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Social media tips for parents of babies and young children

16 November 2017 Blog
As one of Australia’s leading providers of maternity services St John of God Health Care is focused on developing greater understanding of the issues that impact on women’s wellbeing during and after pregnancy.

Social media can be a great way for parents to interact and access information, support and care, but research shows there can be negative effects on emotional wellbeing too.

Based on research undertaken by Dr Catherine Archer from Murdoch University, conducted in partnership with St John of God Health Care and Playgroup WA, which shows new mums are increasingly using social media to connect with others and as an avenue for social support, St John of God Health Care has put together the following tips for parents of babies and young children.

Don't fall into the FOMO trap

Make time for regular ‘in-person’ interactions – at least a few times a week.

Social media can be a great connector, but face-to-face contact remains vital to emotional wellbeing. For example, regularly attending a parents group, playgroup or by visiting friends, can make all the difference in balancing out your time spent on social media.

Focus on your own progress and wellbeing – try to not to fall into the trap of ‘FOMO’ (Fear of Missing Out)

Through Facebook, you might more easily find out that you haven’t been included in a social event or that someone else’s child has developed in some way more quickly than your own.

Just because you haven’t been involved in something that is posted to Facebook doesn’t mean you are not achieving as a parent. Everyone develops and interacts in different ways. Make sure you focus on your own progress and wellbeing.

Safeguard your privacy – keep within your comfort levels for ‘sharing’ and regularly check your privacy settings

If you don’t want to share something on social media don’t! You have the right to privacy and just because others feel they want to share something about their pregnancy, what they are doing at the weekend, or what their toddler has just achieved, that may not be right for you.

Only post and engage in a way you feel comfortable doing so and remember to check your privacy settings. Social media organisations like Facebook change their terms and conditions frequently – once you have shared something it can be very difficult to undo it without people having already seen it. Think twice if you’re unsure.

Seek help if you are concerned

You are not alone if you feel that social media is affecting your emotional wellbeing.

In the event of a crisis, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, your local community mental health service, or hospital emergency department.