What’s Up With Moms Quitting Facebook?
You’re trying to share a post with one of your friends on Facebook, but for some reason you can’t find her. You check the spelling of her name for the third time. Nothing. Wait a minute, did she unfriend you? Why can’t you find her?
It’s a familiar scenario. Friends who were staples on your Facebook page, suddenly vanish. This time, however, you investigate further to discover that your friend has gotten off of Facebook. “I needed a break,” she replies to your text. “I needed to spend more time with the kids.” It sounds similar to your bestie who took a month off of social media to gain control of what she called a ‘social media addiction.’ She used the time to be more productive and present with her twins.
You’d be lying if you said that it didn’t make you feel just a little bit jealous. Walking away from Facebook is like walking away from a caramel sundae with nuts. Most times, it’s complete overindulgence, but knowing that fact doesn’t make it any easier to say no. Yet, some moms are doing just that. Dare you say it’s a trend?
What’s up with moms quitting Facebook?
You ring your friend T., a mom of three who got off the social media platform, but recently popped back on. For her, the issue was privacy. “I would meet people I barely know and they would mention some of the things I mentioned on my Facebook status. I felt uncomfortable with the notion that we live in a glass bowl and everybody can peek in.” The break ended up being a year, (who knew it was that long!) and it took the death of a childhood friend to bring her back. “My last interaction with her was on Facebook, so it was a way for me to reconnect.”
There’s also your friend Susan, a mother of two young’uns under the age of three, who cancelled her Facebook account because she felt completely overwhelmed. She believes her absence from social media makes her a more fully present mom. “I feel like I’m in the camp of those moms who don’t feed their kids processed foods or non-organic produce. Like I’m looking out for my kids in an extra-special way.”
She did, however, venture into the YouTube vlogging pool recently, with a certain amount of trepidation. “I go back and forth all the time about featuring my kids on my channel. Do I mention their names? Do I include their images in videos? Do I tell cute little stories about them that could mortify them later when they get older.”
These are definitely valid concerns for any mom who uses social media platforms for work. Exactly how do you strike a healthy balance between mothering and social media when completely cancelling your accounts is not an option?
Dr. Kristin Carothers of the Child Mind Institute says that there are a few things moms can do to find that balance whether using social media for pleasure or work.
1. If you think you’re too often engaged in social media it might be a good idea to keep those apps off of your phone so you’re not constantly getting notifications and posting all day.
2. Give yourself a certain amount of time, say 30 minutes a day, to engage on social media. That way, you’re not getting off of it altogether, which might make you feel deprived and cause you to binge.
3. Give yourself rules about the things you post. If you have 1,000 friends on Facebook you might not want to share intimate details about your family. Know what you’re using it for. Is it to communicate with your closest friends and family? Knowing that will help determine the types of things you post.
It looks like moms have been quitting (and returning to) Facebook for various reasons for a while now. So is it a new trend? Not really. The good news is moms don’t have to completely vanish. Hopefully, more of your mommy friends will stick around, even if less often. Honestly, it’s not necessary that you see them posts every day, a simple status update every now and then will do.