Moms lead on-the-go lives centered around family life, work and personal fulfillment. Technology helps moms tackle every aspect of their lives in ways that can ease the burdens of trying to be in multiple places at the same time, tracking everything from soccer games and recitals to first steps and smiles.
Staying in touch with family, friends, co-workers and other moms forms a top-of-the-list priority for modern mothers. Christa Terry, one of three co-founders of the Mom Meet Mom online forum that helps mothers match up with compatible peers, points to communications gear as moms' primary source of support. "Communication is the number one vital lifeline for mothers, and when moms can't connect in person they're connecting via their tech," she says. "Games are fun, but the ability to reach other moms for support, opinions, and commiseration is what keeps mothers sane. From the moment a woman finds out she's pregnant, the desire to make connections becomes a priority. And once she becomes a parent, the need for communication only heightens...What stroller or crib should I get? Where are the other moms in my neighborhood? Why isn't my baby sleeping?!"
Camera-equipped smartphones and tablets enable busy moms to capture cute, clever and innovative moments with their children, all without carrying a separate point-and-shoot camera. For Terry, photography marks one of technology's biggest revolutions in mothers' daily lives. "Some moms have thousands of pics of their kids on their phones because those phones are actually their primary cameras. Even just 20 years ago, the idea that we'd have thousands of photos of our kids would have sounded crazy. Now we have thousands of pictures of our kids right on our smartphones. While you hear plenty of kids saying 'Don't take a picture, Mom!' it's going to be amazing how many memories we'll be able to take with us into the future. And right here in the present, it's easier than ever to share pics of how our kids are growing with our loved ones." These assets increase moms' need for thoughtful implementation of security provisions to protect a large amount of sensitive and private information about their children, including pictures, addresses, phone numbers of schools, friends, birth dates, etc. Smartphone memory cards and synching capabilities ease the task of backing up photo assets to a desktop or notebook computer.
Despite technology's ability to enhance communications and create memories, it adds the prospect of data loss and misuse. Terry points to two major protection points that many moms neglect. "First, too many mothers don't auto lock and password protect their mobile devices because they just don't know how. But when you consider the amount of personal information—not to mention pictures of kids—on a mother's phone, setting up password protection and automatic locking should absolutely be a priority."She also sees room for concern in the tendency to "set all their apps to stay logged in all the time—probably because plugging in a password every time you want to check Facebook is kind of a pain. But moms need to think about how much info they share about their lives and families on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites. When you pair unlocked profiles with an unlocked phone, hackers have an easy in." Even Mom's refrigerator can use security attention in the form of well-chosen passwords for the touchscreen interface that manages photos, plays streaming music and accesses online social media.
Smartphones provide moms with a means of monitoring and controlling every aspect of family life in real time. Apps can enable them to check on the status of a load of towels in the dryer or choose a wash cycle and start a high-efficiency washer, or turn a smartphone into a remote control for the family TV. These capabilities mean that smartphones can help moms take charge of tasks that once required them to be at home or to wrestle for the remote. Terry lauds smartphones' ability to unite multiple aspects of daily routine onto one device. "In the same minute, a mom can track fertility or the progress of a pregnancy, schedule a pediatrician appointment, take a video of her kids to share with grandparents in another state." Terry adds that "Working moms can stay connected to coworkers on their kids' sick days—or give their little ones a virtual hug from the office. I personally think that great tech can help moms live more balanced lives."
Photo Credits: Shauna Hundeby/Demand Media
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