We belong to a generation that is heavily criticized for its social media fixation. We don’t look at social media as an obsessive interest alone. For us it is part of our lifestyle. It is not just about getting social validation, it also about putting yourself out there, finding your voice and finding a sense of belonging.
This is a fast world, families are shrinking but distance is increasing. Between the two of us, we have our immediate folks staying in three different states across the length of our country.Social media is reducing this geographic distance,and making it easy not just to share media but also thoughts and ideas.
So, it works for us. All of it, particularly its much loathed immediacy.So we have often been asked why are we doing this, why blog about your journey…One question is why be on social media? and another question is why talk about your parenting journey on social media.
We chanced upon the world of Indian Parent Bloggers while doing a series on our personal instagram account about our first year as parents. We started engaging with some fabulous people(mainly moms) and when we saw their posts, we found this world of tips, recommendations, experiences and honest talk. It clicked with us because we didn’t have friends who were parents.
We started expressing ourselves in this community and realised we were not alone in our battles. We realised we had a lot of things to say, over a period of time very organically/naturally, we have been able to offer support to more parents out there and learn more ourselves.
When we post on our various platforms, the idea is not to flaunt. It is not because we feel we have something to show off and make others feel jealous. Not just us, most people on this space, are not in it for this, contrary to what you might imagine.
It is very easy to feel disconnected in the kind of life we have today. We work on the go and a small hand-held device does everything from shopping to banking for us. It has so many benefits, but the biggest benefit of it all is that it makes all feel connected. We have been able to get our lilM to bond with her aunt with whom she has met in person all of 6 times. It is because we have whatsapp and video call. We have found great habits like cloth diapering, positive reinforcement, baby wearing from this online community.
Indian parents really need to put themselves out there more and talk it out. The role they play is very stressful and those complex emotions need to be expressed and their stories are valuable. But there is more to it. Social Media has many advantages:
- Exchange of ideas: If you are finding something impossible to do with your lil one..one shout out on instagram can bring in suggestions from a lot of experienced parents and those who are in a similar soup.
- It is a coping mechanism: When you see your child’s naughtiness through the lens of a camera, you realise you are making more memories than mess. Parenting is nothing if it isnt suffixed with the term Humour. Watching other parents do their thing, helps you find energy to deal with your own issues, its like a support group for your everyday troubles.
- Self expression: Putting your thoughts out, making media more democratic and getting heard gives you a very unique sense of who you are. It comes with its own joy.
- Interaction with brands: As parents you have a lot of questions to ask the makers of your child’s things…from the sippy cup to his blanket. You get to engage with brands, try their products and eventually make more informed decisions independently.
- It is a community: There is a sense of belonging in that space. You find like minded people, that ‘we’ feeling is very unique.
A lot of people will agree that the internet and the mobile have done a lot to disconnect, alienate people. But see how its also bringing people together. I am now friends with a mom who stays just a lane away from us, and guess how we met? – internet.
It is possible to be physically more connected than we are today, generally speaking. More real time socialising is possible. But that doesn’t require the belittling of this online space. Which helps you socialise with a wider group of people, across time zones, for a minimal price.
So, THAT ladies and gentlemen is why we do what we do here, over and above the big giant main most important reason: because we want to.