According to a recently released report by BabyCenter, moms of young children are increasingly using social media. Sixty three percent of the 25,000 women questioned reported being active on social networks, up from 11 percent in a similar study in 2006. Patch spoke with a few local moms to see if BabyCenter’s results were accurate for the moms in our area.
Maplewood resident Danielle Friedland, 34, is mother to a 3 1/2-year-old daughter and is pregnant with her second child. She admits to have increased her social media usage in the last few years. “I didn’t use Facebook until after I had my daughter,” said Friedland, who founded the highly successful Celebrity Baby Blog and also uses other social media. “I use Twitter for work and LinkedIn for work networking," she said.
Susie Adamson, 39, a Maplewood mom of two, shared her social media habits. “I was not plugged into social media at all pre-kids,” she said. These days, she is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. “I love being able to follow the daily ins and outs of my far-flung friends from all of the many chapters of my life, without actually having to see each and every one of them, or even talk on the phone or e-mail!” Adamson said.
Patch’s own Jennifer Hardwick, 35 and mom to a 2-year-old, is also a social media fan. “I have thoroughly enjoyed creating and updating a blog for our relatives, especially great-grandparents and grandparents, to feel like they are experiencing our son Jonathan's milestones with him. I include activities of the day and any special things he's done. I also include a link to our Photobucket site when it's relevant,” said Hardwick. As with the other moms that we spoke with, Hardwick uses a number of social media networks. “I love Facebook to find old friends and LinkedIn for colleagues and professional development. Since I plan to return to work at some point, I think LinkedIn is an important way to keep my network alive.”
Tracy Spangler, 39, who lives in South Orange with her husband and two daughters, ages 5 and 3, is mainly a Facebook user who loves updating her Facebook status. “I use Facebook for fun and to keep in touch with faraway friends, but it's also very useful for keeping in touch with local friends and also for finding out about local activities, events and news,” said Spangler. She also relies on e-mail since “who has time to talk on the phone?”
Another South Orange mother of two, Jill Lam, is in her early 40s and a Facebook fan. Lam admits that her social interaction is almost solely through e-mail and Facebook. “I rarely talk to friends over the phone anymore,” said Lam, who is raising a 3-year-old son and a 4-month-old daughter.
After having children, keeping in touch may not be so easy for new mothers. Union resident Melanie Cappiello, 34 and a mother of a 14-month-old, agreed. “I feel that social networking helps me feel connected to other adults and to those in the real world. It has helped me keep in touch with my friends ... both those with children and those without. Facebook also allows me to share pictures and daily life stuff with relatives across the country,” she said.
In addition, “sometimes just reading the forums helped me feel connected in those first few crazy months as a new mom,” admitted Cappiello.