I was at a conference this past week where one of the sessions concerned social media tools. I was in the minority of people who raised a hand to the question, “who has a blog?” During a break a few of the participants asked me about my blog experience and what I blogged about.
I deliberately only answered the first part of the question and told them my experience had exceeded expectations, that I was able to reach around the world on a subject very important to me, that it allowed me to become part of a new form of community building. My response intrigued them further. The question came again: what is my blog about?
I hesitated, searched my head for the right euphimism and then thought, oh what the hell. I’m not going to sugar coat it to protect against awkwardness, plus a part of me was curious to see how they would respond to the truth.
“It was nothing to do with work,” I said, “It’s about Infertility. I’m part of a community of women [and Matthew, of course] who discuss everything from the cost of treatment to the cultural aspects.”
Not surprisingly, the women’s faces contained a mix of shock, discomfort and unease and they visibly moved back. The conversation suddenly held a pregnant pause (forgive the pun). Clearly they expected me to say that my blog concerned a light hobby.
I rescued them from their unease with a redirect and said that there are all sorts of topics discussed online and that getting familiar with the social media tools had helped me in the office adjust a few marketing efforts.
I’m not surprised at their response. For better or worse infertility seems to share the same traits as the words cancer or leprosy — it evokes an odd mixture of fear and contagion. Gotta wonder if that will ever change.