Let’s explore why modern mums must become digital masters. I was thinking about this recently after a lazy afternoon in bed watching TED talks on my iPad. It was one of those ‘battery recharging’ sessions I have to have if I’ve worked an extremely busy week, and I was catching up on my internet surfing and goings on via Facebook. I came across a TED talk that I wanted to watch then one talk led to another and before I knew it I was learning about the flag design of cities and what happens when our computers get smarter than we are?
But an afternoon spent like this is never actually lazy. It gets my ideas pumping and my brain whirring. I was thinking about how I use technology to run my home and organise my kids, and how things will be so different when my children are managing their own homes. When my mother needs to make a shopping list she reaches for a pen and paper. As a child born just after the war she was brought up with a ‘make do and mend’ mentality so her paper is actually the back of last year’s Christmas cards that she has saved for list making.
When I need to make a shopping list I go to the app on my iPhone. My formative years have been a mix of ‘make do and mend’ from my mum alongside the environmental concerns of Gen X so I don’t like to waste paper. I send a mixture of actual Christmas cards and e-cards so I don’t go down my mother’s list making route and besides, pixels can be deleted and lists ticked off without having to create more recyclable or landfill waste. But I make my list on my app then either order it online or pick it up the next time I’m at the supermarket.
My children will probably have a smart fridge. I predict that modern mums in 2030* will probably have a fridge that recognises when the milk is getting low via a weight sensor in the door, and sends this information via wifi to the LCD screen on the fridge door. From there the fridge can practically add items to its virtual basket and once the householder is ready to place an order, send this request to whichever online supermarket we have configured into the fridge operating system. In the future, our appliances may be smarter than we are – scary thought isn’t it? Or maybe empowering, if we do what we need to and educate ourselves now.
My daughter and her peers are true digital natives. The first generation brought up in an age where we can play an online game with someone we’ve never met on the other side of the world, or communicate what we had for breakfast with our thousands of Instagram followers. It is completely natural for the teenagers of today to put videos of their dance routines onto YouTube for the world to comment on. In the 1980s I did my dance routines in the playground, singing “Making Your Mind Up” by Bucks Fizz and re-enacting the bit where the boys pulled off the girls’ skirts to reveal a mini skirt underneath! I’m glad the world wasn’t there to see it, but today’s kids won’t know any different.
So what do you do as a modern mum now that your mother wouldn’t have dreamed of? Maybe a way you use technology? Let me know in the comments, and also tell me what your predictions for technology of the future are? Plus, as a parent you may like this guide to the social networks your kids are currently using.
*I chose 2030 as my ‘future year’ as it is the year that my daughter will become the age I was when I had her! Maybe she’ll have her first child at that age? Or later? Or not at all? I suppose only time will tell.