Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Facebook and Mothering - What's the Connection?

With the sweet smell of Mother's Day flowers beginning towane but the chocolates well ensconced on our hips, let's talk about our relationshipswith family and friends - and why they're so important to us.

This week when Facebook goes public, its worth is expectedto be about 100 billion dollars. Yep, that's not a typo, it's $100 billion, ifthe IPO shares are priced around $35 each. With over 900 million active users,how has Facebook achieved such a record-breakingsuccess in less than 10 years? It's built its success on the assumption that weall want to connect with family and friends, telling them about ourselves indetail – our status, our timeline, our likes, our milestones, our photos, ourfriends. And a recent study from Harvard has identified why they are right.

Researchers have shown that it feels good to talk about ourselves, either virtually onsocial media sites or in person. And we spend a lot of time doing it. About 40%of the things we say on a daily basis are self-disclosure, how we think orfeel. Using brain imaging as well as behavioral criteria, they found thattalking about ourselves triggers the same pleasurable responses as food ormoney. Brain scans indicate that areas in the limbic system have more activitywhen we're sharing information about us, just as they do when we're feelingsatisfaction from food, money or sex. So it's no wonder that we choose to brag aboutourselves.

Some have said that this preference for self-disclosure mayhave played a role in the Mother's Day cover of Time Magazine – on which a twenty-something mom is breast-feedingher almost 4 year-old son. While breast-feeding can enhance physical bonding aswell as provide unique enrichment and protective nutrients to little ones, the cover story highlights the controversies stemming from extended nursing – one of three major tenants of attachmentparenting. What are your feelings about the duration of breast-feeding? About "baby-wearing?"About sharing a family bed?

Raising children is never easy and there is no one perfectway for everyone. What have you found works best for you in nurturing yourkids? How does this affect the relationship with your partner? Share yourthoughts through our "Comment" button below and become part of theconversation.

And be sure to join us Wednesday when "ConflictWhisperer" Roger Frame, Ph.D. visits to talk about his book, Don't Carve the Turkey with a Chainsaw: Resolving Family Conflict. He'll beanswering questions and introducing us to his tools for conflict management.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we women always have to compete over who's the best? We're not in high school anymore. The cover asks, "Are you mom enough?" but why do we have to go there? Can't we agree to disagree? I bonded with my kids by loving them and they turned out fine.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could have breast-fed longer but I couldn't. Does that make me a bad mother? I don't think so but I worry about it.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think my husband was jealous of the closeness I had with our second child when she was an infant. He withdrew until we worked on our relationship too.

8:15 AM  

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