When most of us were kids, the internet was just starting to gain popularity. In order to log on, you had to use dial-up and most families used the AOL discs. Social networking was not a huge thing – although there were chat rooms and eventually Myspace came around, social networking was not a big part of our lives as it is now.
Now, almost everyone is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the other major networks. Pinterest is the place to go when you're looking to waste hours pinning projects you are going to do but never get around doing and Instagram is the place for showing off those projects you actually finish. Just like social networking has changed our daily lives, it also has changed the way we parent. And this hasn't always been for the best.
Pinterest has had such an effect on some moms, there is now a name for it – "Pinterest stress" and that 50 percent of moms, at one point, felt unnecessary stress over trying to be "Pinterest perfect." Instagram, a social networking site that shares pictures can have similar results – showcasing the perfect pictures of travel, life, parenting, crafts, parties and anything else. In reality, the moms deemed "Pinterest moms" typically are the creative minded, crafty types who love doing those things. They don't care if they "show up" another mom at a party or school event. They craft because they love doing it and it gives them an outlet.
Most social networks (outside of YouTube) create some level of anxiety and what they termed "FOMO- fear of missing out," and all but YouTube have been shown to cause feelings of inadequacy and lower self-esteem in younger adults.
They also bring people together, find support and help new moms navigate the new baby phase with help from people with the "been there, done that" experience.
Along with the stress of trying to fit the perfection of the pictures, comes the lack of privacy. When you live on social media, you are putting yourself out there- along with your kids. There are good safety precautions to take- like never mentioning what school your child goes to or posting pictures of your kids around their school but some people go as far as to say to keep pictures off social media entirely. Even though privacy isn't the same now as it used to be, the world isn't as safe as it was- predators have more access to pictures of children- along with ages, names and any other information anyone posts.
Both sites have a lot to offer- creative ideas, fun activities, good recipes for those struggling with food limitations but both can create privacy issues if not dealt with carefully. Social networks can become addictive and time-consuming to some people and younger kids can get caught up in the sites if given profiles too early.
Ultimately, choose what will be best for your family, and implement a plan that will work well for everyone.