There is no denying that we live in a digital age. We are always “plugged in” connecting with friends, shopping, and watching the latest news. Just take a quick glance around any public establishment and it’s obvious that technology has taken over our lives. As we raise our children in this fast-paced, all-access world of technology, it is inevitable that social media has an impact on our role as parents. Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter…social media affects every minute of every day and inflicts a constant pressure for us to put our best virtual foot forward.
As a mom, I rely on social media more often than I’d like to admit for recipes, parenting tips, and on the really tough days I turn to social media to help me feel like I’m not the only mother struggling to keep her sanity. Facebook and Instagram hold a comprehensive chronicle of my own life and that of my children, for all the world to see…kind of scary when you stop to think about it.
Multiple times a day, as I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed; I love reading the joyous news of friends living near and far. An announcement of a recent engagement, new baby or wedding are a welcome change in the storm of negative news we are constantly subject to. While there are so many wonderful tidbits on social media sites, there is a dark side. I unfortunately judge my life and the lives of my children against all others thanks to the posts that pop-up in my newsfeed. While I spend another day at home just being mom, Facebook makes me envious that I’m not relaxing poolside in the Caribbean or taking romantic selfies with the Eiffel Tower as my backdrop. As I scroll further, I contemplate calling my pediatrician for a therapy referral as my infant isn’t crawling as soon as other kids who were born on the same day. The crafts my kids complete are certainly not Pinterest-worthy, in fact, in comparison to others, I realize that my attempts at crafting are pretty pitiful. Social media makes me question, and often doubt, my discipline techniques, dinner plans and school choices. While I’m certain I am a good mother, a quick click on a social media app can surely convince me otherwise.
Against my better judgement, I continue scrolling….
Then, a few posts down, I realize my life is perfectly wonderful. My craft attempts are terrible, but I’m not sitting in a hospital holding my sweet baby as her chemotherapy is being administered. Albeit we may not be well traveled, Facebook makes me grateful we’ve never had to bury a newborn. My children may not know their multiplication facts at age three, but my family is healthy, happy and lives as a cohesive unit. And, even though my plan for dinner preparation may be disappointing to me, we have healthy food on the table to nourish our bodies.
The all-consuming, social media world may be the cause of my judgement and envy of others while giving me a glimpse into their lives. But, as I open those colorful apps, I connect with a community of moms and friends helping to build my own confidence as a mother, I find humor in my day and above all, I am forced to count my blessings.
I plan to continue scrolling….