Oversharing on Facebook? Social Media Boasts about Your Child's Latest Achievements Can Feel Good, but They Might Irritate Other Parents. Parenting Author SARAH OCKWELLSMITH Gives Tips on 'Sensitive Sharing'

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), July 2, 2016 | Go to article overview

Oversharing on Facebook? Social Media Boasts about Your Child's Latest Achievements Can Feel Good, but They Might Irritate Other Parents. Parenting Author SARAH OCKWELLSMITH Gives Tips on 'Sensitive Sharing'


Byline: SARAH OCKWELLSMITH

WHEN a baby or child achieves something fantastic - from taking their first steps to coming top in an exam - it's hard for many parents not to jump straight on social media to share it with the world.

But have you ever thought about how your post may be perceived by others? New research shows 93% of parents believe social media encourages them to 'overshare' about their babies, and more than a quarter (27%) say they feel under pressure to keep up every week, with 12% admitting to feeling this pressure almost daily.

STRETCHING THE TRUTH? THE problem, it seems, is many social media fans who are also parents feel other mums and dads tend to make claims about their children that are either untrue or exaggerated, that they're boasting unnecessarily, or that whatever the truth of the post, it may make other parents feel bad because their child hasn't achieved the same thing, according to the research commissioned by WaterWipes.

The top culprits identified in the survey are 'Super Mum' posts (ie. mums who claim to fit in a thousand things a day and still look glamorous); Unrealistic achievements (such as, 'Back in my skinny jeans after two weeks'), and New baby milestones - like baby's first steps, sleeping through the night, etc.

VIRTUAL SUPPORT MUM-OF-FOUR and parenting author Sarah Ockwell-Smith points out that social media can be a great virtual support network for mothers, building a community on which they can lean on and turn to for advice.

"For a lot of new mothers, this is an incredibly positive experience," she says. "When your baby achieves something, you'll likely want to shout it from the rooftops, both in the real world or on social media.

"However, the comparison with others online can cause some mothers to be overwhelmed by feelings that they aren't good enough, and that their children should be doing better."

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT THE survey found Facebook was the biggest oversharing platform for new parents, with Instagram voted second biggest.

A third of mums said they always 'like' or 'comment' on posts from parent friends, to help them feel positive reinforcement, and 17% admitted that receiving likes and comments on their own posts helped them feel validated as a parent. Indeed, 16% of new mums believe posting online helps them feel less alone when they're looking after their baby.

However, some are cynical about other people's posts, with 33% of mums and 24% of dads saying they don't believe posts are true.

UNPREDICTABLE SARAH warns it's not easy to predict how your social media comments will affect others. …

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