Just a nice sunny afternoon, hanging out with friends over a leisurely cup of coffee and catching up… Does this sound like your life? Probably not. If you are like most parents, between coaxing tangles out of hair, curing boo boos, shuttling kids to ballet and cooking up a tasty dinner, it’s nearly impossible to grab a few minutes to relax, let alone hang out with friends. But, luckily, with today’s technology, you can be in touch with the world on your own time, and from the comfort of your favorite slippers.
Facebook, Twitter and blogs may sound like havens for college kids, but today, more and more parents are turning to the web to rekindle old friendships, share stories and catch up on the latest gossip. Sounds good, right? But how would social networking fit into your life?
Let’s start with the basics. Here are some quick and simple definitions of the most popular social networking types and services:
- Blog: A web log. Basically a virtual journal or diary
- Twitter: A micro-blogging service that lets users send short and sweet life updates (tweets) of 140 characters or less.
- Facebook and MySpace: Social networking sites that allow users to create profiles, share photos, schedule events and more.
Now that we are all on the same page, let’s get to the why? To find out why parents love connecting with others online, we checked in with some of our favorite mom bloggers. These ladies have a way with words, so who better to explain the top reasons for using these new online gizmos? Here are the top reasons they shared:
In the words of Tracey from Just Another Mommy Blog, she blogs, “for the same reason that mothers used to throw Tupperware parties….to connect with other people who are willing to listen to me rant and rave about the miniscule details that parenting 3 children involves.” Tiffanie of Three Peas in a Pod offers similar sentiments saying, “Parenting is tough, but staying connected to other parents helps our job go a little easier. Many times you learn that you are not the only parent out there that is dealing with that.” For MaryTara of the Bon Bon Gazette, blogging offers a platform to share her own learnings about autism and special diets. She explains, “What started out as a project mostly for my own personal use started to really reach others and I began receiving more and more feedback from “strangers” about how my experiences and advice had touched or helped them in some way.”
2. Tips and Tricks:
As Angela of Nine More Months explains, “Moms are a wealth of information. And weird as it may sound, when I have a parenting question, the first place I turn to get an answer is the Internet. I trust what other moms and dads have to say, and with so many people having access to the Internet, I’m bound to find someone who has ‘been there done that.” Cecelia from Cool Baby Kid adds, “With the ability to collaborate with other parents around the world [online], we can exchange parenting tips, cool product finds and so much more.” Carissa of Good & Crazy People, harnessed the power of social networking just last week when her daughter came down with pink eye. She reports, “I got several different tips and ideas for how to combat it, from all three, my blog, facebook AND Twitter!” Some parents, like Amy from 1 Girl + 4 Boys = Paradise, have even found money-saving ideas through their social networking connections. She explains, “I have learned about a lot of special offers, coupon links, and sales that really help out our family budget.”
3. Creative Outlet:
For some parents, blogging is the perfect creative outlet. Shara of Mamalicious Finds says, “I just plain love to write. I always have. Blogging gives me that creative outlet that I crave and it keeps my mind working.” Heather, author of The Gift Closet, agrees, explaining that she started her blog, “as a place I could let my creative side flow. I like to share ideas, tips, recipes, funny or inspirational stories.”
But it is Tracey of Just Another Mommy Blog who offers perhaps the most compelling reason to connect with other parents online, “I can do it in my jammies or at 2 am once the monster in the closet has been banished!”
If you’d like to see what our panel of social networking moms are up to online, we encourage you to check out their blogs!:
Filed under: Technology and Kids | Tagged: computer skills, parenting, technology | 1 Comment »