Don't Let Social Media's Obsession With Parenting Advice Get You Down

Facebook's algorithm is designed to push parenting articles on people who declare to be moms or dads. Many of the pieces targeting these audiences are clickbaity poppycock.

If you've let Facebook know that you're a mom or dad, chances are you've seen a lot more parenting articles pop up in your news feed lately. As Parade's Kate Rope explains, a lot of those articles offer information that's neither life-changing nor particularly apt. But since the algorithm has targeted you for a steady stream of "relevant" content, you're going to see a whole lot more parent-focused clickbait than the rest of your social network. That's why you need to develop a filter for sifting through the wide range of stuff that enters your virtual space. Know what's useful and know what's just there to sell ads.

Some background: Rope is Parade's new parenting and pregnancy columnist, so she makes sure to note just how meta it is that she's making this argument.* She also emphasizes that her point isn't to ignore parenting advice articles altogether, as some really are quite useful and insightful (shameless plug). But being bombarded with post after post after post only helps add fuel to the fires of supposed inferiority and ruthless self-critique. As both a columnist and mother, Rope finds such a state to be harmful for parents:

"I want to learn how to stop critiquing my parenting choices and accept that it is all one big learning experience—a process, rather than a finished project. I don’t have to get it right from the get go. In fact, I don’t have to get it right at all. Being able to accept failure and sit in the mess is as valuable (no, more valuable) as learning 'the top 5 super-simple things you can do to boost baby’s IQ today.'"

So when going through parenting articles in social media, do your best to first read them outside the mom/dad context. What are the goals of the piece? Is it crafted in a way to convey information or to elicit an emotional response? If it's the latter, don't let any of the content negatively affect how you feel. If a parenting piece isn't clear, concise and genuine, it's not at all worth your concern.

Keep reading at Parade

Photo credit: YanLev / Shutterstock

*Even more fascinatingly meta is how this is a blog post about why you should believe a blog post that stresses why you shouldn't believe other blog posts.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
Keep reading Show less