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Majority of parents turn to social media for support, information
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Its a widely-held truth that it takes a village to raise a child, and todays parents are turning to social media to find that village. - photo by Jessica Ivins
When it comes to the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, todays parents are turning to social media to find that village.

Thats according to a new Pew Research survey of 2,000 American adults, which revealed that overall, 75 percent of parents are active on social media sites, with moms being more heavily engaged. Thats compared with just 66 percent of adults who report using sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The majority of social media-using parents frequently respond to good news shared by their friends, family and acquaintances via social media 88 percent of moms and 71 percent of dads surveyed reported liking or commenting on posts bearing happy tidings.

When it comes to gathering useful information through social media, 79 percent of parents surveyed said they had received valuable tips from friends in their networks. In terms of support, nearly three-quarters of moms and dads feel uplifted and enriched by their friends on social media on a regular basis.

Just under half reported turning to social media to carry them when theyre feeling down about parenthood 50 percent of moms received emotional and social support in this arena, compared with 28 percent of dads.

Many parents have already been social media users before having children, and theyve adapted these advantages to their new scenarios, said study author Maeve Duggan in a release.

When it comes to specific media, parents report using Facebook the most 75 percent have accounts and over 70 percent report logging on daily. Another interesting point: Facebook-using parents are more likely to friend actual friends than users who dont have children.

Social network sites like Facebook make it easier to access a broad network of people for both informational and emotional support, and parenting is often a context where we need both, said co-author Cliff Lampe.

While younger parents are more likely to use Instagram, adults without children report using the photo-posting site most frequently.

Researchers said the results highlight the fact that while parenting particularly with younger children can be isolating, social media opens up the world and facilitates the adult interaction so many stay-at-home moms and dads crave.

And they dont even have to change out of their pajamas to do it.
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