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U.S. Moms have a Complicated Relationship with Social Media


The Infinite Dial
The Infinite Dial

Facebook usage has fallen among social media users in the U.S. according to The Infinite Dial 2019, but one group is not showing the same decline: moms. Eighty-one percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population. Ninety-two percent of U.S. moms use social media compared to 79% of the U.S. population age 12+, and a new study from The Research Moms at Edison Research, "Moms on Social Media 2019," reveals some of the reasons moms are active users of social media.

Moms have two major motivators for continuing to use social media: the emotional connection it provides, and the practical ways it helps them in their busy lives. The study finds that on the emotional side, moms are using social media to stay up to date with friends, share aspects of their lives, and share their opinions. On the practical side, moms are using social media to get information on school events, details on extracurricular activities, health and parenting advice, and find product recommendations.

As Edison Research Vice President Megan Lazovick noted, "It turns out that the majority of moms are using social media for more than just social motivations. The bottom line is the life of a mom is not simple, and the way she uses social media isn't simple either."

Some key findings:

  • 81% of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population 12+. There are 15 million fewer Facebook users in the total U.S. population 12+ in 2019 than there were in 2017, according to The Infinite Dial 2019 , but we don't see that same downward trend among U.S. moms

  • Pinterest and Instagram have seen significant gains year-over-year. Among U.S. moms, 63% are using Pinterest in 2019 compared to 47% in 2017, and 53% are using Instagram in 2019 compared to 37% in 2017

  • 36% of moms on social media agree with the statement, "You often feel like social media is your main connection to the outside world."

  • 80% of moms on social media say they turn to it for product recommendations, and 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations

  • Regarding how they feel about social media, 59% of moms on social media say they feel connected, 54% say they feel entertained, and 41% say they feel informed.
There is a negative side to social media for moms, though:

  • 53% of moms who use social medial say there is too much negativity on social media

  • 23% of moms who use social media say social media has had a negative impact on their emotional well-being

  • 24% of moms who use social media say they would like to quit, but nearly the same percent of moms on social media (23%) say they can't live without it

  • 49% of moms say they have decided not to post, share, or comment on social media because they worried others would judge

  • Regarding how they feel about social media, 26% of moms on social media say they feel annoyed, 25% say they feel addicted, and 24% say they feel concerned
Moms were asked if they thought social media had brought people together or divided people, and their answer perfectly illustrates a complicated relationship: they were split almost evenly with 51% saying social media has brought people together and 49% saying social media has divided people.

Edison Research Vice President of Digital Operations Laura Silvia added, "As moms ourselves, we discuss many of these items around the office, so it is especially exciting to quantify moms' feelings about social media and at the same time produce research that is useful to brands and marketers."

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