Blog of the Week: Facebook- creating competitive parents since 2004

Blog_of_the_week_badgeEver suffer from Facebook envy? Or perhaps you are secretly hoping to evoke it in your friends? Well you’re not the only one – here Mrs Mumsie explains why she thinks Social Media is breeding competitive parenting and why she’s getting out whilst she still can.

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Facebook Parenting

I have noticed a craze in the mad world that is social media. I like to call this craze “Facebook Parenting”, bear with me and I will explain what I mean…

Everyday I have a little nosy on Facebook. It has become pretty much the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night (sort of my equivalent to reading the daily newspaper, only instead of reading about war I am finding out what Sally down the street had for breakfast!). I quite enjoy having a little read about everyone’s day and seeing what people have been getting up to, but one thing I am finding harder and harder to take is the constant competitive parenting that I am seeing, particularly at holiday times.

I see parents posting pictures of their child’s millions of birthday presents laid out back to Easter egg haulback on the sofa, to simply show everyone on Facebook how much they have spoiled their child. It has always been the norm to see these photos at Christmas time but this year and last I have actually noticed it on Valentines Day, Halloween and even Easter! Rows and rows of Easter eggs, Easter gifts and clothes laid out for the sole purpose of taking photos to put on Facebook!? This habit is creating competition, jealousy and the need for each and every parent to be better than the last, to spoil their child more, to show how fantastic a parent they are.

I wonder sometimes if all of the lavish gifts and over-the-top celebration of the smaller holidays (that were once about quality time and a small token of appreciation), would exist if Facebook simply vanished? Are we all inevitably being roped into competing to be better than the next parent, because can we realistically watch our friends buying their child a dozen Valentines Day gifts (yes I said Valentines gifts) without feeling guilty about not having bought the same for our child?

I also can’t help but wonder what this craze must do to parents who don’t have the money to buy their children what you have so generously bought yours, when their child is waking up to a single toy on their birthday and they see yours has woke up to a sack full? Not a nice thought….and there is really no need. What ever happened to the smile on the child’s face being enough??facebook

I am recently finding myself being sucked into this world of “Facebook Parenting” and am seriously going to be making more of an effort to avoid it. I want to spend time with my child, buy him things and spoil him on occasion because want to and because he deserves it, not because I feel pressured by social media to do it.

I think we all need to remember the good old saying, “No one likes a show off”.

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Do you think Facebook breeds competitive parenting? Do people post photos to show off?

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6 Responses to Blog of the Week: Facebook- creating competitive parents since 2004

  1. Ellie says:

    I know exactly what you mean!

  2. Margarita M says:

    Ummm. You must have different friends to mine. My facebook friends usually post pics of their children rolling around in the mud, playing with the dog, splashing in muddy puddles, or eating ice creams at the park. For my son’s birthday, I uploaded pics of the birthday cake (made by me, so I took lots of pictures ;-D), but I just checked and there were no pictures of birthday presents at all.

  3. No, people post photos to share their lives. Everything is down to the perspective you bring to the laptop. almost anything can be twisted if you try hard enough. Be secure in yourself as a parent and the choices you make inc gift giving and none of this will be anything but a smile that your friends are well and happy and doing their parenting best.

  4. I think people often post these things because of their insecurities, but lavish gifts like that and so often can’t be good for anyone and I really don’t join in. Also, some things should be private and that’s that. Well said you 🙂

  5. Lady next door says:

    No, I certainly wouldn’t compare my parenting skills to any others on Facebook because I feel 100%happy in how I raise my children, and with what I can provide. After all, it’s not affecting the child, just the adult. I have seen some photos showing the many mountains of presents and to be honest if it’s something you don’t want to see, there are settings to limit what you want to see on Facebook. Also, a vast majority of people use Facebook as a free, quick and easy way to stay in contact with family and friends worldwide and they want to see photos of happy times,holidays, presents etc, then that’s the way to do it. It only takes one click to cut off unnecessary viewing too.

  6. RUBY K says:

    Its so true I became so addicted to Facebook that every other minute I wanted to check what other family and friends are doing Have they gone on holiday again while I am busy looking after kids and doing endless household chores at home Even if I don’t want to feel jealous still somewhere it creeps into my heart unknowingly or sometimes some parents show off via posting pics of lavishly celebrated kids birthday parties.

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