Becoming a Social Media Outlier
One mom's take on parenting in the digital age as part of the Care.com Interview Series
When Sara Fisher, who blogs over at Self Made Mom, first went back to work, social media and the internet was a lifesaver, and allowed her to meet amazing women from all walks of life. While she doesn't rely heavily on social media to influence her parenting, Fisher does think all the easy access to information -- while helpful -- creates more distraction, and more ways to get neurotic! See how she handles her family's privacy on the web, and how becoming a blogger after leaving the working world has shaped her life for the better, even if it has made her somewhat of an outlier in the blogosphere.
Tell us about your family.
I'm a proud mom of two boys ages 6 and 2.5. Married to a lovely man. We keep it anonymous other than those details.
Tell us about your blog. How and why did you start blogging?
My blog is called Self-Made Mom. I started blogging originally when I went back to work after my first son was born. Since then I've used it mainly as a creative outlet for my motherhood experience. I've been blogging for almost 6 years, and I'm pretty sure the same people still keep in touch with me through my blog.
What social media sites do you use? Why do you use those particular sites?
I'm a huge Facebook fan because I love seeing photos of my friends and what they are doing. Pinterest was great for me when I was redecorating my family room, but otherwise it's not in my daily repertoire. Twitter for sure - I use it constantly for work.
What types of things do you post to your Facebook or Twitter? Do you fall under a certain category of Facebook Poster Types?
Rare is the occasion where I air my dirty laundry online. I'm pretty private. I like to use Facebook to put out interesting links to stories I've read, written or things I've seen. I also update it with cute photos of my kids' milestones or happy moments that I think my friends would enjoy.
How do you think social media has changed parenting, for better or for worse?
It hasn't changed anything for me, because I've never really relied on the social media world to shape what I do or how I do it as a parent. The best thing I get through social media with regards to parenting is easier and quicker access to information, which then I decide how I use.
I think, however, social media has disrupted our parenting - there are so many blogs, so many updates, so many distractions now - and so many more ways to get neurotic!
How do you think parenting bloggers are perceived? How has the role of the blogger evolved from when you started?
Eh, I try not to pay too much attention to this issue. I think the term mommy blogger is a bit degrading, but you gotta call it what it is - we are moms who blog. Yet, we are so much more, and you can see the trend moving that way - mom blogs turning to lifestyle blogs, travel blogs, tech blogs. The niches are becoming so much stronger than the big "mom blogger" umbrella.
Have you ever used social media to handle a problem in your household?
I use it more for product recommendations. Recently I posted about agave syrup - is it that much better than sugar? And got some good responses and links.
How have social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter helped your parenting strategies? Explain.
Just access to information. Twitter I would say has less impact on information I learn as a parent than Facebook. I love getting links to interesting stories, etc.
How much do you share about your kids on your blog vs. on social media? Is there anything that's "off-limits"?
Pretty much anything personal about my husband and kids are off-limits. I don't get personal about them. I don't discuss my relationship with my husband. It might make my blog more boring, but I like to keep some things private. Same goes for Facebook and definitely Twitter. Although on Facebook you're more likely to see a photo of my husband than anywhere else online.
What discoveries have you made about parenting and/or your family through blogging?
I love going back to old posts or photos from when my kids were younger on Facebook. With regards to parenting, I can't say that Facebook has influenced it that much other than keeping up with my friends' kids. I bet I'm an outlier that way.
Tell us more about how your blog and social media communities have affected your life as a parent.
Well, when I went back to work, it was a lifesaver. I met so many other women who were going through the same challenges of work/life balance and I'm so grateful for that. Now that I'm not blogging quite as much about motherhood in general, I think blogging has brought to me more recently the opportunity to meet amazing women and be a launch pad for my business, 2 Moms Media.
Sara Fisher is the author of the blog Self-Made Mom, which is about a Chicago mom who left her well-paid, flexible job to stay at home full time. She lives in the Windy City with her husband and two boys. You can also find her on Twitter.
For more about parenting in the digital age, visit the Care.com Interview Series: Being a Social Media Mom »
Photo used with permission from Sara Fisher.
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