Pregancy and technology and the human experience

This is a selection from Future Here Now, a newsletter produced by the Wise Economy Workshop/ Wise Fool Press.  

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Pregancy doesn’t seem like a typical topic for this newsletter, but this article shocked my futurism – minded brain, in part because it indicates how very differently we seek emotional support today versus not so long ago. I was fortunate enough to not experience miscarriages during my child bearing years, but my mother had several in the 10 years between her marriage and my birth. I don’t know who she went to for support, but I’d assume it was her nieces and sisters, as women like her had done for generations.

This article from The Conversation (a great eclectic read always) shines a light on two deep cultural transitions underway. One is the way in which online technologies have expanded our emotional networks to include platforms, content-makers and people who have a shared experience with us, but whom we might never encounter otherwise.

from bbc.com

And those platforms become very important parts of our personal support networks — networks that now extend far beyond our sisters and nieces and neighbors. As we become more adept at integrating these networks into our lives productively, our access to information and different perspectives will expand beyond what most of our parents ever envisioned. Right now we have all sorts of struggles around sorting the wheat from the chaff online, but as we get better at that, it will change our brains and our perception of our personal place in the world.

The second is the way that we increasingly demand that our experiences be seen and honored, even when we are in the minority. When my mother had those miscarriages, the awful experience was silent, hidden, confided to only a few. This article responds to that old expectation and asserts that this experience needs to be part of the online platforms addressing pregancy. We are learning now that human experiences run a far wider gamut than most of us ever encountered in our in-person lives, and that the yes-no, binary-choice framing we usually use (like “pregnant / not”) has many more shades of gray than the old assumptions told us.

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