TALK BACK: does facebook make you a bad mom?

We ran across an interesting discussion at Boston Moms and thought we'd pose the same one here:

I was in a pleasant Facebook haze this weekend, when the 2-year-old decided she'd had enough.
She clambered onto an office chair and grabbed my right hand right off the mouse.
"Lila!" she yelled, thumping her own chest. Meaning, of course in toddler-speak: "Hey you, worst-mother-in-the world, pay attention to me instead of that stupid screen." Oh dear. I had been too busy posting photos of the kids and little Dorothy Parker-esque witticisms about their antics to actually mother them.

My child had become a Facebook orphan.

It used to be that moms sat home alone with small children, some so painfully isolated from friends and current events they became seriously depressed. But now we have a 24/7 newsfeed about 500 of our nearest and dearest friends. We've heard about the Internet ruining romances ("My husband friended all of his his ex-girlfriends...") and even careers ("She twittered WHAT about the boss?")

But what about social media's impact on parenting small children?

Blogging, facebooking and twittering take away time we might otherwise spend with our kids. But, on the other hand, these technologies are a lifeline and sanity-saver for so many moms. Are the benefits and connections these new technologies bring to our lives worth the tradeoffs? Is it any different from having a more traditional hobby that takes you away from the children?

4 comments:

  1. I have become aware of how much time I spend sitting in front of a screen.
    Recently I've taken to timing myself so I'm aware of just how much time I'm losing!

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  2. I often openly admit that I struggle with this. I don't get a lot of actual TIME TO MYSELF, so I try to steal it in moments here and there. Then the moments turn to minutes and then I notice the kids have been needing me for far too long.

    I've been trying to work on this, but having so many social media options makes that tricky. I don't want to quit cold turkey :), but I have trouble monitoring me too. Sigh...

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  3. I have definitely felt the tug on my sleeves and heard the plee for attention from my 16 month old... but I am one of those mothers that NEED the connections and blogging to stay sane. When I realized I was going too far, I cut down the blogs on my reader and limited my time on facebook/blogs etc to when they (my 16 month old and 3 month old) take naps or have gone to bed. It has helped me stay focused on what's MOST important- them. I never want to regret not spending enough time with them. I think it's just a matter of prioritizing... I DEFINITELY don't think it makes you a bad mom. In fact, it really does make me a BETTER mom when I have the time to wind down on the internet.

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  4. I think it is real interesting that you bring this point up because I have been struggling with this issue of how much computer connection do I need. I have had a blog for several years and have been able to be very disciplined with the time I spend on it. However, I did facebook for almost 3 months and connected with 150 of my "closest friends". I finally disconnected with facebook because I was spending way too much time seeing how others were living their life when I needed to be focused on mine. I would check facebook out several times a day because there is constantly new information. The funny thing was for as much time as I spent on facebook I really did not feel that connected with people- just interesting

    ReplyDelete

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