Social media is rapidly evolving and enabling younger people to communicate, express themselves and share their memories. With so many options to filter/edit your content, it’s even more engaging to click and share.
In this new world, young parents are more than ecstatic to share pictures of their children; a glimpse of how children keep them engaged at home; their accomplishments, etc. in their social circles. A simple post with ‘n’ no. of likes/reactions brings solace and smile after a tiring day. Before you upload that next adorable pic of your child, let’s talk about how social media has affected our parenting.
We miss a real-time celebration
My 10-month old who has called me ‘mumum’ for the first time! ‘Is this parenting moment, insta worthy?’ we pause ourselves and ask. We are so eager to capture the moment and post it on social media that we forget to live it up. We miss cherishing a natural & significant moment of our child’s growth, the parent-child interaction & admiration of that moment.
We fall into the pit of comparison
Take this scene into consideration – Your friend posts a video of her child talking effortlessly in English. She is hitting all her milestones early, able to count numbers forward and backward and has also won a medal in the relay race by the time she’s three. Will you not become anxious and re-check on your child’s ability to do all of these? All of the wonderful accomplishments that you see in other children now brew a battle from within. You start unnecessarily stressing on ‘Is my parenting failing?’, ‘Why is my child not progressing?’
Is this a healthy comparison? Ask for yourself!
Clicking a snap when your child when he eats/sleeps, re-taking videos of something unusual your child did, taking countless selfies with your child in multiple filters and poses. Nothing seems to be off-limits to share on social media. This type of sharenting, in actual is giving away some of the sensitive details of your child to the world.
Let’s try to preserve their innocence
We’re the root cause of our children’s addiction to smartphones. Did it occur to you that your child got upset when you posted his/her pic in a particular post that he/she wasn’t convinced with? Did they ever ask how many likes he/she got for that pic you posted?
They start gauging their own popularity and try to become more conscious when you try to snap their pictures. Every picture is so heavily enveloped in filters/editing that it just strips away the simplicity & innocence in a child.
In some cases, children become so used to the social exposure that they tend to mimic their parents and try to become socially adept. It is not apt for a child to attach him/herself so much to the media world that he/she tries to pose in a particular way. We definitely do not want to kill their innocence!
We spend more time with our phones than with anybody else
You’ll be surprised to know that the growth of social media addiction is now proportional to the growing need for family interactions. Social media drains more time than you think. Children reported that their parents were glued to their phones and didn’t pay enough attention while they are using them.
That doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely but just try to set some time limits. Find a limit to the number of posts/ time spent on social media. Focus more on building a strong connection with your family during your free time. Setting aside some technology (TV, phones, any other gadgets) free time is key to building your interpersonal relationships.
In conclusion, what is the balance?
I agree that it’s a human tendency to socialize and desire admiration. And most of us do enjoy social presence and interactions. But, let us try to distance ourselves a little bit from this technology dominated world and replace it with some extra quality time with our little super stars.