IP Call for Response

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?

19 thoughts on “IP Call for Response

  1. I’m so glad that my parents aren’t like this. However, a lot of parents do it in China and even worse. They sent their children to extracurricular activities they don’t want their kids “lose at the starting line”. Parents in China don’t usually do it by social media i think but in person like when they’re chatting. I feel sad for these kids because they are sometime forced to learn something that they don’t even interested in and this is my concern. I think social media can be positive tool for parents. They can read article about how to make health food for children stuff like that. Just not those competitions. I really think it’s wasting of time to compare with other children online. Everyone can has their own life.
    I think you can also talk about parenting offline just like i mentioned some parents have “competition” when they talk to each other. It’s a problem everywhere, maybe you can research the difference between different countries. Are there anyway to have a competition in a good way?

    By the way, I saw you commented on the other two post but now mine. I did it on time but the time is not showing up correctly. I just fixed the setting. Hopefully it will show the right time from now on. Can you please comment on my post too? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Jaffey, thanks for your reply! I really appreciate the feedback and suggestions. It’s interesting to me to think about different countries, especially China because of the one-child policy. I imagine parents there would be even more competitive because they only one chance to succeed with their kids, maybe? Just a thought.
      Hmm that’s weird because I did comment on yours! I just opened your IP call for response post and my comment is there! Maybe you need to approve it? This what I wrote:

      marina
      September 19, 2015 at 6:37 pm
      Permalink
      I think defining art is hard but it’s something that you know what it is once you see it. That is especially true with modern art where an artist can take a common object and call it art just for the sake of it.

  2. All types of people have access to the internet. I don’t think its wise to constantly share children’s lives on social media. there are a lot of bad people out there and allowing them whats happening in the lives of your children could be very dangerous. By posting snap chats, pictures and videos without adjusting the privacy and locations settings on the platform you are allowing anyone to access your childs personal information, making you an easy target. I believe people should keep there children as safe as possible and know about the dangers of exposing children to the digital world. Posting pictures are fine, when the settings are adjusted. Privacy is key!

    You might find this link helpful:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3046901/The-dangers-sharenting-posting-inappropriate-pictures-toddlers-online-uploading-baby-snaps-location-settings-parents-putting-kids-risk-oversharing-social-media.html

    • Yes, when you post something on social media it’s never for your friends and family only, virtually anyone can see follow your life. I remember once reading about this girl who got her identity stolen through instagram, and even though her account was private, someone still managed to steal her pics and create a fake account. So, even with privacy settings on, some nutjob can do whatever they want with your pics. It’s so scary. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Marina,
    This is an interesting topic. I followed your first link, and found this line interesting: “Now if there’s something deliciously adorable I want to post and share with friends, I ask my kids’ permission first. If they say no, I just don’t share it.” What an interesting dynamic — that the “adorable” moments are immediately fodder for social media, and must be discussed immediately afterwards to be granted approval for posting. What does it teach children about authentic moments? Is every moment potentially for “show?”
    Such an unsettling issue to explore.
    Your question: How have parenting standards, expectations and roles been affected by social media and blogs — is a generative one. It leaves you space to explore a range of findings and research paths. Great!!

    • I know right, that post gave me the creeps because honestly it is so weird to me that parents actually discuss this with their children. We all know that one person who posts every meal/drink they have on instagram and it gets old pretty quick, if someone does that with their kids wouldn’t their friends and family get saturated with adorableness after a while? After all, every kid does something cute every now and then, but WHY does it have to be shared with the world??? Isn’t it enough that it happened and you have a happy memory of it? To me it just sounds like the parents are way too concerned about portraying their family in a good light and winning imaginary internet points in the form of likes and comments. Thanks for your comment!

  4. It’s weird because my dad has been on Facebook longer than I have and her posts on there more than I do. I do have some parents on my social media that consistently post things about their children. I have some people that have babies specifically and always post every little milestone they witness of their baby such as the baby’s first tooth or first steps. For a baby, specifically, I feel it’s nice to see a baby grow and change but there should not be a new post every other day about them. If it makes sense, I feel like it’s an invasion of privacy because the child cannot speak for themselves.

    • Yes, I wonder what the consequences will be for these babies that are the first generation being born into social media? Will employers google their parents’ accounts and see how they behaved as babies, how early they learned to ‘potty’, etc? Creepy! Thanks for your comment!

  5. •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?

    I think this topic also refers back to your blog about Pinterest and its ability to portray images that show perfection that is pretty impossible to achieve… I see pictures all the time of “perfect” children and always think about if my kids will ever be able to look like that, but I know in reality, my kids will probably be the ones sitting in a high chair covered in spaghetti sauce. Some concerns I might have about posting pictures would be something like a stalker or pedophile tracking my children. I feel like social media makes it so much easier for them to pick their prey. I feel like social media and blogs can have both negative and positive effects for parents: they are helpful when you have a quick question or when you need a quick how-to reference.

    http://www.shutupabout.com/

    • I accidentally posted it without adding the second website I found interesting

      I think this topic also refers back to your blog about Pinterest and its ability to portray images that show perfection that is pretty impossible to achieve… I see pictures all the time of “perfect” children and always think about if my kids will ever be able to look like that, but I know in reality, my kids will probably be the ones sitting in a high chair covered in spaghetti sauce. Some concerns I might have about posting pictures would be something like a stalker or pedophile tracking my children. I feel like social media makes it so much easier for them to pick their prey. I feel like social media and blogs can have both negative and positive effects for parents: they are helpful when you have a quick question or when you need a quick how-to reference.

      http://www.shutupabout.com/
      http://www.today.com/parents/when-super-mom-super-sad-pressures-haunt-new-parents-1D80081732

      • Absolutely, pedophiles are all over the internet looking for children. It might sound far-fetched but it happens all the time. Kids and teens get too exposed and they don’t know how to limit the audience of their posts, especially on Instagram. Thanks for your comment and the links!

  6. I love your topic because we see parents doing this more and more each day. When I log into Facebook at least half the posts I see on my news feed are about children’s lives and the silly little thing they did on that given day, or their first day of school (as you see the school in the background).Yes, it’s cute that your capturing a moment in your child’s life but we also have to think about the many crazy people that can take advantage of parents posting about their children’s life. Also, once on Facebook I saw this video of this parent trying to discipline their child by bullying them and posting a video, and the craziness in that was that they were trying to teach them not to bully, by bullying 🙂

    • Yeah, I have a big problem with parents who discipline their kids by shaming them. What does that teach, that is ok to humiliate and embarrass others? There are better ways to discipline than using your kids to become ‘viral’.

  7. I’ve heard that posting photos of your children on the internet can be dangerous, but I have a hard time understanding why this is. Is someone going to say “hey I want that baby” and come take it?
    I tend to unfollow people after they have children because of how often they post about them. I don’t need to see you baby’s face every day jeez.

    • I don’t think it can get to that extreme, but can anyone really know who is seeing their pictures? Even your friends and family can unintentionally share, and how can you be sure there’s not some perv looking at your kids? Specially as kids get older and start using social media, they become prey to crazy people. Just last week a girl who had gone missing from her house in Va was found in Wisconsin after she believed a guy who told her he was an agent and she could become a model. In my opinion you can never be too careful.

  8. Can social media and blogs be a positive tool for parents? How so?

    Social media and blogs can be a positive tool for parents, if everyone is mature and respectful I think it would be very beneficial. Once upon a time before social media, Kardashians and the internet, their was something called a book club. Book club members would hold meetings every Wednesday to discuss Oprah’s popular novel. Members shared ideas and perspectives on trivial and challenging topics, some may have trouble grasping concepts. Hopefully, theirs members that have experience on this topic or just intellectually incline to help explain how they approach the obstacle. Baffled members can either use the same methodology or ideas expressed could help them formulate their own ideas. Moral of the story, two heads are better than one, whether sharing online or in Madison mothers ‘s living room.

    • I agree that two heads are better than one, but what happens when these two heads are wrong? We saw this happen with the anti-vaccine movement. A handful of parents believed a (wrong) study linking autism and vaccines and the idea spread like wildfire, thanks to the Internet and also endorsement by some celebrities like Jenny McCarthy. Earlier this year we had a smallpox epidemic exactly because of parents who did not vaccinate their children, and if this idea gets more support it’s only gonna get worse from here on.

  9. I have never actually experienced this problem over social media. It is kind of a culture shock to me because my parents and relatives don’t even know nor want to use social media (I guess because Asian parents are more conservative). I think parents always like to brag about their kids. But like you said, once they start racing for “the best kid competition”, the one who would be harmed the most are the kids since they might be overwhelmed with extracurricular activities or uninterested lessons. I guess social media is just a boost to this problem. Social media is a place where you share your life with people, let people what is going on about you. Unintentionally, this also make people more narcissistic and allow greater information flow between one another. As the result, people pay more attention to others’ life, to their words, and compare themselves. Parents should really think for their kids first before involve in such unnecessary battle, because they could really hurt and lower the kids’ self esteem. On the other hand, one way social media could be a positive tool for parents is serving as a community where they share their experience in discipline and take care of their kids.

    • Hi Khanh, thanks for your comment! It’s interesting you mention that people become more narcissistic over social media because I just read on the news that researchers found people actually get more depressed the more they use social media. So maybe they want to project an image of confidence and happiness but seeing other people projecting the same image makes them depressed because they don’t think they’re as good as they friends. Comparing yourself (and worse, your children) to others on social media is a great way to end up depressed!

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