PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A recent study suggests that new moms who post a lot of pictures of their newborn on Facebook aren’t just doing it to share photos with friends and family. Research published in the journal, “Sex Roles,” shows mothers may be seeking validation on social media and those habits could lead to psychological problems down the road.
A team of researchers led by Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a professor of human sciences at University of Ohio looked at survey data from a sample of 127 Facebook accounts of new moms living in the Midwest.
They found the moms who engaged more on Facebook and reported stronger reactions to people’s comments on their posts, were also the ones who had expressed they were seeking validation of their new identity as a parent. The same group also believed they were being held to excessively high parenting standards by society.
Some of the mothers seeking approval had even made a photo of their child their profile picture at one point. Study authors reasoned the new mothers might do so as a way to adjust to their new, defining role.
After several months of regularly posting pictures of their baby and making statuses about motherhood, many moms in the study reported symptoms of depression which researchers call an indirect link.