Social media is an excellent trickster. Every single day, it tells you tall tales. These deceptions are carefully designed to keep you wanting, comparing, and chasing. Who could be responsible for this conspiracy? Well… it could be the social media companies themselves or the advertisers. It could be the friends or followers. Sometimes, it’s you. We’ll go more into all of this soon.
For starters, it’s important that you accept the possible fallout from all this trickery. As a parent, for example, you can be made to feel inadequate. It can seem that everyone else has family life figured out while you struggle with even the most basic parental responsibilities.
How Social Media Works, in General
Your news feed is constructed to keep you scrolling. Toward that end, artificial intelligence monitors your online behavior and delivers what it thinks you want. Perhaps you just shopped for a book about parenting. The next thing you know, you’ll get bombarded with:
- Ads related to how you could be a better parent
- Friend posts about parenting
Such content is meant to keep you on the site. Its goal is not to make you feel good about your parenting abilities to date.
As for your friends, they are dealing with the same algorithm. On top of that, they are doing what people do on social media. They are carefully curating their posts to present themselves in the best possible light. It’s likely that you do the same.
It should come as no surprise that two-thirds of parents feel parenting is more difficult today than in the age before social media.
How Social Media Works Can Negatively Impact Your Parenting Skills
Social media impacts everything these days. Why should parenting be immune?
Loss of Confidence
Think about it. You are deluged with content that presents the illusion that you missed the boat. Just as social media breeds insecurity about your looks or finances, it fuels doubt your ability to care for your own child. Social media is a tool of comparison. If you’re online, trying to keep up with the Joneses becomes commonplace.
Your adorable child is dressing up for their first Halloween. This is a perfect time to be present and revel in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Let your child learn by example that moments like this are meant to be savored. But then, there’s a little voice in your head. “Take a photo and post it. Do it now. Think of all the likes you’ll get.” Which urge will prevail? You get to decide.
It starts with sharing. Quickly, it morphs into over-sharing. Again, your kid is watching… and learning. You risk teaching them to seek online approval and perhaps become driven by “fame.” They mimic the behavior of measuring “success” by likes, shares, and comments.
Temporarily Step Away From Your Devices
Finally, the obvious but challenging first suggestion is to spend less time online. Parenting perfection is not real. It’s okay to put down your phone and other screens to get busy in the real world. However, this does not mean you can’t find a couple of parenting benefits via social media, e.g.
- Tips and Suggestions: join groups that focus on ideas, solutions, etc.
- Stay in Touch: especially in this day and age, it’s not easy to see all your loved ones. Use social media to keep them updated about your kids.
Overall, of course, you and your kids will be well-served if you avoid the parental perfection trap. It’s easier said than done so do not hesitate to seek some guidance. Working with a counselor for parent counseling can help you make this important transition. Let’s set up a consultation soon to start making changes and setting goals.