Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Parenting and the Internet

The Internet can be a powerful tool in parenting, just like it can in anything else. For me, at least, it can also be very dangerous.

The good: Unprecedented access to information. If I want to find how to say something in sign language, or a picture of the rash my daughter has, or advice on breastfeeding, sleep or solid food, I can find a ton of it almost instantly. Since I live far from my mom and don't know a lot of other parents, this can be a lifesaver for those moments when I realize just how clueless I am.

The bad: Unprecedented access to information. Unfortunately, there's no one to sort through that information. Do I really need to read 27 answers to a yahoo question about when babies clap their hands? If there is one thing an anxious and insecure new mom really doesn't need, it's unlimited information. Especially when it's wrong or dumb information.

The good: Instant networking and connection. The isolation of motherhood can be tough, and I've met so many wonderful people online. The network and community I've built here is precious to me.

The bad: Constant connectivity. Especially when I'm lonely, it's tempting to spend all day online. I'm online instead of cleaning my house, taking walks, reading books. I'm online while I play with my daughter. There needs to be a line somewhere.

Also? When people CAN get back to you instantly, it's easy to feel slighted when they don't. I end up taking a lot of things personally that really shouldn't be.

What other good/bad things are there about how the Internet affects parenting?

1 comment:

  1. The internet is indeed a blessing and a curse. We are so much alike. I feel the same way. I quit reading all the developmental milestone emails I get. I quit googling things. It stresses me out and makes me feel like a terrible parent if I'm not doing everything they say to do to ensure that my child is a genius. She'll be fine. I don't need the internet making me feel like a mediocre mom.

    I'm glad I've connected with you.