According to recent research from the Pew Research Center, mothers are heavily engaged on social media and are especially likely to give and receive support on social media.
- 81% of parents who use social media try to respond to good news others share in their networks, including 45% of social-media-using parents who “strongly agree” that they do so. Some 53% of mothers say they “strongly agree,” compared with 33% of fathers who say that.
- 74% of parents who use social media get support from their friends there.2 Digging into the data, 35% of social-media-using parents “strongly agree” that they get support from friends on social media. Fully 45% of mothers who use social media “strongly agree” that they get support from friends on social media, compared with just 22% of fathers.
- 71% of all parents on social media try to respond if they know the answer to a question posed by someone in their online network.
- 58% of parents who use social media try to respond when a friend or acquaintance shares bad news online. Mothers are particularly likely to “strongly agree” that they try to do this – 31% say so, compared with 21% of fathers.
Here’s an image from Pew regarding how parents interact with social media to find information relevant to their parenting:
The report also shares that among the various social media platforms, parents are much more likely to use Facebook (while non-parents use Instagram.) In terms of community, here’s an interesting finding: “Parents are more likely to be Facebook friends with their parents than non-parents, 53% vs. 40%. They also are more likely to be friends with their neighbors on the network, 41% vs. 34% of non-parents.”
My takeaway from the research? While social media doesn’t appear to be a consistently reliable place to get parenting advice, it has strong potential for providing support to parents. In other words, parents that #trustparents (themselves and fellow parents) and who support each other can benefit from strong online bonds. Here’s the link to the full report.
(In my next post, I’ll look at what the report has to say about parents’ thoughts on their children on social media.)