Majority of Parents Joining Social Media Networks, But Not to Spy on Kids

A new report by Pew shows that social media networks have become vital channels for American parents. And no, not to stick their noses into children’s personal lives.

The report found that moms and dads turn to Facebook for parenting-related advice and social support.

Social media networks: “Connecting Parents”

Parents – 75% of whom use social media – are especially likely to join different social media platforms to give and seek emotional, social and parental advice, the study suggests.

Overall, 74% of parents who use social media get valuable support from their online friends.

Digging into the data, mothers are more likely than fathers to engage their social media networks to respond to good news, or to get support from their peers.

Parents find value in social media

“Social media is broadly viewed as a source of useful information and as one parenting tool among a collection of options,” the authors of the report wrote.

Paradoxically being a parent has never been so difficult, research shows. The report suggests that social media networks have now turned into a one-stop information portal for American folks. One-in-four say they get help from their networks for parenting issues. Most strongly agree that they get useful information via their virtual webs of contacts– mothers in particular.

Private detectives no more

Proof that “the times they are a-changing”, few parents play the “social media police” and say they have felt uncomfortable when information about their children was shared on social media.

Only 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 love Facebook

Most parents are avid Facebook users. Three-quarter of them use this social media network – 75% log on daily, including 51% who do so several times a day.

They mostly share, post or comment on Facebook as opposed to simply reading or viewing content. A typical parent has only 150 Facebook friends. One-third of them are “actual” friends.

The survey was conducted in September in association with the University of Michigan’s School of Information and was based on a nationally representative sample of 2,003 American adults ages 18 and older.

Are you a parent using social media networks? Share your experience in the comments section below.


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