The world changes and people’s preferences evolve. As new generations appear, we see new social trends, some of which are positive, but others may seem unusual or even dangerous.
Modern mothers are quite different from their own moms. Many of them live online. It sometimes seems as though they can barely get by without their smartphones.
They connect to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and other social media sites frequently, sometimes continuously throughout the day.
Is this compulsion bad? And, if so, how does it affect their children? Let’s take a look
Millennial Moms reshape the world
First, let’s look at some current trends. A few years ago, BabyCenter issued a report that claimed 83% of modern moms are Millennials. This is the generation of people born within 1980s-mid 1990s or so.
Each day, they give birth to thousands of babies, which will belong to Generation Z. The mid-1990s to mid-2000s are usually described as the starting birth years for Gen Z. The children of millennials are also called Generation Alpha by some.
The BabyCenter Millenial Mom report also says that young moms spend over 8 hours per day scrolling through social media feeds or accepting tempting offers for games to play. 2 out of 3 mothers prefer social media over other dedicated websites or apps. When it comes to exact brands, the distribution is clear (data from Statista, 2018):
- 79% of mothers prefer Facebook
- 54% access Pinterest
- 44% use Instagram
- And, 25% focus on Twitter
Overall, modern moms tend to be more socially active than their parents. But they prefer interacting with people online. They keep in contact with thousands of remote friends via social networks. And, they also play online games to stimulate their brain.
But how does all of this online time affect children? Let’s explore an emerging trend called “oversharenting.”
Oversharenting affects kids
Simply put, oversharenting combines two terms: oversharing and parenting.
A mother, who regularly posts photos of her toddler to Instagram or tweets about the daily routine related to her kids is oversharenting. Online sharing via social networks helps Millenial Moms garner desired attention from their virtual communities.
According to the survey at UCLA Digital Media Center, children 9-13 years old who have their own social media accounts desire more fame than their peers. In addition, children of oversharent mothers spend more time with media as they model the behavior of their parents.
Often, girls are more vulnerable to compulsive use of social media. They seek likes, positive comments, and appreciation by an audience. It’s natural yet dangerous because it can lead to social problems in adulthood.
The study conducted by Parents.com, reveals that 79% of the surveyed parents think that modern moms do overshare their lives. Thirty-two percent admit that they are affected by oversharenting themselves.
The stats are interesting but not unexpected. The only solution that can be suggested here is to focus on your identity, family, and kids to be authentically happy in real life, and not on social networks only.
Social networks for healthy families
Instead of sharing photos and videos via Instagram, modern moms can spend effective time on topical websites offering tips for parents. Of course, if you feel overloaded with social media life, better opt for Internet-free activities and devote more attention to your partner or kids.
But if you are looking for some Facebook alternatives, here are some suggestions:
- Join birth clubs to learn about the experience of parents with children of the same age.
- Participate in parenthood-related conversations grouped by interests, locations, and ages.
- Create your family’s unique website and connect with other families to share valuable advice.
- Raising Them is a site that allows moms to interact with local families online and meet them in real life.
Healthy social networking
Megan Calhoun from SocialMoms and Tracy Odell from CafeMom share their thoughts on healthy social networking. These successful mothers claim that the desire to join online parenting communities and establish contacts with other parents is natural for women.
While previous generations achieved this goal by interacting offline, modern moms are looking for ways to exchange their experience through online media. Thus, social networks can definitely be useful if you know the limits.
Related Article: Is the Internet Engineered to Be Addictive?
Focusing on real life
Despite the potential benefits of social networking, the current trend of online engagement among modern parents is worrying.
Although the aforementioned platforms focus on building healthy family relationships, they obviously lose the ‘leadership race’ to Facebook and Twitter. The majority of young moms prefer chatting with friends and posting new photos of their kids instead of learning good parenting tips, such as the importance of family gatherings, for example.
The bottom line
Balance is vital. Instead of living online life, modern mothers should focus more on their partners and children, and cater to their needs and feelings.
In the case of strong social media compulsions or in some cases addictions, it is essential to seek professional help. Don’t hesitate to contact family psychologists if you feel unable to overcome your problems with social media. Good luck!