The Google Mum
We are living in a world where there is more information than our brains are designed to process. A lot of it is just noise, but even sifting through this barrage of information to find relevant pieces takes up our bandwidth.
Khadija Haque, finance professional, mother to two boys and full time wife shares her views on the info overload parents face these days.
While pregnant with my first one, I convinced myself that my belly rash was PEP (earlier called PUPPP). When I confronted my gynecologist with the symptoms and suggested the diagnosis, she dismissed me. Oh, it’s just a rash she said nonchalantly. I was indignant; how could she so casually disregard the hours I spent on the Internet self-diagnosing ! Resolute on being vindicated, for my next consultation I took prints of research papers, pictures of symptoms and all sort of material to prove myself. Clearly, my few hours on Google University were as good as her years in medical school. Faintly amused, she still insisted that it was nothing to worry. Of course, it was nothing but rash, but in my defense… Ah well, who am I kidding, I have no defense!
As moms in this new digital age, we have benefited immensely from our ability to connect to and feel a sense of camaraderie with an online tribe suffering the same puke/poop filled days and sleepless nights. We use the Internet to get good deals on products, read reviews, and get recommendations and to find humour even! But all this infobesity comes with a price.
While the Internet helps in giving us new perspectives and insights, it can also concretise your biases by offering affirmations for any belief that you might hold. For some of us not gifted with a strong in-built mommy compass, this non-stop online chatter can sway our principles, make us feel inadequate and question ourselves as parents.With my first child, I compulsively researched everything online. Starting from the weekly foetus growth photos to birth stories, vaccinations, feeding, weaning, sleep issues, growth spurts … the list was endless ! I came across a ton of material, sometimes conflicting. In this new age, it has become a trend to define your parenting style and build your Mom brand. There are extreme camps of AP/crunchy moms and the mainstream moms, and many different parenting styles in between.
These days it is common to have a Mom Statement, something you live by.
None of us would fit exactly into any of these defined molds of 21st century parenting. We all have unique styles of navigating this maze of motherhood with the help of our friends and family. Technology is meant to make our lives easier, not complicate it further.With so much information just a finger swipe way, we have to show as much discretion in our use of it as our contribution to it.
The Internet is also responsible for giving us a false sense of having the smarts, as I learned with the experience with my gynae. The speed at which I can source information and become an ‘expert’ is limited only to speed of my internet access. What actually is retained is a matter open for debate.
While I still enjoy a variety on online content, stepping off the information hamster wheel, for me involved a balanced diet to combat Infobesity by cutting down on the junk food equivalent of needless time spent on Twitter, Pinterest and Houzz, limiting empty calories from FB pages and parenting forum boards. I do occasionally binge, but there’s always the digital detox program to counter that !
SingaporeforKids agrees. We hope our site helps reduce infobesity – it is aimed at making life easier for parents. Our credo is make informed choices,so enjoy !
The pictures have been sourced and borrowed from … you guessed it … Google Search !!