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30th Jun 2017

Who are these Insta-mums and where are they hiding reality?

Modern life is hard enough without the unachievable perfection of Insta-parenting.

Modern life is hard enough without the unachievable perfection of Insta-parenting.

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The photo-sharing application Instagram is used daily by millions of people around the world. Recently, The Royal Society for Public Health’s #StatusOfMind report named the app as being the most detrimental to young people’s mental health, but what about us thirty- and forty-somethings?

In a world where social media over-sharing has encroached on every aspect of parenting, I want to know who these women are and where are they hiding reality?

My feelings about social media don’t lie in the dark ages; the internet and social networks have forever changed how we perceive and share our lives. However, I do query if Insta-parenting is the best – or most responsible – way to show the world how much you love your children or what a great mother you are.

For the children of Instagram mums, some with hundreds of thousands of followers, their lives and moments on camera will be a digital footprint almost impossible to erase. Urban Dictionary defines the recent concept of an ‘Instagram husband’ as being:

“The husband of a blogger or online influencer who takes photographs for his spouse and is tolerant of the constant interruptions that come along with the blogging business.”

But what of the Instagram child? A quick search informs me that “there aren’t any definitions for Instagram child yet.” Yet. Surely the constant interruptions that come along with being the offspring of an Insta-mum warrant a dictionary entry in 2017? Being repeatedly asked to pose, re-pose, move a little to the left, smile or look serious is an infringement on childhood as we know it.

The application’s signature photo-filtering adds a glossy filter to everyday parenting experiences and leaves many regular mums with a pervasive sense of FOMO. As noted in the #StatusOfMind report, a social platform purported to help people connect with each other is in fact fuelling a mental health crisis revolving around feelings of disconnection.

Let’s try to remember what these filtered, curated, and Photoshopped versions of reality, don’t show: the meltdowns, the shoulder-puke, the toilet cleaning, the sleep deprivation and the bored kids who – in reality – just want to go home.