With all of the different social media platforms – more people than ever rely on those on the other side of the screen. People’s moods and demeanor sometimes come directly from who said what on their timeline or how someone reacted to a photograph. Sometimes, people would rather scroll through photographs and posts than meet up with others for dinner or take a few minutes to talk on the phone.
This may all sound a little crazy, but many thrive off this craziness.
Though social media may sometimes seem to be filled with negatives, it can have many, many positives. Social media outlets offer moms and moms-to-be with connections that perhaps wouldn’t be available in certain scenarios. There are groups and events that promote positivity and self-worth that many people have a hard time finding when physically out in the “real world.” Sometimes people get so wound up with the idea of “social media taking over the world” that they do not give it a chance.
New moms sometimes dive into this over-the-top world when it comes to seeking out supports – and the supports they seek often are incredibly helpful. Facebook has many groups that support different kinds of families with different, unique needs. Instagram is filled with “Mom Bloggers” who put their lives out there for other moms to relate to and learn from.
Even though social media sometimes gets looked at through a negative lens, it truly does have positives that many moms and pregnant mamas can benefit from. However, it is good to see both sides of any situation - especially if it involves bringing new life into it.
20 Personalities Can Be Tough To Read
People can be tough to read even when you’re speaking face-to-face with them. When you add in the dynamic of social media, email, and texting – it can be even tougher. This can sometimes make interacting through social media supports a little difficult for mamas seeking out help through online groups, blogs, or websites.
One person may respond to a question one way through a social media outlet and another may respond in a similar fashion, but with emojis and exclamation points. Both responders may have meant the same message, but the first person may seem less “kind” simply because they weren’t as visually enthusiastic. Some people may take that sort of response in a negative light when, in reality, it wasn’t intended to be that way.
19 Moms Can Find Local Meet-Ups
If a mom-to-be or expecting mom recently moved to a new city or doesn’t have many local friends who are pregnant, seeking out social media for guidance can be helpful. Between Facebook groups and apps, such as Peanut, it is easier to find others in your shoes who can relate to what you’re going through.
Venting and talking “Mom” to friends and co-workers is great, but sometimes (to put it bluntly) it can get old for those who have not gone through it first-hand yet. Being able to find safe spaces with people who are genuinely interested in meeting to discuss the motherhood adventure ahead, and life in general, can make a nervous, new parent a little more relaxed.
18 Not Everyone Is Genuine
It’s sad to think that some people purposely troll the internet to purposely hurt others. This truth is unfortunate, but is a truth in the world we thrive in. Even though most parenting groups on social media are followed closely by the group admin, they don’t always catch every “Negative Nancy” before daggers are thrown and hurtful comments are made.
It’s important to create posts and make comments carefully on the apps and accounts you’re involved in. If someone seems to repetitively be spreading negativity amongst group members, reporting them to the admin or getting yourself off the page altogether may be a necessary step.
17 Beliefs May Clash
Some mamas are 100% for breastfeeding while others are absolutely okay with strictly formula-feeding. Some moms will co-sleep with their newborn while others will put them in a bassinet or crib right away. Some moms don’t feed their little one “real food” until after the first birthday while others will test out soft finger foods at seven or eight months.
Every baby is different and every parent is different – and that’s a great thing.
However, since social media is an outlet that involves no true face-to-face communication, this can cause some mamas to throw their beliefs at others with more ease. They may do this because they don’t have to physically face that person and it’s much easier to vocalize their beliefs without seeing the hurtful, emotional reactions they create.
16 People Will Be Honest
Some new or expecting moms want forward, honest advice from the get-go. They want straight-up, real-life opinions and suggestions going into the world of motherhood so they are as ready as they can be once their little one makes their debut. Social media groups and other apps provide that kind of honesty because, even if a photograph is connected with the account, there is no real physical or emotional connection (unless a friendship grows and face-to-face meetings start occurring). People often like giving honest, blunt advice when it comes to parenthood because, more times than not, it will be that advice that is remembered.
15 People May Be Too Honest
With hormones raging, whether it be during or after pregnancy, some moms may not want the honesty many people throw around on social media. No matter the social media outlet or app, forums and groups are spaces where people can openly ask questions and receive very blunt, opinionated responses. If you know you get easily offended or hurt by the words and actions of others, it’s important to have your guard up when seeking out social media for support. Being overly aware of how others may react will provide you with a realistic approach when making a response or preparing to ask a question.
14 It’s An Introvert’s Dream
Joanna Myers, a writer for Today’s Parent, discussed how much of today’s “mom-culture” focuses on pleasing the needs of extroverts and doesn’t always take into account the needs of moms who are not as social or outgoing. Myers says, “When you become a mom, you’re quickly thrown into the world of parenting, where there are things like mommy-and-me groups, extracurricular activities, daycare drop-off and mom’s night out. I can handle these social situations, but they stretch me. A lot.”
Having access to social media mom groups can be just what introverts need to find supports. Between Facebook, apps (such as Ovia, Peanut, and The Bump) and “Mom Blogs” on Instagram and various websites, introverted mamas may not feel as overwhelmed with the need to put themselves out there when they can feel supported from the comfort of their home.
13 Pregnancy Venting Sessions
When someone is scrolling through their personal timeline or feed, they may have mixed thoughts when seeing continuous posts about someone’s pregnancy or adventure into parenthood. If someone has had difficulty conceiving, watching person after person post about their pregnancy can be tough. Some people simply get sick hearing about parenthood and pregnancy and may start de-friending and blocking people because of it.
When you have specific groups or pages focusing on motherhood to turn to, you can often vent as much as you want. Usually, the members of those groups are there for the right reasons and want to help as much as they can. Most members want to hear your pregnancy and parenthood stories because it will help them in the end as well.
12 Look Out For Creepers
It’s sad and disgusting that people will purposely create profiles, lie about their identity, and act as if they “fit the specific mold” to get included in any kind of social media support group. Some people will do this to specifically get involved in pregnancy and parenthood support groups just to see pictures of pregnant women and their children. Predators who fall into this category often have what Medical Dictionary defines as maiesiophilia which is an attraction to pregnant women, lactation, and childbirth. Many child molesters and predators will also follow groups and pages related to pregnancy and parenthood to simply feed their needs.
As terrifying as it sounds, these kinds of people are out there. If you ever read or see something questionable on a page, reporting it could not only help you, but help many other moms as well.
11 Silly Questions Can Be Reassuring
Remember in school when you would hear, “There is no such thing as a silly question?” Well, the same goes for when you are an expecting or new mom. A question is a question and if you’re wondering about something, there is probably someone else out there who is wondering the same thing.
Social media parenting groups and apps provide personal assistance to others who post these kinds of "silly" questions. When you see someone else post those questions, it is reassuring to know you were not alone in thinking them – and you get responses.
10 People May Purposely Be Cruel
As horrible as it sounds, some people enjoy purposely finding reasons to tear others down. People sometimes feel superior if they are able to get under someone else’s skin and though it’s a disgusting truth, it is reality nonetheless. This reality carries over onto parenting social media pages. Some people purposely will go against your comment or belief or question just to get some kind of emotional reaction. Knowing these kinds of people are out there and possibly reading your comment or looking at your photo is important before you push that “Post” button. Stay strong, stay behind your beliefs, and if you need to ignore someone or simply leave that specific group to escape the negativity – be the bigger person and do just that.
9 Easy Accessibility
Between smartphones, laptops, and tablets, there are so many ways to quickly and easily get on social media outlets. With a swipe or click, you can be on an app or page where almost immediate responses to questions are available. Having this quick accessibility is a huge positive when it comes to having a non-serious or quick question you want to throw out to others on the group. Sometimes it isn’t a question, but a point you feel the need to vent about and, more times than not, those on the app or page are very open to listening and lifting your spirits. Having that positivity at the touch of a finger is an exciting, helpful part of the technologically savvy world we thrive in.
8 Relying Too Much On Group Responses
When someone gets hooked on a new app or group, they may rely a bit too much on it. Like anything exciting in someone’s life, a new social media group or app can bring a whole new dynamic to your life. You may immediately turn to the group when it comes to a quick thought that, given time, would have unfolded itself if you’d waited just a little longer.
Moms may turn to their go-to groups before reaching out to experienced friends, family members, or medical professionals for support. Though having that immediate accessibility is nice, it may be healthier to reach out to professionals in the field or friends who are open to providing guidance.
7 Rekindling Lost Friendships
The original social media outlets, such as Facebook and Instagram (even Myspace – if you want to really age yourself) were originally created to keep and maintain positive connections with others. Even though there are negative people out there, more times than not social media does a great job of keeping those positive connections open and available.
After high school or college graduation, some friendships unfortunately fade. When people start growing their families, those friendships are sometimes revisited. Even if someone hasn’t been in touch with someone for years, parenthood and pregnancy can often be the connection that drives that friendship back together. Social media can be a huge help and provide the tools for that connection.
6 Photo-Posting Fears
With all the “sickos” and predators out there, posting photos of yourself and your little ones can sometimes be a cause of stress. This is sad because many people want to share funny, cute, embarrassing, and important moments with others on social media. With dangerous people finding their way into any social media realm they wish to these days, the photos you post may be being viewed by people you don’t know. Therefore, new moms may face a roadblock when it comes to posting private photos on their personal profiles. In the end, it is up to the mama. If she wants to post, she can post.
5 Discovering And Sharing Apps
When you find out you are pregnant, it is exciting exploring all the different forms of supports available. There really are so many unique, different kinds of social media pages and apps that can make pregnancy an extremely fun process – even when that morning sickness makes you think otherwise.
Between pregnancy apps such as Ovia, The Bump, and BabyCenter to social media pages on Facebook and Instagram – it is fun to share what works well for you with friends and family who are expecting. Finding a breastfeeding tracker or scheduling app that fits your lifestyle could also fit another mom’s lifestyle. Being open to the suggestions may not only help your parenthood adventure but also help others as they search for a good fit.
4 Lack of Face-To-Face Interaction
According to USA Today, “In a society where interacting and over-sharing online is the norm, you’re probably more likely to speak to friends and family through electronic devices than face-to-face.” This statement couldn’t be truer and for moms who get hooked on apps and social media groups, it can sometimes be tough disconnecting yourself. The idea of “disconnecting yourself” is a dynamic many people have a hard time with now that relying on technology has become a “way of life” for many. Finding a happy medium is important – you can enjoy both technological supports and face-to-face supports.
3 Responses Are Often Immediate
We live in a quick-moving society where if we don’t get on WiFi immediately or get our meal at a restaurant within twenty minutes, it seems as if the walls are caving in. Because so many people have grown accustomed to this kind of society, when a mom has a question – they need an answer ten minutes before.
Social media provides options that allow immediate responses. More times than not when a question is posted on a social media page or on an app, someone is probably scrolling through and available to throw out their personal input. Typically within minutes, some kind of response is out there. It may not always be professional or exactly what you are looking for, but it is a response nonetheless.
2 Groups Are Not Based On Medical Expertise
Even though it is nice having immediate responses at the tip of your fingertips, those responses are not always medical or professional. Personal experiences and opinions are helpful, but sometimes they aren’t exactly what you need for certain circumstances. If your little one is having a medical issue or concern, you shouldn’t turn only to your go-to group or app. You can use their responses as guidance, but you should reach out to your pediatrician or specialist for concrete information. If you are pregnant and are experiencing severe pain, calling your OBGYN team should be your first call.
1 Real-Life Advice
If you’re expecting twins and prepping your registry, you have a go-to group of moms who can help you with what to put on the list. If you’re new to breast pumping, you have a group of moms who can give suggestions as to how to get on a routine. It’s incredibly refreshing to know if you are not a socialite who likes physically going to meet-ups that you don’t have to. If you are on bedrest, you can reach out to other moms on bedrest who will vent right alongside you about their swollen ankles and killer heartburn.
Social media groups provide people with real moms who have gone through real experiences. If those in the groups are genuine and true to who they say they are, they can provide great guidance and truly uplift the spirits of a struggling mom or mom-to-be.
References: Today’s Parent/Joanna Myers, Medical Dictionary, USA Today