While women are endlessly uploading photos of their photogenic progeny to social media, new fathers increasingly use the various platforms for a widely diverse bunch of reasons.
We all know social media at its worst can be a stinking morass of pig-ignorant political opinion, personal abuse and unwanted bank advertising.
But at its best, it can also be an incredible resource and aid in whatever you’re into, including fathering, which is something unimaginable to our fathers and grandfathers.
A couple of clicks and swipes and you can be part of a large or small group (like our own Facebook Group) in your local area or worldwide where you can read, contribute and consider all sorts of relevant information. I learnt to do multiple plaits in my daughter’s hair – something I’d never had to do before – by watching this chap on Youtube, for instance:
A prominent member of the Australian Twitterati recently complained about his membership of a suburban Sydney Facebook group for fathers because other members were posting memes he thought were misogynistic. While some of them were, to be frank, kinda distasteful, he was quickly shouted down by other members of the group (on Twitter) who pointed out that overwhelmingly the group was used for constructive purposes such as which local parks were best, whether certain entry fees are worth it, no-bullshit reviews of the current crop of kids’ movies, which shopping centre has a family and/or unisex toilet you can take your daughter into, etc… all the useful stuff which social media does well and which makes life much more efficient than it used to be.
There are groups on the various platforms talking about kids’ health, from vaccinations to toileting and circumcision, and there are groups for guys who are fathers dealing with relationship breakups and divorce. Some of them are anonymous threads on Reddit, for example, but they can still be really helpful and make us feel we’re not alone.
Check a subreddit like r/Daddit, for example, created for “dads, single dads, new dads, step-dads, tall dads, short dads, and any other kind of dad.”
A lot of fathering issues are just not things you feel you can talk about freely with mates or even close family members, but some fella in Portland, Oregon or Cork, Ireland might say just the perfect thing you need to hear via a social media forum.
Products, services, kids’ lunches, DIY projects and sport are some of the other sorts of subjects popular among young dads on social media, compared with the mums who prefer to upload countless images of the little darlings to Insta, Facebook, etc. Dads, not so much.
How dads use social media is a subject not yet properly researched (though we found at least one survey about social media use and dads, linked to below) but it’s clear that convenience, anonymity (sometimes) and privacy are all at play in the use of social media by new fathers on a whole range of pertinent subjects.
Read more here.