Time-out: Angeleque, pictured with her son, Malekai, scrolls through Facebook for advice. Photo: Emil Bach Andersen
By Emil Bach Andersen
New research from Murdoch University shows just how dependent WA mothers are on Facebook.
More than 90 per cent of mothers use the social media site as a companion for advice, gripes and understanding.
Dr Catherine Archer, of the university’s School of Arts department, who conducted the research, said Facebook was seen as the solution to isolation and boredom for mums at home.
“Mothers are basically using it to get connections and to zone-out because they are bored at home with young children. It is all about overcoming isolation,” Dr Archer told The Bounce.
The research was based on the input of 10 focus groups and a survey of 400 respondents. All participants were members of community parenting organisation, Playgroup WA.
Dr Archer’s findings show that the average WA mum of a first born child spends one to three hours a day on Facebook. But while it fills a need for interaction Facebook can create dangers for them as well.
“Some of them actually had a negative experience on social media because they could see other people having a good time, while they weren’t,” Dr Archer said.
“Mothers get training in a lot of things when they have babies, but not in social media. It can be a helpful and extremely unhelpful tool,” Dr Archer adds.
One Perth mum who has experienced both the helpful and unhelpful facets of Facebook is Angeleque Hendricks, 23, the single parent of two-year-old Malekai. For her, Facebook is an essential took and provides time-out from her demanding young son.
“I use it when I have to zone out a bit. I want a minute where I’m just scrolling. It’s my moment of peace,” she says.
But, Angeleque says, fellow Facebook mums are all too often quick to judge.
“I read a lot of pity comments of mums saying, ‘I use this brand, I can’t believe you use this brand’,” she says.
“But I say, a nappy is a nappy. If it gets the job done, great. Let us just give each other thumbs up instead.”