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May 14, 2008

What Is A Tech Savvy Mom?

Yesterday I posted about the extreme of what a tech obsessed mom may look like. But the question I still can't seem to define is: "What is a Tech Savvy Mom?"

Is she someone who knows how to use a computer to manage her family? Is she someone who can set up the family TV remote control and home wireless network? Does she do her online reading through RSS Feeds on her homepage? Or how about a mom who knows how to manage getting the digital pictures out of her camera into a form that is displayed in the house or to the family in a blog? Is she someone who has a blog and shares her voice? How about a mom that can go into Best Buy, Staples or Radio Shack and talk tech with the salespeople to find the right gadget? Is she a mom that always has a charged Bluetooth headset to use with her smartphone? Does she read her emails on her smartphone or just read her emails at all?  Or even the mom who stays in contact with family/friends around the world using Skype and Facebook?  Does she help her kids use computers for homework assignments or presentations that require it? Best yet, is the "talk" she has with her kids not only about sex & drugs - but about Internet Safety and identity protection?

So readers, please help me define the modern tech savvy mom
....My brother who lives in a different country just Google Talked me so I need to go chat with him......


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A tech savvy mom can work off of two computers (PC and Mac), an iPhone, BlackBerry and an old mobile phone, has four different email addresses and three different phone numbers and somehow manage to respond to messages within seconds of receiving them.

Signed BlackBerry addict and tech savvy mom
Beth F.

A tech savvy mom keeps up with her former professional and academic contacts via Facebook, even if her professional and academic lives are a distant memory.

Here is my recent Silicon Valley/DC Metro Moms Blog post on rampant "friending" on Facebook:


OK Beth, as requested, here are some links :)

Maybe she's someone who encourages a tech company to fix a bug?

Or shares info on the latest blog plugins with her readers?

Or gets fed up with the dearth of ways to promote small businesses so she just goes ahead and sets up her own directory?

Gah, OK, that's more than enough self-promotion for one afternoon!!

To me, it's someone who's comfortable with utilizing technology in her daily life.

For example: Kathie Lee Gifford would definitely be non-savvy. :)

I think a tech savvy mom could be all of those things you suggest- I see her as the mom that is "with it" and not behind- always knows what the latest things are and what they're for, and how to use them. And if she doesn't, she'll make sure she at least reads up about it on the Internet.

And then there was the time I wrote about when I got an iPhone...



A tech savvy mama is comfortable on social networks, doesn't sweat at the word ping and knows when to put her Blackberry down and pay attention to her kids.


No "flashing 12s" here... a tech savvy mom someone that is comfortable with technology & knows as much (or more) about her computer than her kids. She's someone that uses technology to help her family stay organized, and can high score her kid on his Nintendo DS.

She can configure her own Bluetooth headset and stays up late to hash on Twitter about politics. She knows Skype is better than a regular phone line, and her cell phone has almost as much computing power as her laptop. She's got email accounts that are older than her kids, or possibly even her marriage.

Oh, and she can go into Best Buy and see right through the sales pitch from the college kid and put together her own system, thank you very much!


A tech savvy mom charges her camera battery, clears the memory card, and backs up the PC before heading to the hospital to delivery her baby.

(I haven't written a post about this yet, but I will!)

Tech savvy is a state of mind and not really tied to social networking or iphones anymore than it was tied to mainframes or operating a tape drive 30 years ago. It's moving out of your comfort zone to try something new. It's coming up against something you don't know how to do and figuring out how to solve it, instead of giving up without even asking for help. It's overcoming the stereotype that women can only handle the "pink edition" with the simplified feature set.

It's knowing that the guys and Gen Y'ers weren't born knowing this, so you shouldn't feel bad for needing time to learn it too. It's admitting, especially to other women, that you don't know it all, and sharing your resources for finding answers. Being a tech savvy woman is about taking the time to help other women in your life, like your mom or grandmothers, become more tech savvy, so that a tech savvy woman is normal, not a news story.

Tech savvy is not being as up to date with technology as you can possibly be. In that case very few people in general are tech savvy.

To be a good tech savvy mom, one needs to be willing to use technology, such as the Internet, for one's own purposes and pleasures, rather than just trying to stay up to speed to be the guardian of the family computer. Tech savvy moms may try start a blog (maybe a blog about how tech savvy they want to be), or start up a facebook or myspace profile (and not just for spying on their kids), or start posting opinions on forums online. Most of all, tech savvy moms see the benefit of the technology they utilize and have fun with it.

I don't think tech savvy means first adopter, necessarily, just someone comfortable with technology - old or new - but who knows the difference between the two and can use it as opposed to fearing it, as so many people do.

A tech savvy mom can pick up someone else's cell phone and help them figure out how to use it, or she can hold her own with a VCR or a video camera without freezing up when she sees the remote control for the first time.

I think the other key in terms of the 'mom' aspect is that a tech savvy parent knows which techie tools present potential dangers to her kids vs. those that do not. She knows which gadgets to ban at bedtime and she can set up parental controls.

For example, a friend of mine had no idea her daughter could watch movies on her iPhone until she found her watching one in bed at night. That mom is the first person to admit she's not tech savvy.

I wrote an essay defining a tech savvy mom to post as a comment keeps getting marked as spam so I put it up on my own blog:


I think a tech savvy mom is someone who can figure out how to use social networks, or can hunt down a particular gadget she needs, or is comfortable navigating the web to find information. I think a tech savy mom doesn't necessarily have to have heard of wordpress, but wouldn't be opposed to the idea of figuring out how to learn how to use it if its something they want to do.

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