Once, all that was needed to identify a mom was her jeans. Now, it's her twitter handle.
New research presented by BabyCenter has introduced the 21st Century Mom. She spends more and more of her time online within the realms of social media.
According to the report, which compiled information from 18 different surveys conducted over the past 6 months with over 25,000 respondents, 63% of women reported being active on social networks. When BabyCenter conducted a similar study in 2006, just 11% claimed to be social net regulars.
Time, inevitably factors into how much new mothers watch, read or log in, but print is by far the medium they are cutting back on. According to BabyCenter, women with new babies at home cut back on media consumption by as much as three hours, with print media being the biggest hit. As well, the report indicates that 49% of respondents claim to read magazines less after giving birth, and 46% said the same about their newspaper usage.
Yet once mothers become more comfortable managing their babies and their time, they gravitate to online social media to help them connect with others. The web isn't just a hub of information to help them better understand their child, it's also a place for moms to talk to other moms in similar child-rearing stages on sites like BabyCenter and all sorts of mommy blogs.
Much as it is on other niche blogs, the way moms interact online can be different than how they interact with their offline friends and family. According to the research, 71% of BabyCenter members share information that they wouldn’t share on Facebook.
To get a sense of how many moms are on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the mothers we talked to either said that they didn't know of any moms who weren't or that they don't spend much time with the ones who aren't online. As for Twitter, a quick search reveals that there are more than 10 pages of twitter handles with the word mom in them -- many with hundreds and thousands of followers. That's a lot of tweets.
Social media may prove to be a viable outlet for moms because it's about sharing information and connecting with others. Mothers of babies seek it to feel connected, while mothers of toddlers and young children will use it to keep informed about healthy and safety issues, as well as news, weather and politics, just like non-moms.