Postpartum Depression is Too Important to Discuss on Twitter


I get that my approach to Social Media and blogging isn’t exactly the most scientific. My roots are not in numbers, analytics, or ROI. While it’d be nice to be earning money at what I do, that’s not why I am here. I’m here to help people. Not to garner the most comments, followers, likes, retweets, etc.

Sure, it’s nice when you manage to get something to trend or have a really good day with retweets on Twitter, but bottom line? I am here to help moms and families struggling with Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders.

If that means I have a slow day at the blog or I don’t blog at all, I’m okay with that. Direct Messages on Twitter, text messages, or phone calls that help a Mom figure out her next step or help a Dad feel a little less scared are worth far more than any comments, retweets, favorites, or likes.

Hang on, folks. I’m still on my Social Media rampage.

It was brought to my attention tonight that a certain blog tweeted a link to a piece about a certain aspect of Postpartum Depression. My friend responded to them, saying she’d been there and articles like theirs wrecked her when she was in the midst of things. Their response?

“It would be best to leave your comment in the appropriate place. 140 characters isn’t good. Here you go —> (link redacted)”

Woman who hosts a weekly chat about Postpartum Depression twice every Monday says WHAAAAAA?!?!?!
It gets better…yes, yes it does. She responded to that tweet, and they then said (hold on…)

“It would help if you would discuss it – not on twitter w/ 140 characters. It really is that serious. Have a good night.”

Original Photo "Wise Owl" by Isolino @ flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/isolino/6288990750/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Original Photo “Wise Owl” by Isolino @ flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/isolino/6288990750/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Wise Owl says WHOOOOOO do you think you are?!?!

So… Postpartum Depression is far too serious to discuss on Twitter. But…

Every Monday I discuss it. For an hour. At 1pm and then again at 830pm ET. In 140 characters or less at a time. Most of my 100k tweets are thanks to tweets about Postpartum Depression, actually.

And during the entire week, women and families discuss Postpartum Depression on Twitter. In LESS than 140 characters. Postpartum Depression is not too important to discuss on Twitter. If anything, it’s far too important to NOT discuss on Twitter.

Comments are nice.

Page views are nice.

SEO helps you get both.

But if you put something out on a platform in addition to where the actual post is located? Be prepared to discuss it on that platform. If you’re not prepared to discuss it then you shouldn’t share it. Anywhere. You also shouldn’t sensationalize things which don’t need to be sensationalized. Don’t use a term just to garner more page views if you’re not going to be responsible with how you present said material.

Do no harm is a wonderful basic rule here. There have been several Postpartum related things I’ve chosen to not blog about simply because I know they would ultimately do more harm than good to my readers and the community I have fostered through #ppdchat. It’s not that I want to keep them in the dark, per-say, just that I know there are other sources they can get the information from should they choose. If, however, the information is incorrect or sensationalized, you better believe I’ll jump on it in a heartbeat to protect my community from being fed misinformation.

If you’re not ready to discuss it, there’s an easy solution for you. Don’t hit publish. If you do hit publish, there’s no reason at all to be rude to someone who initiates conversation with you because you’re putting it out on Social Media. Responding as this account did violates the guidelines of Social Media – being social. Own your site. Own the words at your site. You put them out there, you need to stand behind them boldly.

Also? If you’re not ready to discuss Postpartum Depression with a Mom who’s been through it and has legitimate concerns? Don’t hit publish either. It’s irresponsible and potentially harmful.

 

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11 thoughts on “Postpartum Depression is Too Important to Discuss on Twitter

  1. Bottom line: PPD is too important NOT to talk about on Twitter, or anywhere a struggling mom reaches out. Any. Where. 140 characters or 1,000. You are so right Lauren. And we’re all grateful you started #ppdchat for that very purpose.

  2. All I can say is that I’m sick to my stomach right now about how my article is being promoted in a sensationalized way. All I ever wanted was to bring more awareness to PPD, and I’m just so sick about the fact that my words are being promoted in a way that causes pain.

    My deepest apologies to all of you who have been harmed by these tweets. Please understand that they are NOT coming from me. I never, ever want to hurt any of you. I’ve been through this myself.

    • Kristin –

      Thank you for commenting and for letting us know you are not the one behind the tweets. I didn’t ever think it was you behind them, as sites often promote things on their own and not via the guest authors.

      Please be assured I do not hold you at ALL responsible for this fiasco and only hold the site responsible for their behaviour on Twitter. I can’t even begin to imagine what this must be like for you, as a member of #ppdchat yourself. (hugs)

      Warmest,
      Lauren

  3. Trying this again, now that I’m at my computer and logged into wordpress.

    I understand what you are saying in this post. When I share my posts on twitter, facebook, and so on, I am willing to engage with people on whatever platform them choose (although I admit it is frustrating to have people comment on a post based on the title alone, when they obviously haven’t read it).

    That said, there are many times when I wish people would leave a comment on the blog instead of on twitter. It has nothing to do with page views or SEO or anything like that. It is about preserving what could be a valuable discussion of the issues in the post. A conversation on twitter is here today, but gone tomorrow. It happens and then it is lost. The conversations that happened on my blog five years ago are still there now and people who access those blog posts today can still read the discussion that took place, the valuable contribution of my readers and my response to them.

    So from that perspective, I understand the desire to have people make valuable contributions on the blog instead of on twitter. But that isn’t an excuse to be rude or to tell someone else how to engage with you.

      • As the person who was “the one” who made the initial contact with them, my issue wasn’t with the content of the article at all, actually. It was with their sensationalistic headline which was clearly meant to grab pageviews but, as someone who had suffered with severe PPD, I found fairly distasteful. I pointed this out to them gently and just asked that they please consider the effect of their chosen words on the people they were targeting with this article and this was the response. I assume the Twitter account was responsible for the headline, hence the issue. The article itself was actually good and provided resources for moms with PPD.

        • Right.

          Sadly, sensationalism and postpartum depression often go hand-in-hand. Nothing pisses me off more when they collide and hurt vulnerable people in the process. I’ll come up swinging against it every time.

          -l

  4. Thank you for this, Lauren. It’s good to know I wasn’t the only one hurt/offended by their actions. It’s irresponsible to put out an article about a topic and refuse to engage someone who has that actual diagnosis who has concerns about the way information is being presented (as potentially “alarmist/sensationalistic” when the people they are targeting often struggle with severe guilt and anxiety. <3 you long time, LOL

  5. Well I posted don’t know where it went soi will say it again sorry if it doubles, but ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS? How could someone say these things? It’s because of you and ppdchat that I’m able to get through some days. It’s seeing you and other mom write post talk about it that I’m able to find the strength to talk about it. It’s because of you and ppdchat that gives me information I would have never known or found.
    Does this person have ppd? Do they know how much I/we depend on that 140 character to survive. I guess they don’t.

  6. These last two rants on your PPD voice has made me love you so HARD, Lauren! AMEN is all I can say.
    Been there (back in the days…1997) when ONLINE SUPPORT was the “red headed step child” of PPD Support/education and have seen things evolve. I know of what you speak. Keep on ranting girl. I hear ya’.

    Oh BTW – will you share this on Twitter for me? JUST KIDDIN’! ;)

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