I’m not a mother. I know you’re all shocked at this news. However, some recent research on moms and social media caught my attention. It turns out that lots of moms are pretty stressed out by social media — more so than dads apparently as nothing is mentioned about them. But, we all know that women call the shots in the marketing world so this should come as no surprise. Plus, dads just aren’t nearly as interesting. They’re just not. And, I’m not one of them either. But, whatever.
Moving on to the subject at hand, according to a recent survey by Current Lifestyle Marketing and Impulse Research, which surveyed 1,004 mothers, many feel social media creates unrealistic expectations and puts pressure on them to craft an idealized image of their lives. I’ve covered social media envy before (see this spot with Erin Ovalle on WMTW 8 ABC) and it always surprises me that people (moms or otherwise) don’t realize that almost everyone makes an effort to make life look pretty good when it comes to social media. So, RELAX everyone. It’s kind of like those super-annoying letters that often accompany holiday cards detailing how perfect family life is for everyone involved. I mean, give me a break. They never cover how Tommy just got arrested and Sally is strung out on meth. Of course, I don’t send those letters at all with my holiday cards because they would primarily discuss my nightly habit of eating Ben & Jerry’s on the couch in my underwear with my cat. Booooooooooring.
Anyway, back to the survey. Moms also objected to excessive marketing, a growing surge of annoying invitations (Candy Crush Saga anyone?), and over-sharing by online contacts (who, me?). It also shouldn’t surprise you that younger mothers were both more likely to engage with social media, and to feel stress because of it. So much so that the majority of mothers, especially those who are Millennials, are thinking about disconnecting from social media altogether. More than half of the moms surveyed (53%) were considering taking a break from social media, while 60% of Millennial moms said they wanted to cut back on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Yeah, yeah, yeah … I hear this from people all the time. Let’s see if it actually happens. I’m waiting for that survey and I won’t be holding my breath. With that said, I did recently take a break from social media and it was, well … interesting. You can read about that here.
Back to the moms. Asked if they felt pressure to create an image of a perfect life on social media, half of all mothers said they felt pressure sometimes or always. That figure rose to 63% for mothers ages 18 to 24 and 60% for mothers ages 25 to 34. For moms ages 35 to 50 it was an even 50%, while for moms 45 to 54 it sank to 41%, and for moms ages 55-64 it was a relatively low 37%. In terms of social media preference, 93% of Millennial moms turn to Facebook, compared with 65% for Pinterest and 59% for Instagram. Google+ followed closely behind with 58% of Millennial mothers preferring the channel, while Twitter was only used by 34% of young moms. Personally, I think all of these problems moms are having with social media would be solved if more of them would just use Twitter. The poor little blue bird is clearly being neglected. I mean Google+ is even beating Twitter here. GOOGLE+?! I’m seriously surprised by that statistic and Twitter should be terrified.
So, there you have your Sunday news. Moms love social media and moms hate social media. It’s the story of my life. Maybe I should consider being a mom? God help those children.
For more about this survey check out this great article from Social Media and Marketing Daily.