So yesterday you may have noticed my blog about my Twitter campaign. I’ve met an AMAZING group of women and men through Twitter that are suffering or have dealt with infertility. Many of them have blogs, but not all do. It’s a great place to go for instant advice or support in this IF world. The friends I’ve meet through my blogging and twitter worlds are beyond wonderful. They have been there for me during my 2 miscarriages, through 3 of my 4 IUI’s (during my 1st one I had not yet begun to blog), during my worries of finances to pay for it all, new diagnosis’ and my continuing journey to find my way down this Long and Winding Road.
Well, I signed on to Twitter today at work like I do. I normally just check it when I have some spare time and see what people are up to. Offer support to those in a difficult place in their journey and rejoice with those who receive good news. I don’t know when or why the idea popped into my head, but I decided that #infertility needed to be a trending topic on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with how Twitter works, I’ll try to give a brief description. You get 140 words to say something to those that “follow” you – anyone who has signed up to can see what you say, and you see what others say, based on who you follow. They also have this trending topics thing, where if you put a # in front of a word, Twitter tracks it. The more people who say that word in a tweet, the more popular the topic becomes. On the side bar of your Twitter page there is a “top 10” of sorts of the words that are “trending” the highest – those that are mentioned the most by everyone who has a Twitter account.
So, like I said, I decided to make #infertility one of the Top 10 on April 19th…So I said: “we should try to make #infertility a trending topic…who’s in??” Soon I had a few of my followers joining in on the idea! We were tweeting to each other about making people more aware of infertility or supporting each other through laughter (@fromiftowhen mentioned she’d like to get shirts made that say “I was out of the office b/c I was getting knocked up by my doc”). Soon there were a ton of tweets going back and forth in the IF twitter community mentioning #infertility and trying to get others to join the campaign! I shared some statistics on infertility “National Survey of Family Growth 1995: approx 6.1 mil women & partners in US are affected by #infertility that’s10% of reproductive-age pop” which were retweeted (repeated by someone else so all of their followers could see what I said) by @wombwarrior.
Soon I decided it was time to go on the offensive and attack the current trending topics, hoping that would help.
“we can DEFINITELY beat the iPod on Trending Topics!! Join me… #infertility”
“iPhone and Bieber – you’re gonna go DOWN on trending topics! #infertility”
“Hekla, Justin Bieber & iPhone are trending…can #infertility own them all???”
Soon mini topics were started by other Tweeters like @wombwarrior asking, “What is the tweet-size version of your #infertility story?” To which I answered: “My #infertility story: 3yrs3mo TTC. PCOS & MTHFR mutation. 4 IUI’s (3 failed, one ended in m/c on 3/19/09) 2nd m/c on 1/25/10.”
Other topics were discussed: what has infertility taught you? Who supports you in your IF journey? I got to know so much about my IF Twitter community today, it was amazing! I also “met” a ton of new IFers on Twitter and got a lot of new followers.
In the end however, we did not make it to the Top 10 Trending Topics today – but I’m not giving up! National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24-May 1, 2010. This week was created by Resolve, a great organization focused on bringing issues of infertility to light and making sure that we are spoken for in this world! I’m going to re-launch my campaign on April 26th (that’s next Monday) to get #infertility to be a Trending Topic on Twitter! I’m hoping with some planning ahead and getting the word out there we can do it this time! I’m even going to try and get the word to Ellen DeGeneres via Twitter (thanks for the idea Twitter ladies! I’m not sure who @ replied her first, if it was you, let me know so I can give you credit here) to have she and her fans help our #infertility trending campaign.
I know this may not seem like much of a goal to have set, but I really think it will be an amazing thing to do. Too often for those of us faced with infertility there is shame and silence. We feel shame that our bodies don’t work like other peoples, that we can’t procreate with out a lot of help from outside sources. It’s a taboo topic and many IFers, men and women alike, stay “in the closet” for fear of what the outside world will think. I know I bite my tongue often when it comes to issues of infertility, though I’m trying hard to not do it as often. If we can claim this one small victory, just one day of awareness on a website that is frequented by millions of people around the world, think what that could do for infertility awareness! I know and am prepared for the other side of this spectrum, for the awful comments we will also get, for the insensitive people who will make fun of us, or not understand us, but I think it’s a price I’m willing to pay, and I hope my Twitter friends are too! This is a victory I want to claim, some small thing that I can do to help the infertility world…
I can’t do this with out you, my fellow Tweeters! Spread the word! Blog about the campaign! Tell all of your friends, IRL (in real life) and online!! Please help me to achieve this goal – together I KNOW that we can do it! We will begin on April 26th, whatever time zone you’re in when that day roles around, begin to add #infertility to all of your tweets, even if they’re not about infertility! Every tweet counts!!
Thank you, thank you so much to everyone who participated on April 19th – even though we didn’t make it, I think it was an excellent trial run for the big day, April 26th!! I want to thank you all, but I know I won’t get everyone who helped. I’m going to try and list you all and if you see I’ve missed someone, leave me a comment or Tweet me and I’ll add them to the list (same goes if you’d like to be taken off the list)…here goes (I’ll be using Twitter names and linking to their blog if they have one):
notpregnantjust, HopefulMamaHack, My_Baby_Love, BustedKate, OpMommyhood, AzoosBeyotch, fertilityauthor, Thegirlwithpcos, WannaBeMom, sonjathegreat, BundledJoy, WaitingLisa, _Nikke, fertilitywire, PCOSChick, yourgreatlife, IVFoldbird, Born2bamummy, OklaLN86, chasingamiracle, Candidly_Andrea, StolenEggs, autoimmunelife, FutureMrsVic, braving_ivf, misdconception, Caretta74, fromiftowhen, wombwarrior, InfertileNaomi, tillien, fertilitychick, fertilityguy
Thank you, thank you everyone – hope to see you again on April 26th!