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chrisdh79 OP t1_iuqv9ne wrote

From the article: A study published in the journal Biological Psychology suggests that exposure to social media content about motherhood can trigger a sense of threat among mothers, activating the body’s stress response. The study found that more time spent on social networking sites devoted to motherhood was associated with increased cortisol output among mothers.

During social interactions, people frequently fall victim to social comparison — they begin comparing themselves to the people around them and making self-judgments. These self-evaluations can lead to negative feelings, particularly when they stem from upward social comparisons — comparisons to people who seem better off than oneself.

Social self-preservation theory says that when a social situation threatens a person’s self-concept, this activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and stimulates the release of cortisol. Accordingly, study author Nataria T. Joseph and her co-authors wanted to test whether engaging in social comparison has a measurable impact on a person’s cortisol levels.

“This project is the third of a series of projects that we executed together, with the aim of examining the complex nature of and multifactorial, biopsychosocial implications of social media use among first time mothers,” explained Joseph (@_NoCrystalStair), an associate professor at Pepperdine University who holds the Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Social Science professorship.


tastyToasterStreudal t1_iurbbrb wrote

This doesn’t determine causality at all. More stressed out moms may turn to social media support more than moms who aren’t losing their minds.


noobtik t1_iurbp0i wrote

any people who spend more time on social media experience higher stress


Jacob_Trouba t1_iurwijo wrote

Also, no one except other moms want to hear about, we don't care.


MpVpRb t1_iurx52h wrote

People who care about what others say experience higher stress hormone levels


MirandaReitz t1_ius4i10 wrote

Internet Dad makes pancakes for the kids: "Awwww, all the feels! Love a dad who shows up! Best dad ever!!!"

Internet Mom makes pancakes for the kids: "I'd never feed *my* kids sugar and gluten for breakfast but you do you, boo..."


LeskoLesko t1_iut7ehx wrote

Found the person who hasn't gone to social media groups for moms. They are craaaaazy.

I get stressed out just reading them. I've stopped subscribing. There are three categories of stress: the stress of seeking out advice for a scary situation, like you say, but then there are two more: the stress of women in terrible situations (abusive husbands, not enough food to eat, lost their jobs, about to be evicted, that kind of terrible situation) and the women who are actively abusing their kids and call it "love" or "fighting the power." You know the types -- the ones who think doctors are secretly killing babies for an unknown cult, so they refuse to take their kids to the hospital, the ones who use silver and boiled rose petals to treat their kid's ear infections, put eggs and onions in socks instead of using medicine, and who PUT BREAST MILK IN THEIR INFECTED KIDS EYES.

The social media groups include pictures, by the way. There was a picture a mom shared of her toddler masturbating, asking "is this normal?" and the kid's face was visible to all 30,000 members of the social media group before the mods took it down.

These groups are crazy, not kidding, just go to r/Mommit or r/ShitMomGroupsSay and your stress levels will shoot up too.


mill_about_smartly t1_iutcunw wrote

I don't understand why we're still allowing links to PsyPost instead of the original study.

They notoriously editorialize headlines.


fmfbrestel t1_iutgqxv wrote

Doesn't claim causality at all. Defensive much?

But it does open up interesting avenues for further study. People don't tend to make social media posts about the boring mundane everyday stuff. They make posts about the extraordinary stuff good and or bad. So you are going to see a decent number of posts on any parenting forum or subreddit about close calls, and rare complications and extreme interactions with strange people.

Parenting social media can be exhausting. There's little denying that.

That's why r/wholesomememes is so popular, you need some eye bleach after reading all the tragedies that get posted in r/parenting


insaneintheblain t1_iuthcx3 wrote

There is probably a high correlation between this and divorces tbh. Hard to measure.


tastyToasterStreudal t1_iutwboa wrote

If you read the study, and not just the title on Reddit, it literally does. Glad you read before commenting and presenting anecdotal evidence to support your own views though. It also isn’t defensive because I’m not a mom, and not one who joins parent groups. I was simply pointing out a large variable not being controlled for


LordBrandon t1_iuupp9u wrote

Are mothers that are having a hard time just seeking more advice?


bonyolult_ t1_iuvp1bs wrote

But.... there are DIFFERENT mom's groups as well. Well moderated, with supportive and nonshaming group norms, which decrease anxiety, amd increase feelings of belonging and being supported and such. Not differentiating mom groups according to this shaming/nonshaming culture difference seems like a HUGE research mistake to me.


DTFH_ t1_iuwbriw wrote

They're older than that, you better off looking towards first wave organic parents and green movements! The woo to Q pipeline is nothing new, there just a new movement to join.