Parents and Social Media

Patty TerhuneTech News

A report recently published by Pew Research Center, shows that social media networks have become vital channels for Americans’ daily interactions. Users rely on these platforms to keep in touch with family and friends, gather information and share what is important to them. This report explores how parents – 75% of whom use social media – turn to social media for parenting-related information and social support.

Mothers are heavily engaged on social media, both giving and receiving a high level of support via their networks.

Social media networks are host to a wide range of human experiences; they help connect people with one another in both good times and bad. Parents – in this study defined as those with children under 18 – are especially likely to try to respond to the good news others post, answer others’ questions or receive support via online networks. This is true for all kinds of personal matters they encounter – not just parenting posts. While somewhat less common, a majority of parents agree that they try to respond to bad news as well.

Social media is broadly viewed as a source of useful information and as one parenting tool among a collection of options. Mothers use it as a parenting resource slightly more often than fathers.

While a large share of parents find value in social media as a general information resource, fewer say they come across useful parenting information while using social media. At the same time, one-in-four say they get support from their networks for parenting issues, and mothers who use social media are more than three times as likely as fathers to say they get support.

Few parents say they have felt uncomfortable when information about their children is shared by other family members or caregivers on social media.

Most parents have not felt uneasy about the content posted about their children by other family members or caregivers on social media.

  • 12% of all parents of children under 18 say they have ever felt uncomfortable about something posted about their child on social media by a spouse, family member or friend. Fully 88% say they have not felt this way.
  • 11% of all parents have ever asked for content about their child posted by a family member, caregiver or friend to be removed from social media.

Parents, like non-parents, use a variety of social media platforms.

This survey also took a broad look at the social media habits of parents. Among internet-using parents, social media use across a variety of platforms is common. Parents look a lot like non-parents in this regard, though there are differences between mothers and fathers.

The report goes on to show how parents are more active on Facebook and LinkedIn, while non-parents use Instagram more frequently.  You can read the full report, which includes more details and statistics, by clicking here.