Modern Mums’ Digital Conundrum
We’re living in an age of “instant gratification”.
In the digital age we can ask “Dr Google” what’s ailing our child. We can “google” what their rash might be a symptom of and whether we need to head to make an urgent dash to the doctor. We can solve our latest parenting dilemma at the click of a button (without having to ask our friends those awkward questions). And best of all…Dr Google responds instantly, anywhere and anytime.
Nick Jr Parents, Multi Channel Network (MCN) and Baby Center have recently released new research about how technology has impacted modern mums in today’s society.
But I think that our access to digital information is a double-edged sword for modern mums.
On one hand, we’ve got timely access to information. We type in our parenting concern and instantly hundreds of thousands of possible solutions appear on our screen. Just like that. Magic.
I’ll confess here: after my first newborn baby cried for 7.5 hours straight one night, I bought (a very expensive) online program to help my baby who Dr Google told me was experiencing “severe colic”. (And no, the program didn’t work!)
But the flipside of this access to information is the sheer volume of information we can be exposed to (at the click of a button). Have you ever done a Google search of how to deal with tantrums and seen the number of search results?
Modern mums are suffering “infobesity”. We’re drowning under an avalanche of digital information that we can access anywhere, anytime. We’re overwhelmed by choice.
And this can be a problem.
I’m worried that our access to online information is hampering our ability to trust our own motherly instinct. To trust our own maternal judgment. I’m worried that we’re so quick to default to Dr Google, that we’re not tuning inward first and listening to what our babies and our intuition are telling us.
We’re deferring some of our maternal decisions and instincts to technology. And that worries me.
Don’t get me wrong, I think parenting without digital support would be hard. Really hard. And I’m not prepared to give up Dr Google. He can be really handy (and is a lot cheaper than countless visits to the doctor, nutritionist, paediatrician…)
I love the fact that I can tap away on my smartphone at 3am trying to find a solution for my screaming newborn baby’s apparent discomfort. (No baby book or manual can ever give you this sort of timely support. Have you ever tried to flick through a book while nursing a baby that’s thrashing around? Nowhere near as easy as scrolling through your smartphone, that’s for sure.)
As modern mums we want and expect our information NOW. And that’s fine.
We just need to make sure that we don’t let Dr Google and our online support networks drown out our own inner wisdom and intuition.