As someone who practically lives on the Internet, I have joined online birth boards during both of my pregnancies.
They're useful when you're pregnant for asking all those stupid pregnancy related questions you don't want to bother your actual real life friends with (pro tip, never click on something that says 'Is this normal? Pics in comments' if you don't want to have to gouge your own eyes out. One word for you - plug) and then for passing the time during night feeds, and checking that your child is developing fairly normally compared to the others, as long as you account for the fact that what mums say about their little darlings isn't always 100% accurate. Birth boards are even good places for making new 'mummy friends', a phrase I absolutely cannot stand.
However, there is a dark side.
Sooner or later, it will happen.
If you're on Facebook, you might get friend requests from people you only vaguely know.
Be wary, dear reader. For as soon as you accept, you'll be added to groups against your will. There, before you've had time to get your bearings, you'll be flooded with crappy memes and positive life affirmations about seizing the day and being a 'girl boss', whatever the hell that is, from the catalogues of shit memes which is regurgitated over and over again by every 'downline' (get me, knowing the lingo...).
Alternatively, you could be invited to an online party. A party! And one you don't even have to get dressed or leave your bed to attend. Sounds fun, no? Well yes, if your idea of fun is an evening of crappy product bombardment and even more of said shitty affirmations, spending £30 on some questionable make up which may give you a nasty rash or some ridiculously expensive but extremely cheap looking candles, surely a 'Must Have' item for every mum living off maternity pay (another tip - Primark do lovely smelly candles for a few quid. Stick some glitter on and ta da! Hand embellished).
It's not all about the selling though.
That's a very small part of the whole shebang. If you show even the slightest glimmer of interest, or even if you don't, you may start getting strange messages with excessive use of exclamation marks and the word 'hun'. Probably a bit like this, but maybe with more grammatical errors;
'Hi hun! Hope you're ok and the kiddies are well!! I know a lot of us mummies are due back to work from maternity leave soon! I wondered whether you would be interested in a brilliant opportunity working from home which can be flexible around the kids! Let me know if you're interested hun and I can send you some information!'
'Sounds like a classic pyramid scheme!' I hear you say.
Nay, don't be so foolish. This is a Multi Level Marketing scheme. Completely and utterly different to the illegal and ridiculously unsustainable Pyramid, because there are PRODUCTS to sell (a more cynical person than I might call this a 'legal loophole'), the Multi Level Marketing scheme is making millionaires around the world out of ordinary women like you or I.
|Mummy, why don't you have any Facebook friends anymore?|
You won't? OK, here it is.
Why do these things always crop up on birthboards?
Well mainly because there are a lot of women who really don't want to have to go back to working away from their babies full time and whose workplaces won't accommodate them. They desperately reach out for something that might mean they don't have to miss out on their child or children growing up.
It is a sad indictment of modern society that a mother (or indeed, father) who wants to be a stay at home parent cannot do so, that an average household can no longer exist on one wage, and we have somehow been persuaded that this is A Good Thing. If I had the answer to this conundrum it would make an excellent ending to this blog post. But whatever the answer is, it isn't Forever bloody Living.
|I love a meme|