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. Amy I. says:

    I don’t at all feel uncomfortable when friends (or even acquaintances) share details of their pregnancies. Quite the contrary, in fact! What does make me squirm is the actual ultrasound pictures, specifically when they’re used as a profile picture so it pops up in my news feed every time that person posts anything. I can’t say that I’m opposed to people doing it or that I judge anyone for choosing to. If I really don’t want to see it I think that it’s my responsibility to hide them, and I feel strongly about that.. but that doesn’t stop me from feeling a little icky looking at the inside of the uterus of someone I haven’t seen in 10 years.

    • tony says:

      They are obviously attention seekers, who have nothing better to do.

      • Zoe says:

        @ Tony: While I didn’t make my ultrasound my profile, I did post it. Wanting to share my good news with my friends and family en masse, especially since I don’t live near most of them, making me “attention-seeking?”

        As for having “nothing better to do,” we’re all on Facebook at some point during the day because we don’t have anything better to do (or that we want to do). And it’s your CHILD, the biggest life event you will ever go through–of course there’s “nothing better to do.”

        While there are plenty of over-sharers, on any topic, all over FB, I would MUCH, MUCH rather have my feed inundated with a friend’s ultrasound (/baby bump/newborn/child) photos than asinine status updates about chores or photos of whatever a person is eating for lunch that day.

  2. Amber says:

    I think you know my position on this. I think it is totally fine- who the hell cares what you have as your photo or status or what? It’s facebook for crying out loud, why else do people have a page? To share with people! In fact, the other day, I was wondering why I had never posted ultrasound pictures while I was pregnant. 🙂

  3. I wouldn’t LOVE if one of my FB friends had a sonogram picture as their profile page, but I have no problem if they just put it up as a picture; I don’t HAVE to click on it. I don’t think "ewwww, uterus…" I think "oh, cute, they have a baby picture up," or "ugh, that’s a pretty graphic picture," if it’s kind of gross.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with putting personal information about pregnancy, baby, any of that on FB. It’s your personal FB page; as long as it’s not blatantly offensive or disgusting, write what you want! Maybe nothing about SEX, but writing about the size of the baby, posting belly pictures, none of that bothers me.

  4. Friend says:

    I am surprised that anyone thinks looking at a black and white photo of someone’s uterus is gross. Ultrasound pictures are about as far from graphic as I can imagine a picture being. I like seeing ultrasound pictures and think that using them as a profile picture is generally an improvement. Also, I am thankful that some total strangers post their ultrasound experiences as videos on youtube.

  5. I think sharing about your pregnancy is perfectly fine. Following the process of someone’s experience is always interesting, moving, enlightening, inspiring, etc. I, personally, wouldn’t put up an ultrasound image of my developing fetus as my profile picture, but that’s just me. I agree with others who say that it’s your choice on your comfort level in sharing, and it’s no one’s business to judge.

    I think people get mc-judgy or call it creepy not because it’s inherently gross, but because there’s an assumption that you’re psycho-baby-obsessed if *that’s* what you choose to represent you. that’s what i’d surmise because like "friend" above said, it’s just a black and white photo of someone’s uterus–what’s so gross about that?

  6. Anna says:

    The only thing I find weird is when people use their child’s picture instead of their own avatar. Besides that, pregnancy is such a great joy, so come and share!

  7. Shell says:

    Wow, the thought never crossed my mind! I’m sure that when I become pregnant I will find the ultrasound images thrilling, and will want to share them with the entire world. I’m happy for people when I see the images. I don’t think "TMI!" in the least. 🙂

  8. Di says:

    The only thing that grosses me out is when people post a picture of the pregnancy test. Seriously. Line crossed.

  9. Donna says:

    I know that I used one of my belly photos to announce my pregnancy on Facebook. People are too squeamish nowadays over the dumbest things. Pregnancy is a natural part of life, so are ultrasounds. I got tired of being dumped on for the dumbest things which is why even my own blog is privatized!

  10. Jessica says:

    I agree that posting a photo of the test is a little much. I am all for belly photos though, and spreading the good news online!

    As for the sonogram, I just can’t look at one and understand what I’m looking at, so it’s usually a little pointless to me. Among a group of parents, though, who know what they’re looking at, it might be a neat thing to share.

  11. Charmi says:

    i don’t have a problem with someone using their ultrasound pics on facebook because i don’t think they are gross in any way. i also don’t think i would personally share mine on facebook (when i do have an ultrasound done one day). its just too personal for me and i wouldn’t want to share that with everyone but thats just me. i would definitely email it out to groups of friends and family but thats probably as far as i’d go.

    but i agree, facebook is annoying and sometimes i wish i would just delete my account too.

  12. Heather says:

    I’ve known a lot of people who have done this, and I don’t think it’s weird or creepy at all. They are so overjoyed to share their news, that’s all I think. I *never* think, "Wow, I’m looking at her uterus." I will admit, though, I have thought it was a little weird when they post the pregnancy test. And I *do* end up thinking, "Wow, I’m looking at a stick covered in her pee." But I never say anything and feel it’s their perogotive to share as much as they want. They are pregnant and excited and should express it however they feel best.

  13. Emily says:

    Totally ok with ultrasound photos although all my friends put them in photo albums, which is my preference. I’m not so much on board with positive tests. And I’m not really ok with SOME of the people on my FB feed lifting their shirt and showing their stomach bulging out. Like I said, SOME people b/c some of the peoples’ bodies i’ve seen are just really bad. I prefer when they wear a fitted shirt to show off the bump. Otherwise all i can focus on are stretch marks and fat rolls and OMG I forgot i was looking at a baby bump. I do see how ultrasound photos can be "creepy"…my friend and I laughed that her baby looked like a frogger alien in there because of the shading.

  14. Carly says:

    People actually cringe at ultrasound pictures? Really?! I have never had a negative reaction to someone sharing early pictures of their baby. Those who are offended *might* be thinking too deeply into the subject.

    • ANON. says:

      I don’t think its the ultra sound that people cringe at. I cringe at ultra sound pictures not because I find it gross, but find it weird that some people are so public about their pregnancy on Facebook – and a lot of the time, its people who aren’t very close friends – and clearly they aren’t filtering it if I can see it. I just think its a little too personal.

      • anonomous says:

        There’s no way to make sure only certain friends can see it. If you set the filter for friends only all your facebook friends can see it, and besides letting no one see it tgat’s the strictest filter. If it makes you uncomfortable why not just unfriend that person.

      • brintaga says:

        i mean why are you friends with people online if you don’t know them? i personally think facebook is for people you are friends with but can’t see on a daily basis.

  15. Moll says:

    I love hearing about people’s pregnancies on facebook! It’s so exciting to follow along and celebrate with them.

    But I am not a fan of sonograms as profile pictures. Put up sonogram or big bare baby belly pics and let people who want to see them click through, but as the profile pic? For some reason that seems less okay. I’m not sure if I will post them or not when that day comes. I certainly vetoed half the honeymoon pictures my husband wanted to put on fb because they showed me in a bikini, so I imagine I’ll keep my hypothetical baby belly covered and share the sonograms one on one with close friends and family.

  16. HamiHarri says:

    That is total crap! I’ve never heard of ppl thinking u/s pics are not a-ok. Grrr…

  17. violarulz says:

    I like when my friends share their lives on facebook because I don’t see many of them often. In fact, I primarily communicate with most of my friends via the internet.

  18. Jenna says:

    This is so silly that I can’t believe you were able to write a blog post about it. I mean, really? Getting grossed out by an ultrasound? It’s a grainy black and white picture of a tiny little person. It’s not like posting a picture of a vagina.

    The anti breastfeeding photos on facebook movement I understand a bit, but this? No. We are so freaking Victorian sometimes.

  19. Tara says:

    Don’t see any problem whatsoever. Never thought to do it myself — and definitely never even considered photographing our positive pregnancy test — but I don’t think there’s anything inherently TMI about any of it.

    Not to single out anyone else’s views, but I also really, really feel the need to comment on two of the other statements above. Re: people showing off "gross" bellies, our popular culture tends to foster a HIGHLY unrealistic image of what a woman’s body (pregnant, postpartum, or any other time) should look like, and I’m in favor of anything that brings people back to reality.

    And re: children as Facebook avatars, it’s one of those situations where feminist identity ideals tend to take a back seat to human nature. The first year or so postpartum is a time when most women feel more unattractive then ever before in their lives — if it’s a choice between showing the world a photo of your overweight, balding, unwashed, sleep-deprived self or the adorable little being whose face lights up your world … well, you do the math.

  20. Jessica @ Acting Adult says:

    I don’t think it’s creepy, I think it’s just against my idea that your FB profile picture should be of YOU and not some random cartoon you like or the latest project you did. So yeah, I’m not offended by it, but I’d rather a picture be of the person.

  21. Tiffany Michelle says:

    I dont think its creepy or inappropriate. I posted mine, and only my friends can see the album. I didnt post it as my default no, but everyone on my facebook is either a true life honest to god friend, or family, all of which were very excited and happy to see.

    if you dont want to see someones life that they are sharing for people who do want to know, then dont be friends with them, simple as that.

    its more immature then anything to talk a bunch of crap about people sharing there lives on a social networking site such as facebook, when people are more than willing to post more intimate details of their lives and thoughts in a blog…

    grow up and accept that its a way of life, and people share the joys in their lives, like HAVING A BABY, with friends and family all the time.

    and its been apparent to me that most people, want to see them, they want to be happy for someone who is happy, even if they dont up and say "hey show me a picture of your fetus!"

  22. Sarah says:

    I don’t see a problem with it but what about a person who uses a friends ultrasound picture as her own profile picture? (Who is not pregnant by the way.)

  23. Nicole says:

    Its not that u/s pictures of fetuses are creepy or gross, it is that they are annoying! Im happy for my FB friends who are pregnant, but all this pregnancy info is overwhelming to this almost 29 year old childless woman… Its a constant reminder of how I don’t have children… and it SUCKS! Stop rubbing it in people…

    • wtf is your problem? says:

      Get over it. It’s not everyone else’s fault that you haven’t/can’t have children. Stop taking it personally.

      • ANON. says:

        I know she may sound bitter – but think how you would feel. A lot of what people post on FB is very “in-your-face” and not everyone wants to see it. Some things can be offensive and heartful. Think before you post!

  24. Mary says:

    I’ve always thought it was inappropriate to post ultrasound pics on FB. I think it’s a very personal experience and I know I will not post it so that my FB friends (half of whom I haven’t spoken to since highschool) can see. I also find it tacky- yes, I am judging a little here- that people use their kids pictures as their profile pic. I am intereseted in seeing YOU, not your child. What, do you cease to exist as soon as you have a kid? It’s fine to post pics of your kids, but do it in the right place- not as a sit in for YOU, YOU are still a person, geez! I am 3 months pregnant right now and people already asked if I was going to post ultrasound pics and I said ‘no way’! I don’t care if I sound judgemental of those who do, it’s just not me. And yes, I do think they are kinda gross when thery are not mine! So far I have only shared the ultrasound pic with my sister and baby’s grandparents, and honestly, I think that is all who need to see it. 🙂

  25. bb28 says:

    I don’t think ultrasound photos should be posted as one’s profile picture. It’s not an anti-baby, or anti-sex, or anti-pregnancy thing — it’s an anti-seeing-the-inside-of-someone-else’s-body thing. For the many people who were never fans of biology, blood, or anatomy of any kind, it’s just gross.

    In an album, fine, but having it as your profile picture means that at least once (assuming you’re blocked immediately), your unsuspecting acquaintances will be forced to see the oeey-gooey inside of your uterus — sorry, but no thanks.

  26. Missy says:

    I definately think they should be kept private. Do you really want every1 you know (and don’t know!) to see something so personal? Sure, show it to your friends and family but that’s about it.

  27. Missy says:

    I do understand the excitement of it all though, trust me.

  28. Bella says:

    I don’t find belly photos or even scan photos offensive (positive pregnancy test pics.. that to me is just a little weird) or gross to look at but I personally woudn’t use my sonogram image as my profile picture… I think it should be something private between you and your husband and those close enough to you that you choose to share it with.

    • Gillie says:

      Well said – totally agree – its private. I think wedding photos are ok – but maybe someone one your Facebook who wasn’t invited might be hurt by it – but private things should usually remain private. Announcing your pregnant is one thing – posting a photo of your belly everytime it grows and updating your pregnancy all the time is quite another – its annoying and it makes the person look so narcassitic. The only people who care are you and your partner, so please just keep it that way.

      It’s actually a female thing i find – the guys kept it simple, but the women get all personal and its like “enough is enough”

  29. Jessica says:

    This has got to stop! Or find a ‘pregancy’ social network to join. I have 6 girlfriends who are pregnant right now and the ultrasound pics are neverending on my feed. I can’t choose to NOT look at it when its staring me in the face as I sign in. I love these people dearly but this is just TMI. They should be kept private between the parents, the photos are factually only special and significant to the parents. It’s also totally insensitive to people that cannot conceive, do not showboat your fetus. And does the baby have a say? I think not, its humiliating for the poor unborn child to not have a choice in being exploited and exposed on a social networking site. Do they realize that the ultrasound photo is of their uterus?!! I would never put a photo up on FB that showed what was inside my vagina. This trend is getting out of hand, its gross, its insensitive and cruel to the unborn child.

    • Annabelle says:

      I totally agree!

    • danny says:

      Yeah just like to say, I completely agree with what you have said there!
      I started this debate on facebook today regarding how wrong it is to post pictures of your ultras sound pictures (on facebook).
      I find it deplorable too!


  30. Andrea says:

    Seriously – it is crossing the line. it’s personal. keep it that way. in this age of instant technology, go ahead and email it around – just mention what the subject line is so i don’t have to look at it!

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