On Monday, The Today Show did a segment on “Digital Moms”. They featured mommy blogger, Heather Armstrong and the founder of CafeMom. While these two women did a great job handling the questions and representing their respective web sites, the segment itself didn’t do much to dispel old myths about women.
The impression for many women watching the segment (myself included) was that, once again, women were portrayed as mothers who sit around gossiping with one another about childbirth. Full stop.
Of course now, and isn’t this cute, we’re doing it on the internet.
The frustrating part is that I see women every day taking advantage of the internet and new technology to do a lot more than chat about motherhood. Sure, we tend to be social creatures by nature. And yes, we use blogs and twitter and portal sites like Work It, Mom! to connect with other like minded women.
But we’re doing heck of a lot more than talking about what it’s like to be a mother.
As a full time working mom, I use the Internet to be more productive in my family, personal and work life. Just like my male counterparts do.
At work, I recently designed and implemented an email marketing and follow up system that is fully integrated with our customer database. That system was responsible for doubling our profits the very first month we launched it.
Speaking of a customer database, our entire client management system is accessed online, making it possible for me to work remotely and for all of our various departments around the country to coordinate with one another. I have yet to use that system to swap notes about child rearing with a co-worker.
What I have done is exchanged notes with my boss and our writer about potential topics to discuss on our corporate blog, and strategies to generate traffic to our main web site from that blog. You know, by harnessing the power of the Internet.
I’m on the Internet for 8-10 hours every work day, and a small percentage of that time is spent chit chatting with my fellow moms about my toddler’s behavior and language development. When I do get together with other mothers online, it’s not just to swap parenting techniques. We discuss politics and health care and the effects of plastic bags on the environment. We use email and text messaging and twitter to stay connected and to stay informed.
Being a digital mom is no longer just about using the Internet to talk to other stay at home moms. In fact, I don’t know if it ever was just about that. But, for some reason, our online social habits are what make the news.
What about you? Do you consider yourself a digital mom? (I’m going to assume so since, you know, you’re here.) Are using the Internet to do more than “connect with other moms”?