Social Media: The Big Ways It’s Changed Parenting
Social media has changed just about everything in our modern society, from how we communicate to how we get news and even how we vote. With online platforms everywhere you look and few boundaries, social media can also affect the ways we parent.
Nowadays, there are groups for everything from single parent social media to forums for social media parenting questions. Social parenting has become almost a different breed than parenting before. Kids and social media together have created a weird world of sharing our kids’ lives with the world before they get a chance to.
Keep reading to take a look at a social media parents guide and learn about what’s changed.
Effects of social media on children
When big moments happen in our children’s lives, a parent gets excited. It’s natural to want to share that excitement. But something that used to be shared within the family is now something that gets shared with all of our followers. Any accomplishment is a chance to snap a picture and publish our moments of proud parenting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. We do so at the cost of being in the moment with our kids and enjoying that milestone.
Our distraction from the real moments in favor of the shared moments is making us miss out on special interactions with our children.
The Thief of Joy
It’s true what they say, comparison is the thief of joy. When we scroll down our feeds and check out different groups on social media for parents, it’s easy to feel like you aren’t the perfect parent. Seeing a mom who is in perfect shape, has a child that’s ahead of his class, runs a successful business, and still has time for glamorous family vacations can make your own life feel small. We begin to compare our life to this one we see on social media. When parents and social media combine, it truly can be the thief of joy.
The dangerous thing is that social media shares only a highlight reel. When we compare reality to a highlight reel, we get a distorted view of what real life is. Rather than feeling like we are engaged in secret battles for the best life with other parents on Instagram, we could be focused on our own families and all the ups and downs that come with it.
Social Media bragging – Oversharing Isn’t Caring
Most people think their friends are oversharing online while they’ve never been guilty of it themselves. In reality, social media has turned all of us into over-sharers. When we are updating and posting several times a day, it seems like there’s nothing off-limits to what we are sharing with hundreds (maybe thousands) of people.
The risk of this is that we might not be considering how the safety of our family might be compromised. Photos of a naked baby might seem innocent, but it’s not always the smartest to have that content available to just anyone. Sharing too many details about a child’s location is also not the smartest idea for obvious reasons. So maybe think twice before you post that next photo.
Parents on Social Media – Our Kids Watch and Learn
When we are logging a few hours a day sitting on our phones and missing out on the fun and silly things our kids are doing, they take note. When we get upset because we didn’t get as many likes or comments as we wanted, they notice. When we love how popular we feel on a well-liked post, they notice. Social media for kids becomes something they’re interested in because they see how much their parent invests into it.
Social media changed the way we communicate with our kids, and they know it. The kids pick up on all of this, and it may not be in their best interest to see their parents so invested in social media.