It may feel like social media is inundated with parents mega cute photos of their babies, but these kiddie-focused updates aren't actually as prevalent as they seem.
Sick of hearing your friends without kids sigh at yet another baby-related post? Put off posting that great pic of your toddler splashing in a puddle wearing his new wellies? Don’t be. The real reason so many people see these Facebook posts? They love them. Mums actually post to Facebook much less often after they have a baby than before. But, because so many people like and comment on these posts, they’re seen more often on newsfeeds.
Surveys of 412 new mothers, as well as the content of their Facebook timelines, show not only do mums of young children post to Facebook far less often than they did before their child’s birth, much of what they do post doesn’t refer to their children at all.
The proportion of posts mentioning their baby drops off sharply after the first month, continuing to fall as the child grows up.
Lead researcher Meredith Morris from CSCW says, ‘I think there’s a sense in the popular media that it’s just all babies, babies, babies. But, in fact, posting about the baby is only a relatively small portion of what mothers are doing.’
Morris found that the baby posts on Facebook from new mums tend to get many more likes and comments than other posts and, as a result, end up on other people’s newsfeeds. So even Facebook friends who couldn’t care less about the trials of potty training and lack of sleep get to hear about it anyway.
How much do you use social media for baby talk? Let us know in the comment box below.