Hey Kids! Your Mom Is On FacebookSierra Black
Or should that be: hai kidz, yr mom iz in yr Facebook, readin’ yr tweets?
Kids probably don’t really talk like that. Only their moms (aka, my friends) do. Who knows what the cool kids say these days?
Not me. I spend my time keeping tabs on the cool grown-ups. Moms are all over the Internet. From the powerful women who make up Babble’s top 50 list of mom bloggers to the neighborhood moms who gossip and share parenting tips on my community mailing list, having an online presence is just part of the parenting deal.
A new report shows that 79% of moms with kids under 18 are using social media online. That’s a huge portion of mommies making playdates on Facebook and venting via Twitter.
I first began using social media, back in the dark ages when I had no kids, Twitter was a sound a bird makes and Facebook had yet to spring fully-formed from Mark Zuckerberg’s brain. Since then I’ve had kids, and connected with other moms on social networks ranging from Facebook to the Mothering forums.
Social media has kept me sane when I was trapped in the suburbs with a baby, and connected when I felt like no one I knew understood what I was going through as a parent. It’s helped me make friends in my neighborhood and across continents. Basically, it’s a love story for me.
Not everyone loves the Internet, though, especially its social aspects. Distracted parents tweeting instead of attending to their kids have been blamed for everything from fatal accidents to annoying other parents on the playground. When we disappear into our virtual hangouts, we leave our real life loved ones behind for at least a little while. Are we robbing our kids of some precious connection?
I don’t think so. Parents today actually spend more time with their kids than our parents spent with us a generation ago. We may seem overworked and overscheduled, but we’re also strangely more connected. Social media is just a new tool to make those connections. It’s no more inherently destructive to family ties than a telephone.
Of course, I’m biased. Remember I said before I was in love with the Internet.
What do you think? Has social media enhanced your parenting life, or driven you to distraction?