Internet Ecologies of New Mothers: Trust, Variety and Strategies for Managing Diverse Information Sources

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Barkhuus, Louise
Bales, Elizabeth
Cowan, Lisa
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Abstract
New parents are faced with the challenge of quickly acquiring a new base of knowledge, while simultaneously navigating a significant life change. While both new mothers and fathers experience new and unique parental demands, their early caregiving challenges differ and new mothers often search for different types of support and information online. We here present findings from an exploratory interview study of how new first-time mothers navigate online resources as they transition into parenthood. We find that many parenting tasks are supported by a variety of resources, which are often used in combination to accomplish a task. We also found that variety in sources was often valued over general source credibility, and new mothers relied on their own ability to filter information to assess how much to trust information. We also provide more general insight into the methods individuals used to gain domain knowledge in a completely new area.
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Keywords
Parents, mothers, social media, search, social support
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