I must be a good parent; 78 likes and 21 reaffirming comments later, seems my inner social media circle agreed to my post of smiling kids (thanks to the array of essential oils to help keep them balanced and agreeable), perfectly portioned meals, complete with cauliflower snow and broccoli trees along and six ounces of chilled organic almond milk.
It used to be, the pressure to keep up with the Joneses was symbolized by the car in the driveway, the clothes on our back and the grades, accomplishments and activities in which your child was involved.
Today, we not only have to worry about the Joneses, but also the Kardashians, the RHoAnytown and all the other “friends of friends” out there posting their lives with the idea that what you see is the norm.
Each day, social media is overflowing with posts of carefree families brimming with seemingly well-adjusted kids caught social media selfies frozen in time. Many lead with captions created to cause junior-high school level jealousy. “Maddie loves her caviar,” “Stevie’s Superhero blowout bash” and “It took all summer, but happy to feed my kids from own backyard garden.”
While social media has many benefits, such as joining groups of like-minded parents to discuss issues, finding people in the area for play dates and engaging in buy-sell pages for kids items, many times, issues develop within a family as a result of other people over-sharing. Some of the issues you and your family can guard against include:
- Allowing comments from others to become the validation for situations that should be between the couple
- Posts of the fancy new car, the perfectly coiffed selfie hair or the full-on makeup look at the gym. (I have one friend who posts her 5am gym selfie “after” with droplets of sweat and intact mascara; I’ve gotten to the point of predicting the 47 comments….”girl, you look SOOOO good all the time…”
- (And, let’s not forget the “I woke up this way” selfie that we all love to hate)
- Pressure to purchase or have what others have –and post a photo to show your are “in” style, trending, have money, success, etc.
- Miscommunication when one spouse “likes” someone’s post that is controversial or misleading
- Seeing other families enjoying travel and events when you are not in a position to afford the same
- Posts from other people’s children or families that may appear filled with joy and happiness, but behind closed doors, you have no idea that the persona disappears
- Seeing social media selfies and posts of other kids great grades, honor roll or sporting accolades (the replacement for the 1998 Honor Student bumper sticker!)
As you can see, social media can be just as much a detriment as a benefit. Know when to self-censor, keep it in perspective and take every post you see that is dripping with pride and envy with a grain of salt.
Has social media infiltrated your family? Share your story-we would love to hear from you and possibly feature you in an upcoming blog.Visit PersonalBabyProducts.com and PersonalizedKidsPlates.com to stay up-to-date on topics, tips and articles written especially for parents. We welcome you to share, repost and re-tweet our news, ideas and stories with your social media network. Or, simply subscribe to our RSS feed or newsletter below