New Parents Face Insurmountable Urge… to Facebook

I use Facebook. And I have friends who have babies. Judging from the incredible amount of sometimes-adorable and sometimes-annoying pictures of their kids that suddenly appear on my timeline, the following research result surprises me zero.

New mothers and fathers are both likely to spend more time on Facebook after having their first child.

I suppose that’s fine. It’s not like they have anything better to do, like taking care of a helpless human being, or anything like that. They must be so bored developing a human mind and body that Facebook is their only reprieve.

I jest. In reality, I think it just stems from most every parent’s engrained American desire to say, “LOOK AT HOW CUTE MY BABY IS!” Even when a photo of said baby would make you gag on your morning orange juice.

Of course, the study isn’t anywhere near conclusive. It’s just a small exploratory study with 154 mothers and 150 fathers, most of which were highly educated. Nine months after becoming new parents, Sarah Schope-Sullivan and Mitchell Bartholomew of the Ohio State University asked them a slew of questions. One small part of the survey happened to be about their Facebook usage.

Results showed that 44 percent of mothers said their Facebook use increased after giving birth, compared to 27 percent who said it decreased and 29 percent who said it stayed the same. For fathers, 31 percent said their Facebook use increased, while 19 percent said it decreased and 51 percent said it stayed the same.

As I mentioned, I think a lot of this can be attributed to trying to show off their kid. Nearly all women (98 percent) said they had uploaded photos of their child to Facebook, while 83 percent of fathers said they did. Nearly two-thirds of mothers (63 percent) said they uploaded more photos after the birth of their child than they had before, as did 73 percent of fathers.

The authors cite other reasons for the increased usage, such as a way to relieve stress, a way for new mothers suddenly cut from their social circles to remain active in them, or a way for new parents to receive support and advice.

But in reality, we all know it’s just because every parent thinks their child is the best thing since sliced bread and everyone would appreciate a peek into their antics.


About bigkingken

A science writer dedicated to proving that the Big Ten - or the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, if you will - is more than athletics.
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