Moms Join Facebook to Creep on Kids? Oh, REALLY, Mashable?

5 years ago

All moms are sweet little ladies who use Facebook only because their kids do, of course. Wait – what's that? You're a mom and you use Facebook to do something other than spy on and embarrass your kids? Well, go share
that with Mashable, which posted an infographic that depicted moms on Facebook in strangely out-of-date ways. The headline: Half of Parents Join Facebook to Creep on their Kids. (Good luck making any sense of the infographic. If it appears all jumbled up, try another browser. In Safari it is unreadable, but I could read it in Firefox. The comments about the infographic are informative, so check them out.)

The images in the infographic are generic bubble head kinds of women with rosy cheeks and jobs like part-time receptionist and full time M-O-M. (Although props to Ashley the barista who is in a civil union with Britney.) The topics of conversation from these moms deal with TV operation and puppies. The language the infographic claims moms use differs with remarks directed at girls vs. boys.

A Facebook profile of an "Educator Extraordinaire. Bon vivant. Kind of fabulous." and a mom.

Julie Marsh picked up the story and responded with The Real Moms of Facebook and Why We're There. Julie commented,

One of the best resources I’ve found (besides Cool Mom Tech, of course) is Mashable. Their tech coverage is interesting, accessible, and relevant. I had the pleasure of attending their Social Good Summit last fall and learned so much that I’m still sifting through my notes.

But oh boy did they step in it with last week’s infographic on why moms join Facebook (and who those moms are).

Julie names some very real moms as examples of reality, but not the reality depicted in the infographic. She names Facebook users such as AlphaMom, Kelly (pictured above), Mom 101 and herself as examples of how women are using Facebook.

I'd like to point out just a few of the posts on BlogHer that indicate how women are thinking about and using Facebook. These posts are about security and branding and marketing. Mostly the are posts written by women who are moms.

So where did the infographic originate? It came from Education Database Online. Whatever misconceptions we think we see in the information, they belong at the feet of Education Database Online – Mashable just reprinted it. At the bottom of the infographic, there are references to a study on Facebook and several online articles about that study. The Facebook study reports on interactions between family members - not on how they are "creeping" each other out – and concludes with,

We are happy to see that our data surfaces the affection, care, and closeness of family ties.

I have to agree with Julie Marsh who called the info graphic a "thoroughly unrealistic depiction of moms."

You are probably a mom and you are probably on Facebook. What do you think of this depiction of moms on Facebook? And why did the normally respectable and responsible Mashable editorial team run this unrealistic interpretation of the Facebook data? Surely, Mashable knows that many links to Mashable posts get shared on Facebook by moms.

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

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