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In your own experience, do you think the internet/social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, blogs, message boards, etc) has had an overall positive or negative impact on your parenting? A mix of both? What are your reasons?
I'm not looking for right/wrong answers...just personal experience.
I am pretty good at not letting myself get too caught up in comparing myself to others, and so I find it to be positive. I like being able to ask others what they think and do in situations so that I can take it and make my own decisions. I am inclined to do the opposite of what everyone says if I think it's right for me, but I like being able to reach out to other parents to get ideas or additional resources.
I see a lot of folks get super carried away looking at Pinterest or blogs, and that's not my style. I might go out looking for ideas, but I never feel the need to take it to the level that others do. I don't have the time or money or desire. I think it's a little nutso. Like, I'm going to do a Peter Pan theme for my son's birthday party. I am going to make a 3D pirate ship cake- because I always make a big cake because I like to. So I looked for ideas and found one I can execute. I'm sure there are a million other amazing ideas for how to take the theme further, but, meh, I see no need. My 4 year old won't notice, my family won't care, my budget won't allow it, and I don't think it's necessary. I'll have yummy food, some balloons (jolly rodgers?), and a couple of decorations along with the cake- done and done.
I think there are plenty of folks that would look online and get totally swept into a party being more than they initially planned due to perceived pressure and falling in love with ideas.
Yep, what Maine said. I don't even really GO to pinterest because I do not have hours to waste there. I use FB. My family likes to see the kids and so I post videos and pictures there fairly often I do not however post my every thought on there or what my lunch was yesterday. I will say that without the board I joined when I was pregnant with my son I would not be the mom I am. I had have learned SO much from breastfeeding to vaccinating to carseat safety etc. I feel grateful for the support of the other moms during those unsure times while I was a new mom. Overall in MY life it is all positive I do think that for some it is not though.
I think for the most part it is positive, but I sometimes feel that the personal connection is lost because it makes it easier to seek out answers from those we only know online vs. some of the people we know in real life.
As far as parenting concerns, though, it's definitely a negative, and there is SO much to monitor as parents of older children. I tell my mom how easy she had it that we only had the phone to worry about, and by phone I mean landline.
My experience with the internet/social media as it relates to parenting is mostly positive. I have really valued message boards--particularly this one. I've learned so much, and have enjoyed the support and camaraderie that I've found here. I do think it helps me be a better parent.
I use Facebook pretty selectively--mostly only to post pictures so that our families can see them, and I am a member of several private groups. I rarely post a status update, and I only skim through my feed here and there. I don't get hung up on what so-and-so did last night, or who's doing "better" or "worse" than me. I can see it being like that, though. My sister deactivated her FB account because it was making her feel bad, and she got tired of seeing only the selected good things that people choose to post about themselves. I say good for her--no reason to use social media if it makes you feel bad. I don't feel like my own FB use either detracts or contributes to my ability to parent well.
As for Pinterest, I don't get into it that much. If I need an idea, or I'm looking for a recipe, I might check it out, but usually I forget about it and end up just Googling it. I can see how it could lead to mommy guilt, or generating the idea that I need to go "over the top" to keep up. I'm not really that kind of person, though, so it doesn't really have that effect on me. I do think there are some good ideas on there, though, and as long as I don't get sucked in, it could actually help me be a "better" parent by inspiring me to do more creative things with my kids.
I don't Twitter or use any other forms of social media, so I can't comment on anything else. I will say that I do use the internet as a quick reference for lots of things in life, and I do think that it helps me out to have a wealth of info at my fingertips (as long as it is properly referenced ).
Kimberly, yeah, the whole "people only posting the highlight reel" on FB can be really tough. When you see other parents only bragging and talking about how awesome their life is, it can make you doubt yourself and think that you are either doing something wrong, shouldn't be feeling negative about something sucky at home, or you're just a loser.
I however love posting things that indicate things are not hearts and flowers! I have had other moms (or people who think they want to be moms in the future) thank me privately for not blowing smoke all the time and calling it like it is. I figure it's good to be the voice of reason and cut to the dirty chase of reality, and hell, it's often pretty funny if you aren't in the thick of it yourself. I figure others might as well laugh while I cry!