The connected parent
Sitting in the dark, rocking a sleeping baby, with the soft glow of Facebook pulled up on a smartphone is today’s new parent routine. Smartphones have allowed parents to research parenting topics, order diapers on the fly, and seek a sense of community in forums, all from their fingertips.
In a Facebook-commissioned, multi-part study, researchers examined Facebook and Instagram data from 8,300 parents, ages 25-65, across 8 different countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Spain UK and US). Study data will be analyzed in several different phases, but after initial analysis several prominent themes have developed across global parent markets.
Smartphone connectivity has changed the face of modern parenting, allowing parents to be more informed and expressive than parents in the past decades. Parents are looking to the internet for scheduling, tracking, and sharing of their children’s major milestones. In fact, parents spend 1.3 times more time on the Facebook mobile app than nonparents, the study revealed.
Parents are also using their smartphones to make more informed purchasing decisions by reading reviews, consulting forums, and conducting price comparisons. Millennial parents (ages 18-34) are 30% more likely than Baby Boomer parents (50-65) to use their smartphones to look up product information before making a purchase.
An expanded network
In general, modern parents have access to not only more information, but more opinions regarding their parenting choices than parents from previous decades. Seventy percent of modern parents feel more informed than their parents were, and 83% report greater access to information, in general, than their parents had. This expanded network opens the door for greater misinformation and exposure to a variety of opinions, some that may not be favorable. Parents may become more overwhelmed or confused due to the influx of available information.
Parents are expanding their network within the home, as well, with children exercising a greater influence on household purchasing decisions. Over 50% of parents report that their children have a greater impact on the products that are purchased for the home than they did growing up.
Parents are regular people
While parenting can be an all-encompassing effort, modern parents are beginning to learn to prioritize their needs, with 38% of parents saying their family benefits when they’re happy. Parental stress is a real issue, but social media is acting as an outlet to convey personal passions.