Friday, April 21, 2017

Parenting Pointers: The pros and cons of Mom’s spending time on Instagram

Although social media keeps us connected with loved ones, it can be a time drain. The Telegraph reported on a study. This research suggested spending more time on social media could make you feel alone.  The study by psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh said people – young people in particular – may develop a sense of loneliness if they spend too much time on social media. This may affect moms trying to connect with loved ones. Here is what the authors said about the study results.

“This is an important issue to study because mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults,” according to lead author Brian A. Primack.

“We are inherently social creatures, but modern life tends to compartmentalise us instead of bringing us together. While it may seem that social media presents opportunities to fill that social void, I think this study suggests that it may not be the solution people were hoping for.”

“We do not yet know which came first-the social media use or the perceived social isolation,” explained senior author Dr. Elizabeth Miller.

“It's possible that young adults who initially felt socially isolated turned to social media. Or it could be that their increased use of social media somehow led to feeling isolated from the real world. It also could be a combination of both. But even if the social isolation came first, it did not seem to be alleviated by spending time online, even in purportedly social situations.”

Social media may keep moms from leading productive lives. The platforms can become distracting.  If you constantly look at your Instagram page at work, this is a problem. In addition, posting every moment of their children’s lives point to over usage. Updating your Instagram page with the most banal events. The baby rolled over for the 1000th time? Great! But you do not need to tell everyone in your Instagram network. A pro, however, is that in moderation sharing your special moments is a good thing. People should know about your life. You should feel free to share too. You should not cut yourself off socially from everything on the Internet – or more specifically Instagram.

A relative con is your feelings about yourself and your social media usage. A mom’s self-esteem can become tied to the feedback she receives on social media. Their lives can become defined by feedback on social media. Let’s use the example above. On the post of the baby rolling over for the 1,000th time, only two people commented. If the mom expected dozens of comments, then she may feel no one likes her and/or her child. This may lead to moms questioning how they get likes or followers to like their lives? This thinking erodes self-esteem. It impairs the relationships the mom wants to foster with others. If can cause ill-feelings for those who did not comment. This is not good.

Many pros and cons exist regarding Instagram. It is true the social network can take away from family time. But it can be a great tool as well. The line between addiction and great tool addiction and healthy usage is thin. So moms must regulate their usage.

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