I am studying parenting in the Internet
because I want to find out how social media and blogs have affected people’s standards and expectations for their roles as parents
in order to help my readers question the reality of what’s shared by parents online.
Research question: How have parenting standards, expectations and roles been affected by social media and blogs?
I found these two articles that discuss my research focus: Parenting in a Fakebook and This is How the Mommy Wars Start. The first article touches several topics I’d like to address in my own research. First, I’d like to learn more about how being bombarded with other parents’ “perfect” lives on social media affects parents that are “normal.” I personally have some mothers on my Facebook who only post pictures of their kids that look straight out of a magazine. Some other moms love to “humblebrag” and post about how they had to get up at the crack of dawn for their kids’ competitions but it was worth it because they won.
Another issue I want to learn more about is discussed in both articles: parenting “competitions.” I am under the impression that some parents these days are not content with raising healthy kids – they need to raise the best kids. Perfection really is a very subjective notion, so what one mom thinks is the best approach to, say, discipline, might be what another mom considers completely wrong… And then social media and blogs just turn into this battlefield in which parents defend their ideals for raising children while others bash them because they have a different approach.
Obviously parents just want the best for their children but I wonder what are the consequences of 1) spending so much time online arguing with strangers over their personal choices, 2) oversharing children’s lives online and 3) spreading misinformation to other parents that might have catastrophic consequences, e.g. the recent measles outbreak in California caused by parents who refuse to vaccinate.
CALL FOR RESPONSES:
- Do you have/follow “perfect” parents on social media, and if so, how do you feel about their posts?
- What are some concerns you would have, if any, about sharing children’s lives on social media?
- Can social media and blogs be a positive tool for parents? How so?