Does social media help or hinder new parents?
Social media can be a beacon of light for some parents, especially during those moments of helplessness. But social media can also making even the most confident of us question our skills as a parent.
How can social media help new parents?
Want to know what that weird coloured poo means? Want to find some solutions to teething trouble? Want to connect with other new parents who are trying to figure it all out just like you are?
Social media can help with all of those things. The trick is knowing how to navigate social media so it helps you rather than making you feel like the worst parent alive.
Here are a few tips:
- Learn to tell the difference between opinion and facts. As in real life, there will be people who actually know what they’re talking about and people who just love to hear the sound of their own voice (or keyboard). And most importantly, take everything your read with a grain of salt, and if you’re at all concerned about anything you’ve heard, check with your doctor and not Dr Google.
- Connect with people that ‘get’ you, and block people that don’t. If anyone tries to make you feel bad about your parenting choices, de-friend, unfollow, block, turn of notifications and run. Now is not the time to try to convince others you’re right, or to get sucked into someone else’s drama. Find people that make you feel good and stick with them.
- Be mindful of what you share, and with whom. Not everyone wants to hear every minute detail of your little one’s journey into solid foods. But those who are going through the same thing as you might relate to your experiences. So maybe set up a private group with your other parent friends and mindfully curate other posts that will hopefully not annoy your childless friends!
The most important factor to remember about social media is that, although it can be a beacon of light at a time in your life when you might feel isolated and alone, it should only be a part of your everyday life. It’s crucial to get out from behind your keyboard, get out of the house and interact with people in person. No social media can take the place of human contact.