Family and friends may as well give up on that anxiously anticipated phone call from the hospital—baby’s arrival is likely to be announced via status update long before the new parents start dialing. And don’t expect today’s mom to keep an archive of baby photos on a shelf collecting dust—you’ll have to check her profile for the most up-to-date brag books. Mothers may not have built Facebook, but it’s clear they’re quickly moving in and making it their own.
Marile Borden, founder of Momicillin Publishing and creator of popular Facebook groups Momicillin and Moms Who Need Wine, knows a thing or two about the growth of Facebook. “We launched an online publication for moms in May 2009, the key component of which was meant to be a daily email newsletter. The idea was that all those moms out there who didn’t have time to read things like mommy blogs would be happy to find the same content in their inbox. Weren’t we surprised to find that our Facebook fan base grew more than twice as fast as our email list! Turns out those moms weren’t going to their inboxes anymore, they were going to their news feeds instead.”
Facebook by the numbers
Borden quickly discovered that Momicillin’s reception on Facebook wasn’t a freak occurrence. According to comScore.com, in February 2010 alone, 35.65 million females with children in the United States were unique visitors to Facebook—that’s about 32 percent of the site’s U.S. total! And the mommy stats don’t stop there:
A recent survey by Lucid Marketing found that 8 out of 10 moms log on daily, and 3 in 10 log on five or more times a day.
Even more staggering are the results of Momicillin’s recent poll, which revealed that 75 percent of respondents spent more than 1 hour per day logged into their accounts, while 28 percent admitted to spending up to a whopping five hours a day online! That all adds up to a whole bunch of moms spending a whole lot of time frolicking around Facebook.
The upside to updating
At first glance, it may seem imprudent to spend countless hours online, but when you consider the benefits having a profile can offer, it becomes pretty clear why so many moms and moms-to-be have climbed aboard the Facebook bandwagon. Borden points out six things you can accomplish on Facebook that make spending your precious minutes on the site worthwhile.
Stay connected. Long chats on the phone with all of your friends and family members are a lot harder to pull off when you’ve got young children in your life (too noisy! too busy! too many things to do!). With a simple status update once a day, you can let everyone know what’s going on in your world, and then check in on theirs.
Seek instant advice. Knitting circles have fallen by the wayside now that modern mamas are going back to work or busying themselves with family activities. But regardless of today’s hectic mommy schedules, there’s still a need for advice, suggestions and parenting ideas from others who can relate. Facebook allows you to quickly post a parenting issue on your profile or the wall of your favorite mommy fan page and receive instant feedback from moms who have been there and done that. It’s one of the speediest support systems we’ve seen!
Interact with adults. When you’ve spent the last four hours cooing, playing princess and quelling tantrums, 10 minutes of adult contact can be a welcome and much needed relief. Hopping online between feedings or during naptime is an easy way to catch up with grown-up friends without having to leave your house (or put on a spit-up-free shirt).
Save time. Sure, you could exchange emails with your 25 closest friends, jump on various forums to swap stories and advice, click around the top 200 mommy blogs for fun reads, then check in with Dr. Sears for sound parenting advice … but what mom has that kind of time? Facebook is a one-stop shop. Everything comes to you in your very own handy dandy news feed, giving you the opportunity to connect with your girlfriends, get advice and clip coupons —and find freebies, magazine articles and the latest news—all in one place.
Show off baby. Of course, you’ll still print and clip your wee one’s professional photos for grandma’s fridge, but you probably want to show the world all the cute stuff your baby does on a daily basis too. Bragging rights are limitless when it comes to Facebook photo albums: Just snap your sweetie’s latest achievement and upload it to your profile right away for all your friends to see.
Entertain yourself. Because moms occasionally wish to use their brains for something other than games of peekaboo, they often turn to Facebook for some big kid playtime. Mamas can run their own farms, compete in word games, or even play shoot-’em-up games with the Mafia. And if e-games get old (which isn’t likely), they can take surveys to find out which celebrities they’re most like and quiz friends to see how much they know about one another. Offering hours of amusement, Facebook is the new daytime soap: Moms are hooked!
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