Mom's viral post about another's pool day shows 'fake' aspect of social media

"Social media attacks young moms' mental health."

June 27, 2019, 4:25 AM

One mom says the viral post she penned about a situation she observed at her local pool was written because "social media attacks young moms' mental health."

Jen Flint isn't a blogger or even super active on Facebook. But her post from June 19 struck such a chord that it's been shared more than 125,000 times.

"Yesterday while at the pool I watched a young Mama and her little daughter enter the pool area dressed in very nice coordinating swimming suits," she wrote. "The mom, with her perfect loose curls tied up in a coordinating scarf, spent the first few minutes talking loudly on her phone to a friend while her daughter stood waiting to get into the pool."

It goes on to describe what happened next. Mom spreads out toys and matching towels, takes a photo. Talks on the phone. 10 minutes pass and little girl asks mom to get in pool repeatedly, which she does not. They then leave.

"I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like 'Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories'," she wrote.

The problem, Flint said is how a post like that affects the person who sees it.

"She's [another mom] going to look at that photo and she is going to compare herself to the perfect Mama at the pool," her post said. "The Adversary is going to whisper into her ear 'you aren't good enough... You don't look like that Mama at the pool... You don't have money to buy expensive swimming suits like that and you don't have time to make memories like she is' and that young Mama is going to believe it. She's going to feel like a failure."

Flint told "Good Morning America" that the vast majority of the more than two thousand comments she received before turning off the feature were positive.

"I know several young moms struggling with depression, they get depressed that they are not enough," she said. "Everything they see is on social media and so much of it is fake."

The St. Augustine, Florida, mom of six pointed out people rarely post the bad moments on social media. As a result, the person seeing this hypothetical perfectly-posed pool post feels inadequate. But they don't know the whole story.

"When they [the moms] feel like they are not enough they start to give up a little," Flint said. Being inundated with other people's perfectly curated social media lives is, in Flint's opinion, leading to mental health issues.

She also wants to be clear she is in no way mom-shaming the woman in her post. "I don't judge her at all. I have no idea what was going on for her that day."

Her point, she said, was simply to remind parents who are struggling that social media doesn't tell the whole story or even the real story.

"It's one snapshot," she said. "One moment."