Back in the old days, in order to connect with other mothers to share information on what to feed their babies when they suffer from constipation, to badmouth about the cheap baby hamper received from sister-in-law, to get advice on what to do when their babies won’t stop crying or to compare the best brand for baby product in Singapore, most new mothers would bundle up their children and walk around their neighborhood with the hopes to meet other mothers with children of age similar to theirs.
(For a bit of laughter, consider watching this 4-minute video on Youtube which stereotyped the three types of mothers one can find on social media.)
According to Diana Parry, an associate professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences of University of Waterloo, due to the fact that we are living in an era where human interaction is becoming less, more women are turning to online social networking sites as a substitute for the support and companionship they used to find in neighbors.
As claimed by BabyCenter, the main reasons moms reported participating in social included connecting with other mothers, friends and family; discovering information and sharing family milestones. Ninety-two percent of social moms said they shared family milestones on Facebook. Getting advice was also an acutely popular reason why mothers use social media.
Furthermore, social networking site is more efficient than conventional stroller stalking as it is difficult for new mothers to know if the person they are approaching actually has anything in common with them apart from motherhood. Social networking sites like Momstown.ca, on the other hand, provides mothers with a 24 hour support system, and gives the mothers an opportunity to connect with other mothers who share similar interests and values.
A study by Experian, an information service company found that mothers aged between 25 to 34 years old with children under the age of five are more active on social media than the general public. These mothers prefer Facebook over other social media network and they are more likely to shop using mobile devices, with iPad being their favored device.
These data ratified another study which found that 38% of children under the age of two use mobile media. It suggested that mothers are setting an example for their children through their mobile device usage habits.
The usage of social media drives mothers to new levels of competitiveness. They are more obsessed with brands and success, amplifying parental vying at school gates. According to a report by Sunday Times, 44% of the mothers confessed to buying something for their child after seeing someone in their social media network following a particular brand. The pressure and competition had caused 53% of mothers to consider quitting social media. In a survey by Current Lifestyle Marketing, mothers aged 18 to 64 with at least one child said that they felt pressured to create an impression of living a perfect life on social media.
A point of interest: as their children age, the mother’s social media activity decreases accordingly.