I had my first child in 2005. This may be shocking but SOCIAL MEDIA WASN’T REALLY A THING. I mean sure, we had MySpace and Friendster but sharing parenting tips and cute baby photos wasn’t really the intent for those apps (actually, back then they were just websites because we had flip phones…)!
Parenting info and tips were gleaned from books, rudimentary websites like Babycenter, and of course your in-laws. I think I had one or two friends with babies but other than that it was a bit isolating trying to figure it all out on my own!
When my second child was born in 2008, social media was just getting big and people started sharing their baby photos – and their OPINIONS. Oh boy. Breastfeeding, circumcision, babywearing, car seats – who knew there were so many things we were dong wrong (in-laws and grandmas can only cover so much). While in the past we only had the other moms strolling the malls to compare ourselves to, suddenly we had images everywhere that we had to live up to.
As social media continued to grow and we came to share virtually everything at any time, a new movement started to grow… let’s call it the “Bad Moms”. Some people started rebelling against the images of the perfect family and pushing more of an acceptance vibe, being more “real” on social media. Among other benefits, this has allowed people to “find their people”, groups that they share things in common with or even just letting people have a voice that might not normally speak up.
Also, before we had social media, and we met a cool mom at the park during that lonely time where you’re home with little people and would love adult conversation, it was SO hard to really take the leap and make a mom friend. Like, you had to ask them for their number and CALL them and then formally make a plan! Too much pressure. With social media you can usually just grab their name and easily connect with them without it seeming like you’re asking them to accept your rose of friendship. Added plus: you can pre-screen them!