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Article

Exploring the relationships between self-presentation and self-esteem of mothers in social media in Russia

Computers in Human Behavior. 2017. No. Volume 73. P. 20-27.
Trofimenko O., Djafarova E.

Majority of parents use social media platforms, with young mothers being the most active users. Academic research has only recently started addressing the impact of social media on mothers, although they are one of the most engaged online audiences. Instagram and Facebook perceived as positive types of social media, where users post positive content to increase encouraging response from their subscribers and thus enhance their self-esteem. This also relates to mothers portraying positive self-presentation online, therefore enhancing their parental self-esteem. This study provides in-depth analysis of 23 popular online profiles of mothers with more than thirty thousand followers on Instagram and 12 interviews with socially active mothers. This work focuses on mothers in Russia. Research findings show mothers with children of pre-school age are the most regular users of social media. This is due to time availability, as majority of these mothers are on maternity leave and due to little knowledge in child related aspects, which leads to lower self-esteem. They often look for assurance in online community. Mothers that are more confident have positive attitude towards social media communication. Mothers with initially lower self-esteem feel under pressure to maintain positive image to be in line with other mothers’ presentation on social media. Mothers find Facebook more informative and supportive vehicle of communication than Instagram. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd