Blogs. Facebook. E-books. Twitter. Forums. Phone Apps. If you've got a parenting question technology has a parenting answer. Gone are the days when you'd have to dial your mother in the middle of the night to ask what to do when your baby's fever spikes. Or in my case call Abuelita and ask where to rub the Vicks when something hurts. You know how Dominicans are.
Today's parents have all the opinions and advice we can handle at our fingertips 24/7. Is this a good thing?
I'm a blogger with a decent social media game. I know my way around Twitter, Facebook, and every other popular social media outlet there is. I've encountered all types of parents from sanctimommies to extreme free range parents. The diversity in parenting styles is one of my favorite things about social media. While every parenting style might not be for me, I enjoy learning about the techniques other parents use at home. Sometimes I learn a thing or two. Sometimes I sit back and watch the backlash from an online parenting snafu (oh, no she didn't leash her son and tie him to a fire hydrant while she ran into Walmart) in silence.
I credit social media, Twitter in particular, for helping me through various mothering crises including potty training, weaning, and helping kids adjust to a new time zone. It's easy to find a virtual parenting group full of like minded people that are always available to help you through you parenting crisis du jour. You don't even have to leave the house or put on yoga pants. So easy! I love my online mom friends. They're always there for me waiting inside my phone or laptop when I need them.
However there are some disadvantages to parenting in our technological age. Some women mentioned feeling inadequate after comparing the birthday parties they throw for the kids to those seen on Pinterest or the constant barrage of unattainable perfection in their streams. Another issue is that when we surround ourselves with people who only think like we do we alienate others we could stand to learn something from or worse. I've seen women completely lose track of what is socially acceptable in some real life company versus online life. Listen girlfriend I think it's great that you want to broil your placenta and eat it but you might not want to drop that knowledge during the company picnic.
There's nothing wrong with sticking with a parenting clique but folks should keep in mind that not everyone uses technology for parenting purposes. What seems normal to us might be foreign knowledge to our non social media savvy grandparents, neighbors, and friends. Don't get offended. Use it as an opportunity to educate others about your practices and beliefs.
I've learned to filter out the parenting trends I disagree with, seek out the styles I want to learn from, and lend a virtual helping hand when it is needed. I've found balance and am thankful for the role technology plays in my life as a parent.
Does technology make your life easier as a parent?