Keeping moms connected, empowered by technology
As families get back into the swing of school year routines, we thought we’d talk to one of our Walmart Mom bloggers, who’s not only a mother but also a tech expert, to get some of her thoughts on how to make family life easier with technology. This is part 1 of a 2-part piece.
Family technology advocate Lori Cunningham has plenty of ideas for gadgets that would make her life as a mom easier:
- Manicures and pedicures at home that are perfect paint jobs without any mess!
- A robot that cleans the cat trap out and disposes of the mess.
- A technology that would eliminate the need to put dishes in the dishwasher and then take them out and put them away. As this happens every day, there must be a simpler solution!
And while her dream gadgets aren’t on the market (yet, anyway), she points out plenty of amazing apps and devices that do a great job simplifying a busy mom’s life.
We recently checked in with Lori, who writes about technology on her blog, Well Connected Mom, to get her take on why moms shouldn’t be afraid of embracing new technology and to get her picks for the most useful tech tools available to families.
Can you tell us about Well Connected Mom? When and why did you start your site?
Well Connected Mom is a resource for families to learn about technologies for each family member and see how they are relevant to family life.
Well Connected Mom simplifies the learning process and clearly spells out how technology can make life easier…or at least more fun!
I started my site nearly five years ago because I noticed that the moms in my moms group had top-of-the-line phones but only used 20 percent of what was possible. As a technology lover since childhood, I started Well Connected Mom to take the guesswork out of technology and teach families how to be more productive using technology.
Who should be reading it, and what will they find?
The main target is moms, but dads often read WellConnectedMom.com as well, because our site makes technology simple to understand without going deep into technical jargon like the top tech sites do.
Readers of Well Connected Mom will find reviews, insights and suggestions on how to embrace technology in their lives. They will learn about apps and gadgets that will help their children learn as well as safeguards and tips to protect their children from dangers posed by the Internet or overexposure to technology.
Readers will also find answers to questions like these:
- Should I upgrade to the newest Galaxy S5 phone?
- How can I download pictures to my computer without even thinking about it?
- Are there appliances to help make nutritional, natural desserts for children that kids can make themselves?
- Should I wait for the new Apple iPhone?
- How can I digitize my video collection so the kids can watch it on their tablets or on the road?
- Are those cheaper cell phone plans worth the switch?
What do you think are the most common frustrations busy moms have when it comes to learning about new technology?
Oftentimes, advertising and technology packaging and instructions are written for men. The labels talk up the technical aspects and focus on processing power and storage. Most moms don’t understand all this jargon. They want to know what the phone can do for them, but not all at once. They want to learn as they go along.
Moms don’t have a lot of time, so they are looking for the bottom line. Will this product be helpful to me, my family or both? How is it relevant to me?
Moms appreciate simplicity. When they are looking for a battery pack, they don’t know what a 4,000 mAh is versus a 1,200 mAh. They don’t really care. But they do need some education to ensure they choose the right battery pack for them. Yes, the 1,200 mAh is cheaper, but the 4,000 mAh would be more suitable for a traveling mom or if her teens/tweens are always using her charger at the end of the day. You need battery juice enough for everyone…including Mom!
Why do you want to help moms embrace new technology? How can it help them?
Men love technology because of the cool factor. They typically are the first to buy a product and push for added features. As women become more engaged in the use of technology, they are pushing features in new ways.
For example, for moms who are taking care of young children as well as their aging parents, it can be very taxing. Is her mother testing her diabetes blood sugar every day like she’s supposed to? What about her father: Is he getting his blood pressure taken regularly?
Today, devices to measure blood sugar and pressure are available for home use, and they can transmit via Bluetooth to an app to track measurements for parents. This makes life easier, especially when going to the doctor.
And a new smart thermometer, Kinsa, transmits temperatures for each family member right to the app! Now, Mom can keep track of the last time a child had a temperature. And in the future, this app will help Mom see fever breakouts within her city, which will give her a better indication of kids sick in her neighborhood. She can remind her kids to wash their hands at school more!
Knowing more about technology will save moms lots of time. They will become more efficient, and with apps like Shazam, they’ll have more fun as they impress their spouses with their knowledge of the latest song playing on the radio!
Visit Walmart.com to browse tablets, smartphones and more.
Susan Jennings blogs about a variety of topics including personal finance, travel and health.
Coming soon, part two of our interview with Lori Cunningham: Time-saving tech essentials for moms.