games where the object is to build your family.

The game would be rigged so as to give only 1 out of 50 players the ability to do this in an easy and straightforward manner. Everyone else would have to go through virtual Clomid cycles, IUI cycles, injectible cycles, IVF cycles, where success would reflect the real statistics. The game would only allow one chance a week to try for a kid, and that time could be made unpredictable, or trackable only through a virtual OPK.

Players could earn and save up "points" (to be spent on different cycles and strategies) by lending support and services to other players. Telling another player to "just relax" would automatically result in a loss of points. Babysitting another player's child would rack up major points.

Anyway, dear readers, I'm sure you know that I'm not trivializing IF by trying to make a game out of it or anything. It's just hard when a fun distraction like Facebook can turn into a virtual minefield with people posting pregnancy news, baby pictures, etc. I certainly don't blame others for sharing their joy, but I figure we infertiles need to find a way to make Facebook work for us.


  1. :D this is awesome!! Though I've never found FB to a distraction for me in regards to infertility. To me FB can be a downer even if all you're looking at are pics of friends babies.

    I'm glad to see you found the fun though. If only I could have that pregnancy announcement filter. It would save me lots of tears.

  2. Awesome!!! Yes, we need these features. Who knew that one day, we'd all be addicted to an online baby-picture forum. Remember back when whipping out baby pictures was considered gauche? Why can't we go back to that kind of culture?! I guess having a baby was really uncool for a while in the late 70's, early 80's. Maybe even up through the 90's (I wasn't paying attention back then). Why do babies have to be so COOL these days?? Just cause, like, Kendra from Girls Next Door has one??? Please, people.

    I just got friended by someone I haven't spoken to since I was about 9. She has 5 adorable kids now, and I spent the morning looking at her pictures. Not the most productive.... and that's another thing that annoys me about IF! I actually LOOK at these stupid baby pictures!!! What happened to make me so pathetic?

    Cane we get an app for that? The un-pathetic app? I don't know what it would entail...

  3. I wish you'd develop an app that would wipe facebook off the...uh...face...of the earth. I confess that while I don't do FB, I do sometimes torment myself by looking at friends flickr pages. I guess sometimes the pain feels good...

  4. omg, this is hysterical. I avoid doing much on FB other than updating my own post to avoid the blind-siding announcements. I totally understand. The game, though, is my favorite of your ideas. New follower :)

  5. Pregnancy announcement filter -- HAHA! Too true. I've started blocking newly pregnant friends. And friends that post copious amounts of pictures/updates of their children. (Is that weird?)

  6. LOL – where did you say I can get these applications for FB? I really need them!


  7. Yup, I'm with Blondie. I have started blocking friends or particularly annoying stay at home moms who seem to have nothing better to do then talk about their kids ad naseum oh and going to the gym every day.
    I also seem to hone in on those little ambigious clues like "10 today"!!! or "good news, if I can be patient". Its kind of pathetic how the littlest things can lead me to the "everyone but me mentality". I have a love/hate with FB, I keep in touch with all sorts of great people, make lots of ridiculous jokes, and then feel crappy when I see that everyone has kids but me.
    I like the blocking app idea, and the IF poke.

  8. I want these. :) Totally awesome. I also block certain people and it was one of the best things I ever did for my sanity.

  9. LOL! I love it! Personally, I think we need to come up with a Facebook Status. What do you think of this?

    "I've visited my favorite US Technician and she took great pictures of my insides. 7 out of 8 women won't have the guts to post this."