She May Not Be a Nerd, But Mom is Often the Tech-Savvy Parent
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
May 10 2012 02:08 PM ET
CREDIT: Shutterstock: Stefanolunardi
With all the talk about the first generation of "digital natives" — children born after 1995, who are growing up surrounded by computers, smartphones and other tech gadgets — let's not forget the millions of moms who are raising these children. Mother's Day is Sunday, and today we take a look at how moms use and influence technology.
There are more than 82 million moms in the U.S., and they wield a lot of influence when it comes to buying tech-based products. Moms are involved in 89 percent of the family's consumer electronics purchase decisions, according to GirlPower Marketing, an online firm specializing in women and their buying habits.
We caught up with Suzanne Kantra, who runs Techlicious, a tech-friendly site for moms. She’s also host of Martha Stewart's "Living with Technology" radio show. A veteran multi-tasker, Kantra talked to us on the phone from her son's baseball practice.
"Today moms have taken over the role of chief purchasing officer," Kantra said. "She's the one making sure that the family's technology needs are met."
But women aren't forking over premiums for pretty packages.
"I think marketers have woken up to the fact that women actually understand what these devices are and care about performance and value," said Kate Muhl Allendoerfer at consumer insights firm Iconoculture. "They don't have to be romanced into getting a device."
For moms, a gadget is not an accessory like a handbag. It's a portal to what she wants to do, Muhl Allendoerfer said. And she's doing a lot.
Over the past decade, Mom's time on the Internet has soared. She is logging well over 2.5 hours per day, compared with 53 minutes in 2002, according to a new survey, "Moms and Media 2012," from Edison Research, a survey firm best known for its political exit polls.
The company surveyed 2,020 people by phone, including 300 women with at least one non-adult child in the house. According to the findings, moms bank online, shop online and connect with friends online. Moms check their Facebook pages more than twice as often as dads do.
Mom's go-to device? The smartphone. More than 60 percent of moms own a smartphone , compared with 44 percent last year, Edison found.
"A lot of moms have handed down their laptops to their kids," Muhl Allendoerfer said. "Their first device is their phone."
Kantra agreed and added, "New moms are the biggest acquirers of smartphones." She said that the need to be more organized and have all of your information in one place made a smartphone indispensable.
"It's really about the relationship, not the device," said Muhl Allendoerfer, herself a mom. "Women just do more. They get more back from liking things [on Facebook] and networking."
So this Mother's Day you might acknowledge mom's tech savvy with a new case for her phone. Just don't forget to call her on it.