A new study conducted by Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a professor of human sciences and psychology at Ohio State University, may provide some answers as to why new mothers may post more stuff about their baby on Facebook. Sullivan analyzed data collected from 127 mothers and found that “when women felt more societal pressure to be perfect mothers and viewed motherhood as central to their identity, they were more likely to share child-related updates and photos.” Most new mothers also had their new baby as their current profile picture at one point or another symbolizing a new part of their life.
Sullivan also discovered nine months after having their baby, mothers reported depressive symptoms such as loss of appetite, not being able to “shake off the blues,” and restless sleep. Sullivan was not able to directly pinpoint the exact cause-and-effect link between a mom’s increased Facebook use and greater depressive symptoms.
New mothers may be turning to Facebook to share photos and experiences with their new child to want to see affirmation and comments, but could also be seeking out validation of their good parenting skills. While these are noble efforts and Facebook can be a truly helpful platform, new mothers may be causing themselves unnecessary stress by posting all their baby pictures and stories. Sharing photos and experiences with others in not a bad thing, but it could cause us to want to tell more stories and photos if shown that other “like” or “comment” on our posts more if they contain these certain type of photos or stories.
My point being? In the world we live in today, we all want to know what everyone else is doing whether it’s traveling, building a family, etc. But it seems the more we share our lives with others, the more we feel we need to share more in order to show all we have accomplished. Everyone wants to show they can plan to the perfect Pinterest party and show how much we can travel, but is all the stress necessarily worth it for new mothers?
Article by Rebecca Ruiz of Mashable.com