The Bitter Aftertaste of Social Media as a Mom


social mediaWhenever I meet someone who doesn’t use social media, I always ask, but why?

How do you keep in touch with people? They respond by explaining important people call or visit in person. Or they say that social media is a distraction they don’t need. I argue that my family lives far away; this is the only way they can see my son. The other person nods, the conversation ends, and then I begin to think.

The truth is, that’s not the only reason I use social media. Like many others, I use social media to read the news, keep tabs on people, distract and evaluate myself.

Shocked? You shouldn’t be. If you are reading this, you are a social media user and surely have found yourself staring at a screen and thinking, thank heavens that’s not me; or, what’s worse, if only that could be me.

When I see images of giant Easter baskets and children’s shiny eyes in April, meticulous yards during summer barbecues, homemade Halloween costumes in October, and matching pajamas on Christmas morning, I can’t help but feel myself pale in comparison. These are things I haven’t ever given my son. Some I can’t give, and others I choose not to. I feel equally guilty about both.

So how do I combat the bitter aftertaste of using social media as a mom?

1. I remember that the internet allows us to indulge in a special kind of voyeurism, one carefully proofread by the poster.

Just like I crop a photo to avoid showing my arm fat before I upload, the posts I read are equally edited. We usually leave out the parts we aren’t proud of. On the rare occasion where someone exposes a #momfail or #badmom post, those are usually the funny or slightly embarrassing things that happen to us, not our actual insecurities.

2. I lean on my mom friends.

These are the people I can have offline conversations with about the worries that keep me up at night and fact-check what I see online. I try to weigh these interactions heavily in comparison to their virtual version.

3. When I find myself feeling especially self-conscious, I take a step back from the internet.

I seek out the supportive places (this blog being one) and ignore those that don’t make me feel good (bye, bye Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). When I feel better, like I’m swimming instead of drowning in motherhood, I come back.

So, if you’re truly feeling like a #badmom, reach out to your mom friends. And, consider taking a break from the online places that weigh you down.

What are your thoughts on social media?


  1. I love sharing things via social media & I love seeing my friends and family share their own experiences as well. Being so incredibly busy with work, sometimes it’s the only connection I can make to close friends and sometimes it’s the only connection with the friends I rarely see. I do think people can put whatever filter they want over their lives to make it look picturesque or to humble brag. With my posts, I try to show the challenging things and the fails whenever they arise.

    • I love your posts Danielle! Have you ever taken a social media hiatus? I am thinking about trying one for the new year (and seeing how long it lasts).

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. No one shows all of their real struggles, mistakes, and possible regrets online. They show a glorified life that people want to share. Sometimes mishaps are included but usuallt be to funny.
    It is so easy to get wrapped up in the online world because it’s at our fingertips constantly. We need to remind ourselves of reality from tine to time.
    I once read an article about the news- it stated that the news seems so much more violent and negative theae days… But only because we are seeing more of it. We are online more, we have access to more news, we are viewing it all day long. I also read that the world is more safe today than it was in the 60s when you compare violent crime statistics. It is all in the availability and access to theae stories. The stories trend and go viral at sucb a rapid rate in todays world. The whole world wide web and aocial media can be a very negative and depressing place. I just hope people continue to socialize, and not rely on the internet for every “social” experience in years to come.

    • I agree (and I feel like an old lady when I agree). I know it’s my fault when I fall down the social media rabbit hole and I, thankfully, know what to do to dig myself out !

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