May 25, 2010  •  In Facebook, Personal, Pregnancy, Web

Ultrasound Pictures on Facebook: Creepy and Inappropriate?

It has recently come to my attention that many people think using an ultrasound picture as your Facebook profile picture is creepy.

“I cringe whenever I see one. I don’t want to see a picture of your uterus or your fetus. TMI!”

A random Facebook profile using an ultrasound picture as the profile picture.
All personal information is blurred.

“I agree — it’s completely tacky and inappropriate. Does anyone really care aside from the parents?”

“Pregnancy and sonograms are PERSONAL. They should be kept private. The same goes for belly pictures and positive pregnancy tests!”

After reading these comments, I was glad that I deactivated my Facebook account, because I am sure that I would be offending a lot people on my “Friends” list with my pregnancy updates.

Long-time readers know my stance on what should/shouldn’t be shared online: while I do agree that some things are better kept private, I don’t think it’s right to judge anyone for choosing to share. Of course there are those who choose to share more than most on social networking sites…but if you feel uncomfortable with the level of that person’s sharing, just block them, and/or control your own privacy settings.

But that’s just me.

What do you think? Should ultrasound pictures be kept private? Do you feel uncomfortable when friends share details of their pregnancies on Facebook?

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63 Responses to “Ultrasound Pictures on Facebook: Creepy and Inappropriate?”

  1. EJ says:

    I personally have not posted any ultrasound/belly/anything related to the baby on facebook..and I’m 38 weeks. I just feel that the people who have seen her ultrasounds/my belly/her bedroom in a way deserve to..well the people I’ve shown are relevant..and the rest just aren’t. I don’t judge anyone at all for what they want to do. Its just my personal choice.

  2. B says:

    Anyone who dislikes it or thinks it’s inappropriate has not had a child and is not a “friend”. Delete yourself if you don’t like it. It’s another way for some to share to the people that DO care. Like family and close friends out of state. Grow up people

    • 3beka72 says:

      I for one think it’s completely inappropriate. It’s simply too much information. I don’t need to see inside of your body (especially when I haven’t asked to), just like I don’t need to know if you had sex last night or if you had a terrific bowel movement this morning. There are things that are private, you know, even though the social networking is encouraging us not to think so and to think that everybody is so very deeply interested in our lives. If someone actually wants to see your ultrasound pictures you can email them or give them a link to look at or share them with the people who want to see them. You don’t have to willy nilly spread pictures of your insides to every Tom, Dick and Harry you vaguely know. An “I’m pregnant” in your status update is really enough. And frankly, most people I know don’t want to randomly see other people’s unsolicited ultrasound pictures – that includes people with children or are even currently pregnant.

      And while it’s not your fault if your friends are childless or something, those constantly streaming ultrasounds can be very painful for those among us who have had failed pregnancies.

      • anon says:

        This person said it best! Technology has become WAY too personal and its not supposed to be. It’s tacky to get too personal on Facebook. Sure, you can post what you want, but its bad etiquette. A speaker who was discussing manners actually did a segment on this called “Think before you post” and one of the things he mentioned was things like “posting pregnancy photos, etc.” is a little too personal for social media – unless of course, you filter your albums for only close friends and family.

        It’s the same thing as posting pictures of your engagement ring over and over and your wedding – we’re happy for you, but stop acting so narcassitic. Some of you may see it as people being bitter for being single and childless, but thats not always the case. I’m in a very secure and happy relationship but we don’t go boosting about it all over Facebook. And the friends of ours that do are actually in insecure relationships so they use social media as a means to validate their relationship – when i was younger, i was guilty of doing the same thing and a few years later realized how inappropriate it was.

        And ladies, we all get pregnant, its not like its something unique – though it’s special to us 🙂

      • Ama says:

        But I bet no one saying U/S are TMI is complaining about the over sharing of homosexuals shouting “I’m gay and have sex with people of my own gender!” because in today’s society that is “normal”.

        • billyj says:

          That’s a false equivalence. People showing that they’re gay on fb is like heterosexual couples posting pictures of them together or of their weddings. That’s nothing like showing your friends and acquaintances the inside of your uterus. You are just getting a little defensive (because you probably think everyone is interested in your “special” fetus) and a lot homophobic.

    • ANON. says:

      That’s a little harsh. I know plenty of people with children who don’t boost about it on their Facebook. And finding it offensive doesn’t make you a bad friend. I’d rather my “friends” had the decency to get in touch with me to tell me the news rather than have to find out via Facebook.

      Grow up? This isn’t high school, we shouldn’t be posting every little detail of our lives on social media.

  3. Sissy says:

    I am pregnant and have had my babies ultrasound pic on my wall. The real problem is so many people have 800 friends and 752 of them they barely know. Everyone on my page is family, inlaws or friends im extremely close with. Even if they werent, the idea that someone thought it was gross or thought it should be removed because of THEIR inability to have children, squeamishness, or prude like thinking, would just make me post it over and over, lol. Actually im going to do just that after reading this.

  4. anon2 says:

    Totally inappropriate. You’re better off emailing the people who want to share the pictures with.

  5. I just want to point out that all the comments from “ANON,” “anon,” “anon2,” etc, are all from the same person. Obviously, someone feels VERY strongly about this subject. 🙂

  6. Laura says:

    I have no problem with a “generic-looking” ultrasound, though I find the 3-D version to be a bit creepy looking. I did think it was way over the top when the ultrasound of my little nephew was posted by my brother, complete with an arrow pointing to the baby’s penis to inform us all it was a boy. Yeah, the kid’s going to love having his friends see that when he’s older. That said, I really think it’s dumb to have anything for your profile photo other than yourself… sure, include your kids, your pet, your spouse or the whole dang family, but make sure you’re at least prominently displayed in the photo as well. To glace over my friends list, you’d think I was friends with dogs, babies, boats, cars and fish. Folks, it’s a profile pic… that means a pic of YOU! All the other pics can go on there as well, and I love to look through them, but please don’t set them as your profile pic. Sheeesh!

  7. Annabelle says:

    I don’t judge others who do, but I personally would not post pictures of my fetus, infant or child online. It’s way too personal. When that child grows up, they can set up their own facebook account and post pictures of themselves, if they so chose. Until then, I will exercise my parental role to shield my children from the Internet, online stalkers, pedophiles, etc. Don’t people know that everything you post on Facebook becomes the property of Facebook and everything you post online stays online permanently?

  8. Diana says:

    It never occurred to me to find other people’s ultrasound pics gross or that anyone would think mine were gross. I posted quite a few ultrasound pics when I was pregnant, and now I’m wondering if that was the reason several of my high school acquaintances unfriended me while I was pregnant 😉 Oh well. I do understand, though, why seeing ultrasound and belly pics would be distressing to someone who is having trouble conceiving. Before I posted my first ultrasound pics, I messaged a college acquaintance whom I knew to be infertile to let her know that I would be posting them, since she had expressed before that she would prefer to be warned before being bombarded by images of other people’s successful pregnancies. She was very grateful for the heads up. So… I personally think that posting ultrasound pics is okay, but we should try to keep in mind the fact that the images might be upsetting to those people who want babies but can’t have them.

  9. JL says:

    I’m fine with statuses, pictures of EXTERNAL progress, but for crying out loud those ultrasounds creep me out. I just hide them from my wall.

  10. gymglitterxx says:

    Um it’s DISGUSTING! Everytime I see someone’s ultrasound pictures on facebook I think THAT’S YOUR UTERUS YOU KNOW!!?

  11. TLM says:

    I love hearing the good news about a new one coming into the world and I adore seeing photos of peoples children. But, I feel that the ultrasound image should be personal and shared with family and friends, offline. For some reason as others have stated, it is an image of the inside of your body and that is truly personal. When I’m on Facebook, I don’t want to see the inside of someone’s body. I wouldn’t block anyone or delete them though because I know we all have different sensibilities and I’m sure people who do share are just happy and excited as they should be. I just think we should be mindful of what we’re sharing on social media in general.

  12. Nic says:

    To each their own. I would rather share my ultrasound pictures with people individually rather than subjecting people who aren’t interested to them but I understand why others choose to share (it’s an exciting time!) I do, however, strongly strongly recommend against posting positive pregnancy tests as one in four of those posters have a good chance of losing that baby, which is an extremely personal and painful experience.

  13. Daria says:

    I think it is a particular type of person that posts ultrasounds on FB. The FB narcissist.I knew someone in a church choir who had one of her ultrasounds on her mobile phone and was showing it to anyone and everyone in cluding those of us who did not want to see!She was also the type who posted pics of her painted toenails – that weren’t anything special – or her kids’ birthday cakes ,which again weren’t anything special. So do you see the connection?

  14. Marc-Andre Tremblay says:

    On none of the online posts about this topic have I ever read this argument: “Isn’t it simply premature to post pictures of your ultrasound considering everything that can still go wrong during a pregnancy?” Granted we are no longer in the 1800’s when one out of 5 babies did not make it past infancy, but I have been aware of enough miscarriages and still births to know that you should not take anything for granted until the baby has been safely born into this world and been thoroughly examined by a competent professional. Until then parents should exercise a minimum of restraint. Imagine the heartbreak when inevitably an expectant mother will have to retract her ultrasound picture with a : “oh yeah..remember when I was pregnant a few weeks ago…? Well it didn’t turn out as expected.” So the mother is actually an expectant mother, and this is not the baby’s true first picture until he is born and alive and healthy and breathing outside of the womb. I am not taking away from the miracle of conception and of life itself, rather I feel I am giving it the true respect and appreciation it deserves by acknowledging how fragile and precious a gift it is.

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