Welcome to the age of Mommy 3.0, where parenting answers are found on Twitter, rather than the playground bench. What's for dinner? Better borrow your kid's Nintendo DS, pop in the Personal Trainer: Cooking program, and learn a new recipe. The wired stay-at-home mom doesn't own an iPhone to be trendy -- it's her best way of updating play dates, shopping lists and blog posts. Oh, and if the kids are getting cranky, keep them busy with an iPhone application.
Mom marketing guru Maria Bailey coined the term Mom 3.0, which is the title of her latest book. Tech-heads refer to today's wired culture of Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube as the "Web 2.0'' -- it's obviously a much more interactive world than when the Internet first launched. But Bailey says social media moms have taken the next step in the Internet evolution. They are carrying multiple devices and using multiple applications to make their parenting lives easier and richer.
"Moms today are bridging together technology to live in a 3.0 world,'' said Bailey, who lives in Pompano Beach. The Web 3.0 is "only going to deliver me results that are relevant to my life.''
Google searches are so yesterday. Ask a question to a network on Twitter, Facebook or a blog, and within minutes a gaggle of wired moms from all over the world are giving specific, customized answers.
This week I have two stories about digital moms (in honor of Mother's Day, of course). On MomsMiami.com, read "Mom 3.0: Wired to juggle" about how moms from different generations are wired in different ways, and the social media influence they have on products.
And in today's Business section you can find a story about how moms are blogging for freebies, and the ethical concerns that are being raised.
If you're more of a Mom 1.0 (...is that like "Mom Classic"?), then I'd suggest taking a trip to TheOnlineMom.com, run by Monica Vila. Her site has tech tidbits for parents who want to keep up with trends or just chat about helpful tools and concerns. Most of her audience are parents with middle-school aged kids.
"The scariest things for parents are trends," Vila said. "Social networks... sexting... creating a social network."
She encourages parents to embrace technology and encourage their children to embrace it. Computers provide a creative outlet, and knowing what your kids know can be a bonding tool. ...but you might bond so much you end up fighting over video games.
"I still remember my nine-year-old ran out of the room crying 'Daddy! Mommy won't let me play Guitar Hero,' " Vila said.
She also preaches how it's good to know what your kids are doing online so that you can have conversations about online safety.
Vila said these days, you just can't be a parent of young children without being tech savvy. Afterall, how can you limit computer time when schoolwork encourages the use of screen time?
"Technology was a choice to parents probably a year ago," she said. "I don't think it's a choice anymore. I'm saying don't fight it. Manage it."