I hear a lot of moms talk about how Facebook is incredibly addictive and has ruined their parenting skills, one status update at a time. How they need to take a break and "unplug" for weeks at a time to decompress from the tight grip of a social media hold. I understand what they are saying to an extent but I do not fully agree with them. Yes, facebook is addictive. Yes, we have grown as a society to rely upon social media in place of face to face contact. Yes all of this does have its downside. But that IS our way of life now. This is how we communicate as a society. This is our world. And we don't have to just be glued to the computer or phones all day. There can be a happy medium. We can be status update obsessed and still lead productive and healthy lives with our children.
I personally have found facebook to aid in parenting. How, you might ask. Well, all of my friends and family are on facebook. From my childhood friend that I have known since I was a mere few months old to my grandmother to my old boss. Everyone that has crossed my life path is somehow or someway active in social media. My main source of contact to those I know is via the internet and social media outlets. It makes life easy to be able to communicate this way. And not only easy, it can be instant and up to the minute for those googly family eyes who want to see the youngest generation of our family in active bloom.
I utilize facebook to communicate to those I love across the world about my life and the life of my children. I upload pictures, talk about the happenings of potty training and other absurd things that occur during the day. I rattle off status updates about craft projects or dinner plans or ideas I have for myself and my family. I tell tales of the latest spot to hit with my mommy group or the few and far between Hot date night spots I hit with my husband. My status updates are basically a quick outline of my life and how it is playing out at any given moment.
In return my friends and family on facebook hold me accountable to the things I post. If I state that Big Sis DIVA will be marble painting this afternoon, someone WILL comment on my wall and ask how it went. If I spill the beans on what I plan to serve at dinner, someone will wander over to my husbands wall or mine and ask how dinner was. If I really like a new website or product or really despise the like, I share it with my friends and family via facebook. Instantly they too can know that those new cookies are disgusting but that ugly show feels fabulous while chasing toddler for 3 hours at the park of my tired sore momma feet.
In the same way that many parents go on and on about how facebook eats up all their time, how they sit around just playing on facebook and forgetting they have children, I can go on and on about how find it a useful tool for me. I find it keeps me in check. I use it to get myself out of bed and to make sure I do not drift off to couchland. If I status update something, I follow through, so that my family and friends around the globe can read and see in pictures the smiles on my kids face as I do all I can to be the best mom I can be. I make sure that if I state marble painting is on the agenda for my kids then by days end there are pictures of masterpieces made by Big Sis DIVA and a smile to accompany it hitting the facebook stream, in response to my earlier status updates, for those on my friends list to gawk at.
I enjoy sharing little tidbits throughout the day with folks and engaging in simple and fun conversations. Sometimes these conversations are the only adult contact I might have for the day and it is welcomed. I don't live on the computer or phone either. I simply update my status and check in throughout the day while my kids are occupied or when I find a quiet 30 seconds alone. And in that 30 seconds I am able to "Talk" to an adult, regroup as a mom and move on to the next engaging toddler filled fun that I promised my kids via a Facebook status. So, in that respect I love Facebook and its addictive properties.