It is said that the 20th anniversary of the internet occurred in 2011. There are disputes, since the internet was actually introduced in stages, with the introduction of the concept occurring in 1989, and the introduction of the world wide web (WWW) happening in 1991. But the bottom line is that the internet has been around a long time now.
What does this say to us about how tech savvy moms are today? Most kids in America today are not only computer literate, but actually computer experts. It has become a long standing truism that if you are having problems with your computer, just ask the teenager down the block for help. The fact of the matter is, however, that the teenager down the block ten years or even twenty years ago may now be the mom of today.
So it is really a question of age. Unless they spent time in the computer industry (you can be sure that people like Meg Ryan and Carly Fiorino are as tech savvy as just about any teenager you know), most forty somethings probably don’t have the technical knowledge to understand and be comfortable in the technical computer world. But fast forward a few years and the moms in their late twenties and thirties, who themselves grew up with computers and the internet, are now mothers of the preteens and teens who reign that world. The tables may be turned and they are now getting advice from mom instead of their peers.
The problem that comes from this age related level of knowledge is that too many moms (and dads for that matter) who have children in their mid to late teens are pretty clueless about the power of the internet, just when it can really lead to problems in use. The suicide deaths of a number of teenage girls recently were blamed on internet bullying episodes. These episodes were occurring right under the watchful eye of the parents of both the bulliers and the victims. No one can imagine that parents were witnesses to this form of cruelty, and so it can only mean that the teenagers were able to adjust the privacy settings of their Facebook accounts so that nosy (some would say concerned) parents couldn’t monitor their behavior. If they currently aren’t, moms need to get tech savvy enough to make sure they can properly supervise the computer activities of their minor children.
So the question “how tech savvy are moms” should really be “how tech savvy should moms be?”
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