Did Social Media kill the Mother’s Day card?

In Lifestyle by Andrew Selepak

by UFSocial program director Andrew Selepak

You may have noticed something on Sunday, May 14th, 2017. No, I am not talking about the lack of NFL football on television, but that it was Mother’s Day.

Sure, you may have had it on your calendar and remembered to buy last minute flowers from 1-800-Flowers.com or from Pro Flower.com, but did you remember to buy a card? Did you go into Hallmark or a local drug store or grocery store to pick out a card, looking for just the right one, and then write something appropriate on the inside, address the envelope, put a stamp on it and put it in the mail in time for it to arrive by Saturday, May 13th? The Post Office doesn’t deliver on Sundays, and in some places on Saturdays, so no matter what the card didn’t arrive on Mother’s Day.

Or did you use social media to tell your mom Happy Mother’s Day? Just skip the card altogether and maybe the flowers too and instead spent your day looking through old photos of you and your mother, trying to find the most embarrassing but still appropriate one and then writing up a short open letter to the world to tell everyone how you have the best Mom in the world and how she is your best friend?

Understandably, many have lost their mothers over the years and these open letter to the world are in remembrance of moms who are no longer with us or who are suffering through illness.

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart took to Instagram to wish his deceased mother a touching Happy Mother’s Day.

Happy Mothers Day Mom…. #Rip #NancyHart

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

NFL Quarterback and five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady posted to Instagram a photo of his family with his mother who has been battling cancer.

As Kevin Hart and Tom Brady showed, Moms can and should be remembered and celebrated no matter where they are and no matter where you are, through their touching dedications to their mothers.

But not all Mother’s Day social media posts need to be somber.

Actor Ron Perlman took a selfie with his mother and posted it to Facebook to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.

Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian was all over Twitter for Mother’s Day wishing herself a Happy Mother’s Day:

Wishing her grandmother a Happy Mother’s Day:

Wishing her sister Kourtney a Happy Mother’s Day:

And wishing her mom Kris Jenner a Happy Mother’s Day:

Although, not surprisingly, controversy couldn’t escape the Kardashians even on Mother’s Day with stories like this one from US Weekly titled, “Kris Jenner Leaves Ex Caitlyn Out of Mother’s Day Posts, But Includes First Husband Robert Kardashian”.

You guys are my very heart and soul… to my kids Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloé, Robert, Kendall and Kylie, thank you for all you bring to my life. You are everything I could possibly dream of and I thank God He has blessed me with you and chose me to be your mom… I am grateful every single day for the love you fill me up with, and I appreciate and love and respect each little bit of every one of you. You have the biggest hearts and the sweetest souls and are the most amazing people I know. Being a mom is my dream come true… you guys are the biggest gift of my life and I am so proud of each one of you. I love you more than you will ever know forever and ever, mommy xoxo #MothersDay #Blessed #ProudMama #family #myeverything

A post shared by Kris Jenner (@krisjenner) on

Kim Kardashian wasn’t the only celebrity wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to more than just her own mother. Social media Mother’s Day posts were also for the mothers of the children of celebrities. In addition to his Instagram dedication to his mother, Brady also wished his supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen a Happy Mother’s Day.

But wishing moms a Happy Mother’s Day on social media wasn’t just for the rich and famous. It seems like everyone was in on it.

#MothersDay2017, #MothersDay, and #HappyMothersDay were all popular hashtags. Even the NFL wished all Moms a Happy Mother’s Day with the hashtag #HappyMothersDay

Snapchat and Instagram offered special Mother’s Day filters. And Snapchat even offered customizable Mother’s Day filters – for a price.

Facebook added a “Thankful” reaction of a purple flower for Mother’s Day:

And Facebook offered various filters to add to profile pictures for Mother’s Day, as well as updated stickers.

Mother’s Day 2017 was about wishing all moms a Happy Day, whether you saw her or not, or whether she was still with us or not. It might have involved flowers, a Facetime chat, a phone call, or maybe even an actual visit. But no matter what, it involved social media.

If Mother’s Day 2017 taught us anything, it is that Mother’s Day is a public and social event.

Tweets were sent. Instagram photos were posted. Snapchat filters were used. And Facebook messages were made.

So even if you didn’t send a card, Moms were still trending across social media and rightfully so.

But if you got Mother’s Day 2017 wrong, don’t forget that Father’s Day is June 18th, 2017. You still have time to find the most embarrassing but still appropriate photo with your Dad, pick the best filter, and tweet out #HappyFathersDay. Or upload the photo to Instagram. Or post to Facebook your thoughts on Dad. Just skip the customizable Snapchat filter for $24.99, because why is your Dad on Snapchat anyway?

#FathersDay2017 just like #MothersDay2017 will be all about social media. So Happy #FathersDay and Happy #MothersDay to all the mothers and fathers out there. You all have earned it, if for no other reason than the fact that we were the ones who made you create all these social media accounts to hear from us on your special day.

About the Author

Andrew Selepak


Dr. Selepak is a professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida, and director of the graduate program in Social Media.