Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Social Media Policy

I couldn't decide on a picture,
so enjoy this picture of a cat.
Once upon a time, I used to update my facebook page with statuses such as, "What a lovely prenatal visit!" or "I just had an interview with the most amazing couple" or "Off to a birth!" or "Welcome to the world baby boy! Your mom and dad are so excited to meet you!" It was not that long ago that I was doing that. Then I began to notice something about myself.

Maybe I should not admit my imperfections to the world, but sometimes I feel like it is therapeutic to free my conscience of things that bother me. Even before a wave of articles regarding doulas and social media, such as this one or this one, were published, I began to contemplate my reasons for posting my birth work on my facebook page. Of course, I love being a doula. I love supporting families as a doula during their birthing time. I think it is the coolest thing ever, and one part of me wants to shout it from the rooftops. Over time, I started to notice this other part of me that wanted to share about how busy I was attending births to sort of keep of with the Joneses. I know that I am not the busiest nor and I the most sought-after doula in Houston. I know I am supposed to toot my own horn more, grow in confidence, market myself more, make myself look really good, and that was partially why I would post what I was up to as far as my birth work is concerned. I wanted to appear busy. Yes, the biggest reason for posting about my birth work on social media is that I am so excited about it. A close second was for my less than noble intentions. I'm not a fan of bragging. It is not my style. I was trying to make it my style. I was (and still am) encouraged to brag more, but it just isn't me. Maybe I will continue to reach out of my bragging comfort zone in other areas, but when it comes to posting on social media, I am going to stop.

This is one reason why I am so excited about Birth Boot Camp DOULA's stance regarding doulas and social media. It takes the pressure off me to have to decide, "Should I do it? Or should I not do it?" No one really needs to know when I am attending a birth, or headed to a client's house for a meeting, or heading to an interview, except for the people I am meeting with and my husband, just in case something happens to me. There is no reason for potential clients to know exactly how busy I am. All anyone really needs to know is that I am precisely as busy as I want to be. I am attending births. I am continuously trying to improve my skill-set as a  doula. I am always striving to become a better doula and be the best doula I can be. My clients deserve that.

Just in case anyone was just dying to know why I haven't really posted much about what I have been up to, because I know everyone was stalking my page just waiting for me to reveal this, it is because I have started to feel weird about it. Being invited to join a family in their birthing time is sacred to me, and when I think about the things that happen in my life that are sacred to me, I don't really talk about them. I treasure them in my heart.

When it comes to being friends with clients on my personal facebook page, I am delighted to be friends with them. I would love to be able to see pictures as their babies grow. However, I don't send out friend requests to clients. If they want to be friends with me on facebook, they can send me a request. I am happy to accept it. I sent out a few friend requests during my early days as a doula, but I stopped doing that a few years ago. It is not that I don't think my clients are just awesome sauce. I do. They rock. It is that I want to respect their boundaries. I don't want anyone to feel pressured to accept a friend request from me, so I don't send them out. I should have done that from the beginning. Oh well! Live and Learn.