How Social Media Is Affecting Parenting
Earlier, we parents used to cherish the adorable moments when kids, especially new-borns and toddlers, did something cute for the first time as part of their milestones and were quick enough to grab a child away from danger when they, say, jumped into the heap of clothes or reacted to eating something like citrus fruits.
Now, thanks to social media, we tend to pause for a moment instead of running to help to take a perfect picture to post it on Instagram or Facebook. Are we swapping those something-special moments for an Instagram-worthy pic? Are we on the verge of losing that parent-child interaction that builds strong relationships and helps us bond better? Here are some things you need to know about how social media is affecting our parenting.
Fighting for Fame
Kids are well aware of the reach and power of social media and are always craving to be their own stars. A university study recently revealed that kids aged between 9 and 13 years who had a YouTube account of their own were craving for more fame when compared to others who didn’t have any social media accounts. They were eager to know how many ‘likes’ a post about them received and were comparing their results with their peers.
Risk of Bullying or Being Bullied
While social media allows the kids to communicate with others, express their feelings and connect with their peers, it can also be an avenue where bullying occurs. Cyberbullying is when kids use technology to hurt or bully other kids and there have been many tragic incidents of these attacks resulting in kids harming themselves or others. The most difficult part about this is that it is very hard for the parents to detect if their kids are bullying someone or whether they are victims of bullying.
Bragging Without Borders
Earlier, there was a limit to bragging and show off as they had to be done in person and also depended on the interest of the person listening to them. With social media, there seems to be no limit for boasting as the audience is vast. They want to show off their new toy or bike or car or anything – the list is endless. There are times when they want to do certain things (like looking after younger siblings) only for the sake of posting later on social media. And if the younger ones do not behave as expected, there can be a lot of forcing that might have an effect on both.
Always Looking for Perfection
Looks like Narcissism has become the common thing with most of the people who are addicted to social media. Everyone wants Pinterest-worthy perfection just to show off to their followers. Most of the moms who are active on Facebook and the like yearn for their kids to always look perfect for the sale of pics and the subsequent likes unaware of the effects that their behaviour will have on the kids. As kids grow older they might become Narcissists themselves and may forget self-love and accept things as they come.
Measuring Parenting Success Based on Likes and Re-Tweets
Does it mean that your dog is cuter than your kid if a picture of it received more likes and shares than that of your kid? One moment your followers on social media might like the picture of your kid exploring the pantry for chocolate and the very next moment you may receive considerable backlash from a parents shaming you for allowing your kids to have candy before dinner and this will make you disappointed. There seems to be a lot of competition on social media and everyone wants to play professor at giving suggestions and how things should be done. So don’t gauge your parenting with other people’s reaction but trust your instincts.