Mum’s the Word: Moms and Instagram during the COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Like moms all over the globe, Edmonton, Alberta moms struggled during the COVID-19 lockdowns for many reasons, including the increased workloads, expectations, and the impacts of the social isolation on their children and themselves. Using a mixed-qualitative approach, this study analyzed Instagram posts from Edmonton moms, and then added virtual interviews to further delve into the content of and motivations behind their posts. Moms in this study used Instagram to feel connected to their social circles and to see what others were doing during these unique and challenging times, knowing that others’ posts were likely showing an edited version of their lives. They appreciated those moms on Instagram who showed what “real life” was like so that they could relate, and feel like they were normal to be struggling with the challenges that COVID-19 created for their families, yet they themselves did not generally present the more difficult aspects of their own experiences on this platform, citing the main reason for this as wanting to stay positive for their friends and family. Notably, these moms also reported using Instagram as a digital and visual timeline of their lives that they could look back on when they wanted to, in order to remember and make sense of these unprecedented times.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International