Social media is a huge part in all of our lives. We use it to keep up to date on friends and family, play games, and even make decisions. But what about parenting? Does social media influence our parenting?
Does social media influence parenting?
I think we like to believe that it doesn’t but the fact of the matter is, social media does influence parenting in several ways. I am not saying that it is all bad either.
You post all of your child’s achievements for the world to see. Not that this is always a bad thing, but sometimes it can be. Before social media no one knew that your daughter is “now a woman” or that your child went poop in the potty for the first time except your closest family. Now, it is common for parents to post this on Facebook so every one of their friend knows what is going on.
You are living behind your camera. I am guilty of this, especially when my husband was working away from home because I wanted to capture every moment to share with him. Before social media and smartphone, if you wanted to capture your child’s first steps on camera, you had to lug around a big heavy camcorder, now it is as simple as grabbing your cell phone. This isn’t always a bad thing, I mean my husband was able to relive my daughter’s first steps, as was all of her grandparents and my friends, but at the same time, I was recording her first steps and seeing them through my phone camera, not “live”.
Your family looks perfect. You don’t want to show the world anything bad, so you post perfect pictures. You post pictures of your baby peacefully sleeping, but forget to mention that it took an hour and a half to get her down. You post a picture of a mess face after eating spaghetti for the first time, but don’t mention that 90% of it is on the floor. And forget about the pictures of your baby crying, you would never post something like that because she never cries!
You are cautious what you post because you are afraid of what people will do or think. You have a daredevil child who likes to climb on the back of the couch, you would never let her get hurt, but you don’t dare mention it on Facebook because someone might call you a bad parent. Your baby just started walking and fell and hit her head, she now has a huge bruise on her forehead, so you don’t post pictures until it is healed because you are afraid what people will think.
You don’t spend as much time with your kids. How many times do you check Facebook and say “just 10 minutes” and before you know it you have been on Facebook for an hour. It is so easy to get sucked into social media and lose track of time. We are all guilty, but please, if your child is looking for you or playing outside, enjoy that time with your child and put your phone away.
You Google symptoms instead of going to the doctor. You want to know what is wrong with your child, now, not tomorrow when the doctor can get you in. So, instead of calling the doctor and making an appointment for the next day you just Google the symptoms and before you know it you think your child has a deadly disease then get mad when it is yet another day before you can get your child into the doctor. Then you try to tell the doctor what you think is wrong and they don’t agree, so you get mad. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a mother’s intuition is right and you will have to fight for the right diagnosis for your child, but this is not always the case. You can do your research, and the doctors will explain why they do or don’t agree, and give you their best diagnosis. I guess this one isn’t so much social media as the internet in general, but many parents turn to social media for advice from other parents.
You have to watch your children closer as they grow up. With kids being exposed earlier and earlier to the internet and social media we have to watch our children to ensure they are safe. We have to educate them on how to be safe online as well. This has been a huge change in parenting over the past several years with deciding when is the best time for a child to get a cell phone, or a smartphone, when can they sign up for social media, and how close you should monitor their social media accounts. With bullying and sexting a huge issue in today’s world we all want to make sure our child is not involved, but at the same time we want to respect their privacy. It becomes a delicate balance between monitoring and giving your child some privacy.
So, what do you think? Does social media influence parenting?