Connected, Complicated, and Constant: The Motherhood Experience in the Age of Social Media

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Harper, Melissa
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The term "mother" evokes a complex tapestry of emotions, memories, and assumptions, profoundly shaping our sense of self. This literature review digs into the complexities of motherhood, specifically from the year 2004 to present, an era marked by the ascendance of social media platforms. Social media has profoundly shaped many aspects of the maternal experience since emerging as a ubiquitous, somewhat inconsistent force, often providing opportunities for connection, identify formation and a sense of community. Unfortunately, social media content can also generate and breed competition, pressure, and unrealistic standards, exacerbating the challenges faced by mothers in navigating their roles within society. Drawing on feminist theory and empirical research, this literature review explores the many ways in which mothers are often constrained by traditional gender roles and expectations, perpetuated and magnified through their involvement and engagement with social media. By analyzing these intersecting dynamics, this paper seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding contemporary motherhood, and to advocate for more equitable and supportive frameworks that honor the diverse realities of maternal experiences in the digital age.
motherhood , social media , gender roles , intensive mothering , mental health , self-care , feminist theory , theory of dramaturgy , group therapy , community connection