Social media is a big part of our everyday lives nowadays and has definitely changed the way we connect with people. Millions of internet users around the world log in almost every day to get their daily share of news, views and information updates.
The benefits of such an important tool also extends to motherhood. If used in the right manner, it can be quite informative and helpful to moms, especially in forming their own support groups. However, if social media is not handled with necessary etiquettes that come with it, then even mothers can end up becoming an annoying element on the internet. Here’s how:
1. Over Reporting Daily Updates
Of course, with a newborn around, even routine life seems eventful. But for some mothers, updating everything from their daily menu to a walk in the park has to be posted on a daily basis, as if seeking some sort of validation for being a mother.
A new research actually explains why some mothers cannot stop themselves from posting such updates (1). The researchers studied a specific group of highly educated, mostly midwestern, full time working moms, and found that they do so under societal pressure to project themselves as perfect mothers. These mothers were also reportedly affected by the responses to their posts, for instance, being upset if their posts did not garner enough number of likes or comments.
2. Perils-Of-Parenthood Reminders
Some women just don’t know where to draw the line when it comes constant reminders of their motherhood challenges. Their responses to every status update, even seemingly unrelated ones, centers around their ‘achievement’ as a mother, at times to the extent of undermining their own child’s achievements. For instance, when a child shares an exciting news, like winning a well-deserved sports trophy, his/her mother will come up with ‘MY biggest trophy – the day of your birth’ sort of reply, which may come across as rude many times.
3. Exaggerating Milestones
Sometimes moms are in the habit of exaggerating the silliest milestone of their children, in the hope that it’ll boost their self-esteem. However, according to a recent study false praises negatively impact a child’s self-esteem for they may find it difficult to fit into the standards set by parents (2). Agreed that the first smile, first words or first toothbrush of a baby are special to the mother, but exaggerating every milestone results in an unhealthy competition between babies of the same age group, especially where parents are common friends.
4. Only Motherhood Counts
Agreed that nothing is comparable to motherhood. However, that’s not the be all and end all of a woman’s identity. However, some mothers put up pictures with a status that says ‘If you are not a mother, you haven’t really understood life’ or ‘My children complete my family’ etc, which is quite insensitive and offensive towards women who do not have babies, or those who want to, but are unable to due to various reasons.
5. Rewarded For Motherhood
As absurd as it sounds, this is a latest viral fetish called a Push Present, where a husband gifts something posh to his wife for pushing their baby out! This fad is fast catching up leading to an unhealthy race among new mothers to acquire and show off these posh, highly-expensive presents gifted by their husbands on social media, demeaning the very aspect of motherhood.
6. Selfie Obsessed
Then there are mothers who are completely obsessed with posting selfies with their newborn. Sometimes they even post a series of similar shots with just an expression change here and there; then get upset when there are no comments on it. It is possible she is unable to decide, but one great selfie is enough to convey what a bunch of similar shots cannot.
7. Moms Versus Moms
Quite shockingly, moms can sometimes pull down other moms due to differences in parenting styles. It is understandable when women disagree with each other’s opinion, but calling out on women who’ve had a C-section or unable to breastfeed is really stretching things a bit too far. According to a research, lactating mothers are far more aggressive than non-lactating mothers or women who were never pregnant, which could explain such a behavior (3). However, reining in such an aggression on a public platform is in the best interest of womankind.
8. Too Much Is Too Bad
So your baby burped twice today, or your toddler started to poop in the pot. That much information will do. Getting into nitty-gritty details of almost everything can eventually be a big turn off for your social media friends.
Motherhood is great and so are babies. Who doesn’t love cute, cuddly babies? What’s wrong with sharing your happiness with the world, you may say? Nothing. But with so many unfortunate ones out there, a little bit of thoughtfulness and restraint will go a long way in making your baby a better person than a few superficial indulgences!