A study published in the July 2012 issue of the journal Family Relations is the first to investigate new parents’ use of Facebook. The results are not all that surprising. If you spend even a small amount of time on Facebook, you are bound to see parents boasting about their bundles of joy. The photos shortly after birth or even pre-birth (I’m talking about those ultrasound photos!) are commonplace on Facebook.
The study confirms conventional thinking in regard to social media: it has become a platform for people to vent and seek out support and encouragement. “I know that I see a lot of Facebook posts from new mothers talking about how their child wouldn’t sleep, or how their second child was harder than their first,” says one of the researchers.
This study is ripe with future research possibilities. According to the research, mothers who were frequent visitors to their Facebook accounts and who managed their accounts more frequently reported higher levels of parenting stress. It is not clear whether the frequent visits to Facebook caused the mothers’ stress. Perhaps mothers who were more stressed out turned to Facebook for support? Future research should clarify the correlation.