Hello!

The social village…

I belong to so many Facebook groups these days it’s actually a bit out of control, and reading them might sound like we all belong to some kind of secret society with all the bloody acronyms.

  • Generic mummy group: My 11m LO is BF and my DH wants to travel to Bali end of year. Thoughts on how to manage with feeds etc. TIA

  • Selling/buying kiddie stuff: BNIB size 10 Nike Free Sneaker. LOOP and LOOS.

  • Working mums: NBR. I’m looking at going back to work 3 days a week when my DD is 6mo. What days do you suggest?

  • Family outings: 2 kids under 5 and it’s raining all day. Any suggestions of where to go?

  • Kids meals (I opted out of that one quick smart) Whipped up these organic pear, hand picked raspberry spelt muffins for my kids today…

  • Nannies and babysitters: Looking for a babysitter/nanny with WWC and police check who can look after my 6 month old twins once a week.

At one point I was trying to decide which pram to buy and got invited to a Facebook group dedicated to pram lovers! Like for real.

It got me thinking.

How in GD’s name did our parents manage before social media told them what to do, what to think and what to buy.

And does all this access to opinion and information help or cripple us?

Do we really need the opinion of 300 people to make an informed choice on what tog sleeping bag is best suitable for winter nights? And it’s pretty frightening when we assume that the role of a social community is to diagnose our kids rash.

Seriously people, anything medical / dental/ physical, psychological etc, go seek professional medical advice. Please.

And for the husband / partner /mother in law/ friend bashers, get that you’re not happy, but again, best to seek professional advice or deal with discreetly, rather than tell the world. It’s smaller than you think.

But of course it’s also a place to forge friendships, connect with other mums on common topics and feel less isolated.

I’ve seen some mums become “experts” on certain topics giving them a real voice in the community.

But that all said, I’ve also seen and personally been at the other end of real nastiness when mums use the screen as their shield and the keyboard as their weapon to attack others. It’s pretty awful and saddening and the very opposite of what these communities are all about.

Reality vs Perception

Then there’s the perception and reality of social media and the way we use (read: manipulate) it to express who we are. It’s a reflection of our ideal self. Where the babies are always peaceful, the kids are always smiling / clean and the partners are alway loving.

But we know that it’s not always like that. And the truth is not always pretty.

And though I’m generally self deprecating and painfully honest, I too fell into this trap when my beautiful  little boy was 2 weeks old. He got this hideous facial rash and his once perfect little face was covered in disgusting pimples and blisters.

And for the 2 weeks it took for his face to re-emerge again I did not share a single pic of him on social media. After all, who wants to see an ugly baby?

Sad, but true.

Over to you..

So here are my 2 challenges to you.

Challenge 1:

Post one photo, comment, status update, whatever that is 100% real.

You’ll be surprised at how much other mums will relate and feel a little less pressure to always be perfect.

And to kick it off, below is a picture of my son, having a tantrum because, well, I made the mistake of offering him grapes, when he clearly did not want any. Bad mum.

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 9.40.11 PM.png

Challenge 2:

Next time you respond to a question on Facebook, think about the person on the other end.

Be kind. They are just another mum, just like you.

 

Do you get involved on social media? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Main image source: Shutterstock

  • The more you overdo and overshare the more overwhelming things tend to become. Keep it simple.

    Reply

  • Whilst Facebook has its benefits, it also has its downside. I choose not to share anything (or very little) in relation to my son. Certainly no photos, just perhaps a photo that’s relevant to him and/or posts that are about parenting boys. I go to my close friends and/or hubby for advice. Too much info, too much choice, can only become too much.

    Reply

  • I only get a bit on Facebook because my family and friends live inthe Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Africa, India, Brazil and the States and it’s nice to somehow keep in contact with them. I’ve never sought the advise of people or my friends via Social Media.

    Reply

  • Don’t know how anyone finds time to do social media and this site as well – I don’t have the time for social media at all.

    Reply

  • I am not on social media. I signed off six years ago whenI separated. I just didnt want the questions and attention. then i have never felt compelled to retyrn. life is busy enough. I see my close real friends. Idont need to get validation from others via internet. I see the viciousness and shock of alot of stories and am glad this worlddoesbt exist for my self and children.

    Reply

  • I like the old saying’s think before you speak and if its not kind say nothing at all

    Reply

  • Sometimes I become so over social media but then realise its needed for so many things.

    Reply

  • I think if you put a question out to a group of people you don’t know then you have to expect some nice and some not so nice answers. Remember no one is perfect even though they may appear to be but everyone has their faults!

    Reply

  • got to love mums who keep it real! – dont like all this fake life photo’s and status updates

    Reply

  • I love social media and have not had bad experiences. I have gained knowledge, friendship and little pearls of wisdom from others. It does depend on the pages you like and the attitude too. If I don’t like something, I don’t engage. I approach online in the same way as offline.

    Reply

  • I have left many groups and unliked pages because of garbage on social media

    Reply

  • You can unlike or block one that you no longer want to use or anybody unauthorised to see your entries.

    Reply

  • I’m fairly reserved about social media. It can go far too wrong far too quickly.

    Reply

  • You asked what your parents did before social media. We used something called common sense, ( which is not so common any more ) we asked people that we knew and trusted. We took a sick child to the doctor, no such thing as doctor google and self diagnosis and self medecation. Maybe we were an uneducated and not tech savy, but we did not need 300 replies to what sort of pram I should buy, or what does it mean if my child is turning blue. In saying that I do think social media is crippling us, I think it is dumbing us down to the extent we a having trouble making our own decisions.

    Reply

  • I used to shun social media. I don’t ever use it for advice. It is much easier to buy and sell stuff on there. I don’t plaster anything about my family on my facebook page.

    Reply

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