Mothers Enter the Judgment Zone on Social Media

Nearly seven in 10 mother social users feel other mothers judge their parenting decisions.

The web is far and away the most critical medium for mothers. In a January 2015 study by Edison Research, 59% of US mothers ranked the internet as the media that was most essential to their life, up from 48% who said the same in 2010. This expansion was at the expense of TV, which saw its share drop from 32% to 30%, and radio (from 15% to 7%); newspapers maintained their miniscule 3%.

Frequency with Which US Mother Social Media Users Feel Their Parenting Decisions Are Judged by Other Mothers, Feb 2015 (% of respondents)But other research by Edison, conducted in February 2015, found that mothers were feeling the heat from one of their favorite digital activities—social media. Nearly seven in 10 US mother social media users felt their parenting decisions were always or sometimes judged by other mothers, while just 10% said they never thought this.

This stress could be the reason mothers polled in March 2015 by Experian Marketing Services were more likely to need a break from the web. When the study asked US mothers about their attitudes toward the internet, 43.1% said that at times they felt they needed to disconnect or take a break from it, vs. 36.4% of total consumers.

eMarketer estimates that this year, 29.7 million mothers—females ages 18 and older with children under 18 in the household—will be social networkers, representing 86.1% of mother internet users.